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The Spirit Level Documentary Film Campaign

May 21, 2012

The Spirit Level, a book by Professors Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson, has already had a profound effect on the debate about equality (or the lack of it) in modern societies; and now the printed page is to be followed by a documentary film.  The money is needed very soon. Given the significance of this timely development in the equality debate, I have attached below the message inviting interest, received today from the Equality Trust, an organisation set up by Wilkinson and Pickett.
Do support this venture in any way you can.


As Katharine Round, Director of the Spirit Level documentary project observes, An Inconvenient Truth, a documentary film by Al Gore about global warming with a similar public awareness intent – to inform people directly about a very serious challenge to our futures – has had huge effect on public understanding and debate.  Perhaps the same can also be said of Inside Job, the award-winning documentary by Charles Ferguson, which explores relentlessly the facts behind the 2008 global financial meltdown.

But it’s still quite unusual to see a widely available documentary based on social demographic, epidemiological and other empirical data.  Wilkinson and Pickett have already triggered in their book  a fundamental critique of the factors which influence well-being and the way modern societies function (see also here). We can hope that The Spirit Level film will likewise have a big impact.

So this is the message received today (21 May 2012) about her project from Katharine Round, producer and director of The Spirit Level documentary film:

The Spirit Level Film campaign is now live!

Over the last few months we’ve been busily preparing to launch our awareness and fundraising campaign for a forthcoming documentary based on the award-winning book The Spirit Level.

And now the day has come – our campaign page is live at www.indiegogo.com/spiritlevelfilm

We need you to help

This campaign is going to be live for 6 weeks only from today, 21st May. The aim of this film is to build a campaign for greater equality, and it has the potential to make a big difference. Film has become one of the most effective ways of raising awareness, influencing public opinion and policy change: we want to do for the public understanding of the ways inequality damages us what An Inconvenient Truth did for the public understanding of climate change.

But in order to make this film happen we need you to support it now. Here’s how:

  • Join Us – in spreading the      word. We want as many people as possible to be sharing      the campaign page today. If we can get hundreds of people sharing      through Facebook, Twitter, and social networks imagine what a message it      will send about public support for this issue. This will help us raise      awareness of our campaign aims, start putting pressure on politicians, and      help us attract the money to get the film made.
  • Pre-Buy your copy of the      film now – one of the easiest ways to support us financially is to pre-buy      a digital download of the finished film in advance. Just 2,500 people need      to pay £12 for the film now, and we will have raised our budget! Of      course, if you want to donate more you can – and we have a whole range of      attractive perks on our campaign site (from signed copies of the book, to      tickets to the premiere!)

So, please help us to get the message out by sharing this email and our campaign site www.indiegogo.com/spiritlevelfilm

Why is this campaign so important?

This campaign aims to raise awareness of how inequality affects us and help to launch the documentary, so we can get the message out to millions more. The Spirit Level book showed how nearly all social ills – stress, poor educational performance, high crime rates, unwanted teenage pregnancies – are more common in those societies with a big gap between rich and poor. What’s more, in these unequal societies people die younger, they have more fragile economies, and they are a greater threat to the future of the planet.

Our aim with the film is to engage people who might not pick up a book and read about inequality to understand more about how it affects them, and what can be done about it. And our ambitions are high: we want to make a difference, change the political debate and government policy.

Films such as these are rarely funded by studios or broadcasters, who prefer to focus on more entertainment driven projects. However, this campaign wants to make a statement as much as it wants to raise money. We want as many people as possible to be part of it – as this will also show just how much public support there is for the issue and put pressure on politicians to move beyond lip-service to real policy change. We believe a better life is possible for all of us, and if we work together we can get the message out and make change happen.

Please do get in touch with us if you have any suggestions, would like any resources for your blog or website, or simply want to say hello! Our email is hello@thespiritleveldocumentary.com

Thank you for being involved

Katharine Round
Director, The Spirit Level Documentary

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