Artwork by Jessica Perlstein for the film adaptation of The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk.
Films For Action is a learning library for people who want to change the world.
Unlike the old media, which feigns neutrality while representing powerful political and corporate interests, we're transparent about who we stand for. We're part of a new media paradigm, which exists explicitly to support all of the global movements working to create a more just, sustainable, vibrant and egalitarian future.
We imagine a world that's deeply participatory, more decentralized, less hierarchical, and ecologically healing in ways that the present system cannot offer. Our fire burns for a vision of a global paradigm based on trust and cooperation rather than fear and competition.
We believe that the primary nexus of focus for our efforts will come from the transformation of cities - culturally, ecologically, and economically. We envision a future where cities have become not just sustainable, but ecologically regenerative, just and thriving places to live for both humans and the rest of nature. What is inspiring to us is knowing that the solutions necessary to make this happen already exist. Whether in Lawrence, Kansas, where Films For Action got started; in Curitiba, Brazil; or in Samso, Sweden - transformational solutions already exist. They are in development all over the world, by millions of people and thousands of organizations.
This movement has no name - no "ism" to tie us all together. There is no single manifesto that articulates our vision in a single language. In its place, we have a thousand different ways of articulating this vision, spoken in the words of every language. However, the vision we share of a better future is common. We just need to connect the dots.
We support the Defend the Sacred manifesto. We support the 10 principles of Radical Ecological Democracy. We support the Earth Charter, the Next System Project, the Leap Manifesto, Transition Towns, The Zeitgeist Movement, the philosophy behind permaculture, and many more like-minded expressions of what we believe represents a common-shared vision of the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.
This idea that "I am because you are" - that your happiness is my happiness - this is the guiding principle of love, of Ubuntu that is what keeps our feet moving and our hearts in action. We are all one human family in relationship with each other and the rest of the community of life on Earth. We seek power with, not power over.
We celebrate the diversity of peaceful cultures that exist across the globe while recognizing our underlying unity. We stand against the homogenization of the world in all its various forms - this toxic belief in the 'one right way' which has been responsible for all of the colonialism and conquest and subjugation we have seen in the past.
We believe that the old way should not be replaced with a new best way (which would be a repeat of the old way) - but rather 10,000 new and ancient ways of living. There is no one solution to the world's problems. There are 10,000 solutions, 10,000 ways of life - and we need them all.
But do you know what we need most of all? We need you. We need people who have come alive, people who are pursuing their passions and sharing their gifts, people who are dreaming of a better world and putting their dreams into action.
They say many hands make light work, and we need all of us helping our 'movement of movements' in whatever way feels right for each other. We need both a diversity of tactics and a diversity of efforts. We need people challenging the old and building the new, in all the different ways this is possible. The more we can see this and support each other and see how our efforts complement each other, the stronger we'll be.
As for us, we aren't here to fix the old media. We're here to be the new media - one part of a diverse and decentralized network made up of hundreds of indy media efforts working towards our common dreams.
We don't believe in the false promise of neutrality, nor that that is even desirable. All media has bias - rooted in the values, funding sources and owners of that media - and rather than pretend otherwise, we believe the new media should simply be more transparent about who and what it stands for.
The new media is also far more participatory and is built around everyone being a part of it. Films For Action offers a good example of the model. On the funding side, Films For Action is ad-free and 100% supported by its Patrons. On the content side, anyone can become a member of the site and contribute videos and articles to our library. The best content gets rated up by our members and shared by us on social media. A full half of our best content was added by members. On the distribution side, our model is entirely people-powered. We have no marketing budget, no large staff or other tools a news network might rely on to get its content seen. Yet our library's content has been seen by tens of millions of people thanks to the power of social media - the power of each individual sharing alternative media with their friends on a regular basis.
We now have 860,000 supporters on Facebook, plus 70,000 site members, who are sharing content from our library. We're able to reach millions of people each month thanks to the seemingly small acts people make every day. It all adds up, and this trend is only poised to grow, as more and more of us become a part of the new media, sharing quality information across the internet. Eventually, we believe this people-powered model has the potential to dwarf the impact of the old media. Eventually, our alternative models will compel the old media to adapt, represent the public interests and reject corporate influence, or become obsolete.
And this is important - because the foundation of change really rests on awareness - on people being deeply informed and knowledgeable, far more than what the corporate media and our educational system are presently offering.
Education is truly the key that opens the box of keys. It's the soil upon which all other revolutions grow.
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