La Vie En Verte
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- Celebrating the potential of the human spirit,
honoring the vulnerability of the human body.
A Documentary (in the making) by Charles Hall and Bevin Bell-Hall
Wammovie is an exploration of a human dilemma. The Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM) was formed in response to a need great enough to risk imprisonment to meet it. Mike and Valerie Corral recognized the benefits of marijuana when it gave Val her quality of life back from the depths of epilepsy and its pharmaceutical treatment. The idea was simple; people work together to provide medicine for everyone involved. What blossomed from that collective idea is a support and care giving community that WAMM members rely on to see them through illness, end of life and the grief that surrounds it.
Wammovie is the story of patients and caregivers fighting for their right to choose what medicine is most suitable for their particular circumstance. It is the story of faith in the power of collective compassion and one of ultimate loss. The WAMM garden was raided in 2002 by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) armed with automatic rifles and chainsaws. This aggression only served to strengthen the resolve of WAMM members that what they were doing was right, that providing for the needs of patients was a greater concern than legal oppression. WAMM filed suit against the federal government for targeting their organization despite extraordinary lengths to adhere to State and local guidelines.
Wammovie is the account of Jackie Fitzhenry-Russell, a caregiver who came to WAMM as a skeptic and emerged as an advocate. Jackie bakes medicinal muffins for her friends because she thinks that they deserve a break from nausea or constant pain. Even if the relief she provides is a brief moment it is worth every ounce of effort. It is the story of Jeremy Griffey, an HIV/AIDS patient who delights in helping others in need access their medicine. He was diagnosed over 20 years ago and has watched many friends succumb to a disease that he was sure would have taken him long ago. It is the story of Dianne Diaz who has battled breast cancer and won. She signifies her victory by transforming her mastectomy scar into a powerful image of beauty and strength. Her emergence as a survivor has inspired her to educate others about breast cancer.
Wammovie is about surviving and making positive experiences out of every moment but it is also about letting go and being present for the exquisite journey to the end of life. Lucy Garcia is dying of ovarian cancer; she has been for some time. She is afraid but struggling to hold things together for her 15-year-old daughter that she has been raising by herself. As Lucy’s conditions worsen a team of her loved ones swing into action to provide round the clock care. Lucy’s care team did not set out to nurse her back to health or even to extend her life. They were there to ensure that her quality of life was as best as possible and that the end was as she wanted it.
Wammovie is about the life that happens after the worst has been faced and there is nowhere left to go but forward. That is the time when being alive really is about the very moment of existence that you experience. In this story, a young woman, Lucy’s daughter was forced to grow up too early; she lost her mother to ovarian cancer yet found another place to call home with her mother’s friend and deathbed companion Valerie Corral. In this story, Jackie finds love with another WAMM member and is married at a joyous occasion that takes the place of a previously planned triple memorial. According to Val, The connection between the marriage and the memorial is a transcendence into love. Wammovie is about our transcendence into love.
Chosen for its significance as the most potent ingredient of positive human values the Ai of this organization translates from Japanese Kanji as the emotion love. As a multimedia production company ForAí Productions provides a means of expression to subject matter that critically examines the composition of human existence and experience. Such expressions serve to promote sustainable society built by an educated public based on positive human values.
Compassion and respect in relating to each other and the environment sums up the core of our values.
-Each individual should have access to the fruits of their own labor.
-Each individual should have control of their own bodies including what substances to subject it to, when the right time for a pregnancy is and what the circumstances of their own death and disease are.
-Buy fresh, buy local
-Pack your trash
Charlie Hall, Producer, Writer, Director, Camera Operator, Editor
Charlie graduated with Highest Honors from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a BA in Anthropology. Throughout his time at the University his particular focus was the documentation of culture through the arts of film and photography. Charlie’s studies focused on the use of visual media to translate sub-culture social movements to the society in which they take place. Charlie’s body of work at the University includes Watsonville High and VA Unleashed, two short documentaries based on 12 months of volunteering as a tutor and mentor to high school students at risk of failing to graduate. In 2006 Charlie received a College Nine Project Grant to produce a photo essay titled Charitable Homeownership that documented volunteers as they constructed a Habitat for Humanity home in Santa Cruz, Ca.
Since graduation in 2006 Charlie has been volunteering, researching and filming the Wo/Man’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana for his current project Wammovie co-produced with Bevin Bell-Hall. Furthermore Charlie has worked with several non-profit organizations providing film and editing services such as A Good Idea in San Francisco, California, Nature’s Theater in Davis, California and Birth and Early Parenting Educators in Nevada City, California.
Bevin Bell-Hall, Producer, Writer, Camera Operator, Editor
Bevin graduated from The University of California, Santa Cruz with honors in both her college and her major, Film and Digital Media. A Theatre Arts Minor, Bevin interned at New York Powerhouse Stage and Film. As an actress, she has worked with professional and semi-professional companies. Also in the theatre, she has directed over 15 plays and musicals with both child and adult casts and has produced several productions. Having volunteered and worked in the theatre for over 20 years, Bevin brings story telling and directing skills from the stage into her work in film, video and documentary. She has written one feature length narrative screenplay, one children’s television pilot and four theatrical adaptations of classic stories, which were subsequently performed in Santa Cruz, California and Grass Valley, California.
With her husband Charlie Hall, Bevin helps create short films for WAMM, A Good Idea and Nature’s Theatre. Currently she and Charlie are shooting, directing and editing a new web series, Through the Golden Gates for Sountru Productions: http://throughthegoldengates.com
Wammovie needs your help!
We need $8,000 in donations to make it to the Sundance Film Festival Final Submission Deadline on September 25th. From there we will hold additional fundraising efforts to raise the money to spruce up and submit the film to thirty specifically selected American and international film festivals. Once we’ve been accepted to some festival we will be able to approach larger organizations for larger sums, but until that day we need out grassroots community (that’s you!) Here are ways to help:
-SEND A DONATION TO:
101 W. Mcknight Way Ste. B
Grass Valley, CA 95949
Make checks out to Charlie Hall and/or Bevin Bell Hall.
Or for a tax deductible donation make checks out to our fiscal sponsor: MAPS
(The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies)
-THROW A HOUSE PARTY
This is a wonderful and fun way to raise big funds by donating your home and some beverages and appetizers.
You invite friends over for a fundraising party.
We provide the trailer, the proposal, the budget, and the pitch and will come for a Q&A session (schedule and budget allowing).
Together we set a goal to try to raise a certain amount of money per party.
Everyone eats, drinks, discusses Wammovie and is merry!
-HAVE A FUNDRAISING EVENT AT YOUR NEXT MEETING
Perhaps you are part of a progressive church, a volunteer organization, a book club (for which I recommend reading Dying to Get High: Marijuana as Medicine written by friends of WAMM: Wendy Chapkis and Richard J. Webb) a support group, a discussion group, a collective, a co-op or a movie night whose members are interested in legalization of medical marijuana, alternative death and dying design, caretaking, community activism, HIV/AIDS awareness, cancer awareness, human rights and/or normalization of marijuana. Consider holding a fundraising event at your next meeting.
We will provide the trailer, the proposal, the budget, and the pitch and will come for a Q&A session (schedule and budget allowing).
Maybe you are able to donate $10 (that’s wonderful and we appreciate it!) but maybe you also know 10 people willing to match your $10 dollar donation. Now you have raised $100 dollars! You have raised the application fee for Sundance Film Festival!
-SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT DONATING
Know an organization or individual invested in the legalization of medical marijuana, alternative death and dying design, caretaking, community activism, HIV/AIDS awareness, cancer awareness, human rights and/or the normalization of marijuana who might like to be a donor for Wammovie or who just needs to make a tax-deductible donation? Talk with them, send them our way and/or suggest we contact them.
101 W. Mcknight Way, Ste. B
Grass Valley, CA 95949
Facebook Group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=57196407999&ref=ts