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Documentary: The First 70

Kickstarter is one of my favourite websites. A fundraising website for creative projects, and creative projects is a very broad concept. It ranges from bands trying to raise money for their new album to be released, directors of movies, opera’s but also products like a new iPhone docking station or a new type of pen. It’s a great concept and means a lot of hours lost surfing looking for cool projects that make you think ‘why didn’t i think of that’.

But anyway, while browsing Kickstarter i came across this pledge, it’s a pledge for a documentary about the California state parks.

In May California decided, in an attempt to cut some budgets, to close down a quarter of their state parks. Saving them a ‘mere’ 22 million $ (in this day and age where billions are thrown left and right this really isn’t going to save them). It will mean that about 70 parks will be closed down in July.

Not wanting to miss the chance to see these places before they were gone forever, we decided to make our way across California in a converted airport shuttle bus, shooting as many parks and people as possible. Individuals we met along the way were concerned about the closing of their local parks, but no one had a collective firsthand experience of the overall picture. As we connected dots on a map, a pattern emerged. No one knew exactly what the conditions of closure would be, nor could they see how the state would ultimately benefit.

The First 70 is a short film about Californians banding together to enact change and develop solutions in the face of a glaring bureaucratic oversight. Volunteers have been forced to lend even more of their time and effort to support the already grossly underfunded state park system. Independent organizations and nonprofits have become obligated to step up to the challenge of keeping parks open, supporting them financially while working within the state’s guidelines.

So, you probably wonder “why do you care, you live in a flat below sea-level country?” And i do, and i have never been to California but i’ve seen images and footage of the parks, being more than impressed, i have relatives living in California and most important of all it’s an incredibly stupid plan thought up by bureaucratic morons. So, if you can spare some money, please support this one.


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