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From filmmaker Kami Chisholm:
I am an independent, DIY filmmaker who primarily produces noncommercial, social justice themed documentary and experimental films. Due to the nature of my work, I frequently struggle to raise even the very modest funds necessary to complete my films. For the past several years, I’ve been working on three new long-form documentaries with no funding outside of the short period of time I had the amazing opportunity to work as an Artist in Residence at Osgoode Law School in 2015-16.

As such, I am currently stalled in the post-production process on my new projects due to a severe lack of resources and the death of the computer I’ve been editing on for the last five years. However, rather than running another Kickstarter campaign, I’ve decided to take a different approach this time around.

I’m often asked where people can buy my films, which is actually a complicated question for an otherwise unemployed filmmaker who lives quite precariously like I do. I am simply not able to distribute most of my work for free, and, due to changes in Canadian copyright law plus the nature of how institutional/educational sales work, I usually cannot release much of my work for home video/individual purchase for at least several years after the release as it would eviscerate the already extremely small royalties that I make from my films.

Therefore, in order to raise funds to complete works in progress as well as make my films more widely available and accessible to those who do not have institutional affiliations with universities/libraries etc., I will be taking pre-orders of upcoming films for home video/individual use. The films will *only* be for sale in this manner until their completion. Once completed, I usually have to hand the films over to distributors who only sell copies to institutions at much higher prices for the first year or two. In addition, I’ve also set up a Vimeo channel for my short films that people can subscribe to in order to watch previous works and access new short videos as soon as they are released. And I’ve set up the store on my website to also take donations, and anyone who is able to donate to any of the films will receive a thank you in the final credits.

As mentioned above, I have three documentaries currently in post-production. I will be releasing trailers/teasers for each of these in July 2017, but in the meantime here are brief descriptions:

White Skins, White Masks
Essay documentary | Expected completion: 2017 or early 2018
Reframing and cropping videos that document police and civilian racialized violence to re-focus on the perpetrators, White Skin, White Masks explores the psychical and cultural trauma of racism. The film dissects visual spectacles of racial violence captured on video/cell phones from a number of angles, examining – but not re-producing – incessant spectacles of Black (and other racialized) bodies in pain, while also exploring the construction of whiteness and white supremacy through scenes of racial violence. This film is an adaption of director Kami Chisholm’s PhD dissertation: The Transmission of Trauma: Psychoanalysis, Race, and Technologies of Cultural Fantasy (University of California, 2007).

Bullies
Documentary | Expected completion: 2018
In June 2016, queer and trans activists from Black Lives Matter – Toronto staged a sit-in at the Toronto Pride Parade, making nine demands designed to combat racism at the annual LGBT festival, one of which was to remove the institution of the police force from official participation. Almost immediately, BLM activists were accosted with an onslaught of criticism and harassment from LGBT (and non-LGBT)individuals, organizations, politicians, and the media who continue to label BLM with a range of derogatory slurs, from calling the group irrelevant and a joke to terrorists. Documenting the racialized discourses throughout the year following the BLM sit-in, Bullies traces the racism that continues to divide Toronto’s diverse communities.

Citizen
Citizen is an upcoming documentary film that begins with the question: why do nations routinely restrict access to ostensibly “universal” human rights to citizens only? Following this query, Citizen interrogates the ways in which human rights are constructed through the regulation of citizenship and the enforcement of borders to deny many disparate groups of people the ability to live and thrive. From migrant justice organizing to the fight to end immigrant detentions to Indigenous activism against intrusions on unceded land, Citizen traces sites of struggle against state structures that frequently deny the freedom of movement, the right to self-determination, and access to fundamental necessities of life for many across Canada and the US.

I would greatly appreciate your help in finishing these projects. There are lots of ways to support:

Thank you so much, and please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

 

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