The Deadline is the documentary film I am currently working on. It is the story of the battle between the populists and the progressives that is happening across the world.
This is ultimately a film about the human condition. How is it that what can seem rational to one person can seem irrational to another? Humans control the planet because we are the only animals that can cooperate flexibly and in large numbers. Uniquely, we cooperate with strangers, people we’ve never seen before and will never see again. But right now, as we face our biggest collective challenge, the climate crisis, that cooperative spirit feels lacking. The endless wars we have fought over centuries are evidence that “them and us” thinking is not something new and that humans have always been brutal to one another, but as we’ve entered into the twenty twenties the sense of fear, hate and division is palpable. Only history will tell what is to come next, the question is, can we change the trajectory we are on?
When we are fearful, when there is uncertainty in our lives, we search for a narrative to help make sense of it. This is why conspiracy theories thrive. This is not a new phenomena but the difference today is the digital revolution has given us a megaphone through which to shout those narratives. There is nothing wrong with seeking narratives to make sense of our lives, in fact we need them to do that, but whose narrative gets to prevail will impact all our futures.
I’ve long held an interest in, and curiosity about what makes human beings tick. I am constantly surprised at the outcomes of elections and referendums – “why did so many people vote that way?” – but to someone else my logic is equally nonsensical. In making this film I want to push myself outside my echo chamber. I want to place these different realities side by side and in so doing present a global picture of the human condition and make us think about why we think what we think and why we act the way we act.
The film is not intended to be a polemic but rather an exploration of human beliefs and the values and the behaviours that underpin them. I do not intend this to be a political film, it’s not about left or right. There is extremism on both sides and those binary definitions are muddied anyway. It is a film, though, about the backlash against progressive values, and those progressive values are what I cherish, they are what I fear losing and they are what I hope this film can help protect in some small way.
I am extremely grateful for the help from individuals who support me in my independent documentary filmmaking whether that is by making meaningful introductions or helping with funding and distribution. Without them making films like this would not be possible and the subject matter of this film goes to the very heart of why sustaining independent journalism and storytelling is critical.
If you can help me on my journey to getting this film made please do get in touch!
The Deadline is a fiscally sponsored project of the International Documentary Association (IDA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and as such any donations via the IDA from US-based individuals are tax deductable.