Independent filmmakers Sheila Canavan and Michael Chandler are turning to the Internet to raise funds for their latest feature documentary, Compared to What? The Improbable Journey of Barney Frank, an intimate and entertaining portrait of the controversial and outspoken politician. Their film has 30 days from January 27 to raise $85,000 on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo.
When asked about the crowdfunder, Canavan said: “We’ve had enthusiastic response from festival audiences, and we hope that this campaign will connect the film to people who will help us bring it to a much wider audience.”
Of paramount concern to the filmmakers is the threat that decades of anti-government rhetoric pose to our democracy.
“As Barney Frank puts it, ‘There are things that a civilized society needs that we can only do if we do them together,’” Chandler said of his motivation to make the documentary.
The film also explores how Frank overcame the challenges of being closeted to become a leading voice for LBGT rights.
“For me,” Frank said in the film, “it’s been a disparity between a very satisfying public career and a private life in turmoil.”
Through his comeback story, Canavan and Chandler delve deeply into the meaning and sacrifice of a life devoted to public service.
Chandler has a distinguished record as a documentary filmmaker, covering controversial subjects like the burning of black churches in the South (Forgotten Fires). Canavan and Chandler’s award winning Knee Deep – and now Compared to What? – reveal a preference, much like Frank’s, for approaching difficult subjects with a sense of humor.
Canavan, who is a lawyer as well as a filmmaker, first exposed the Wall Street/subprime mortgage connection in groundbreaking legal work in 2003. She served on the Federal Reserve Board’s Consumer Advisory Council and is cited in the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission’s official report.
To learn more, supporters can visit the project’s pitch page.