On January 1st (or few days earlier depending on the final date of the Iowa caucus) I will start a unique personal journey covering the election campaign not by following the candidates, but by following how the campaign is being viewed among religious communities across the nation. Through the month of the primaries, I will drive from Iowa through New Hampshire, down the East Coast to Florida, and west through the South to Oklahoma where I will be on Super Tuesday. The journey will provide the spine for my film– Faith & Politics (working title)–a cinematic personal essay exploring the role of religion in the 2008 presidential election campaign and in the country’s politics in general. You can read more about it by going to the project’s site , www.faith-politics-themovie.com, or by clicking on the Faith & Religion icon on the site. The film is being produced for a variety of European stations, led by the German/French Public Channel ARTE. In North America, CBC Radio Canada, the Canadian Public Broadcaster, has committed to the program as well. We are also in discussion with several US broadcasters.
Yet the reason for this blog is not the film but its Web site. My goal is to create an innovative Internet initiative that will transform the process of filming into an interactive process–a forum free for all to debate, discuss and explore the multitude of issues surrounding the role that religion plays in America’s political life. On the site people from around the world (the site is going to be promoted by the European broadcasters as well as by Israel’s largest Web site) will be able to post their comments. Their questions will be posted via YouTube and emails and will be included in my conversations with folks that I meet on the road. There will be room for Forums and Community Boards that will allow visitors from across the US and overseas to dialog with activists and ordinary folks during the month of the primaries and all the way to the election. In few days a template of the site will be posted on www.faith-religion-themovie.org. The site will be launched on January 1st.
This web site is only one in a list of initiatives that aim to transform my films and the process of making them into an interactive process. The goal is to build Internet communities around crucial social and political issues raised in these films
Coming up in the next few weeks:
In the name of the victims–the movie.org, A unique site built together with Link TV (which will broadcast the film with the same title) will provide the only forum for Holocaust survivors and their decendents to explore the issues surrounding restitution. The site will provide a forum for dialog as well as a tool to lobby a host of Israeli and Jewish organizations who claim to speak in their name.
Execution Chronicles– A web site triggered by my film that follows one of the first “Hate crimes” perpetrated after September 11. Mark Stroman is now on death row for killing an Indian grocery owner in Dallas Texas as revenge for the September 11thterror attack. Mark exhausted his appeals in the State of Texas, and is now going through the federal appeal system .The site will feature his story, as well as that of his victims( He also killed a grocery owner from Pakistan and wounded a young immigrant from Bangladesh). Here too, the site will accompany the filming through personal blogs and interactive features where internet viewers will become part of the .My goal is to create a unique forum around the issue of Hate Crimes and the Death Penalty. You will be able to read all about it soon on http://www.executionchrnociles-the movie.org .
This is just the beginning and there are more projects to come in early 2008.
As we develop these initiatives, Tamouz Media’s site will undergo a profound change… and not only a cosmetic one. It will become not only a site that highlights our productions, but a hub of our communities and soon of our “theaters;” a unique distribution system that will allow groups and individuals to hold public screenings of our films across the United States and the World.
You will be able to follow this transformation right here on my blog. Where you can write to me or leave your comments.
Until the next time
PS. As promised, Please find enclosed the comparison of Six Days in June PBS version to the rest of the versions.