A guy named Thom Stark is making a movie that you should support right now on Kickstarter. He's an amazing guy who I first tracked down when I was writing my blog Revolution in Jesusland (a project documenting how "last will be first" Christians are taking leadership of the church in America).
Thom's an influential and committed Christian from the midwest who writes 3:00 am blog posts called I am a Terrorist Sympathizer.
He first caught my attention by blogging all kinds of revolutionary pacifist and anti-consumerist stuff as an undergrad at the tiny, conservative Ozark Bible College. When I visited him there, I found a young student who was rousing a bit of a rebellion in the half-utopian/half-dystopian alternate universe of his school, even converting some of his professors. But on top of that, he was a serious intellectual who quickly went on to a respected theology PhD program -- and published a serious book that's been acclaimed (and attacked) by all manner of famous theologians and Christian leaders.
And somehow he did all that while (1) working a bunch of jobs to make ends meet, (2) helping to raise an awesome daughter, (3) blogging like a madman, and (4) watching every single movie that was released and reading about 8,000 books. (If you're wondering why Evangelical Christians are winning, here's the answer: they get married at age 20 and therefore have 10 to 15 more years of sober, focused productivity than most of their secular counterparts.)
As if that wasn't enough, in the grand tradition of video store clerks, box office cashiers and part-time projectionists (he did all three jobs and more to get through college), Thom couldn't shake a passion to make films. So he methodically warmed up with a short artsy film called Note to Self ("a narcissistic tragic romance with a happy ending"), which he seems to have made in 10 minutes. That was like three days ago, and of course it's already won a big prize at a prestigious film festival -- the same prize that folks like the Coen Brothers, Ang Lee and Ridley Scott won for their first movies.
Now he's ready to delve into his first full-length feature documentary. And thanks to the amazing innovation of Kickstarter, we have the chance to fund it.
He initially had a different idea for his first doc: a story of the vast diversity within Christianity, Judaism and Islam in his present home city of Houston, Texas -- and I really want to see him get to this film still!
But after the killing of Trayvon Martin, he realized that racial profiling was going to be the topic of his second film. He's working with a diverse team of writers, producers and crew. I asked him why a white guy should make a film about racial profiling and he made the good point that it's white people who are doing the racial profiling. This is not a film about Thom solving the problem, but a film about many others' efforts to uncover, understand and resist violence and discrimination.
All I know is that he's going to make an amazing film that will be a huge success. If you want you want to someday brag about kickstarting the career of a famous filmmaker please back this film with $5, $25, $50 -- or however much you can.
I want to see this movie. America needs to see this movie. Please help!
Follow Zack Exley on Twitter: www.twitter.com/zackexley