31 12, 2011

Happy New Year!

By |Saturday, December 31, 2011|Uncategorized|0 Comments

It has certainly been an exciting fall for the world and for Fixed. After the exhilarating success of our Kickstarter campaign, we set to work on the next stages of the film.  We interviewed Milton Reynolds of Facing History and Ourselves, about the history of the U.S. eugenic movement, and Sujatha Jesudason with Generations Ahead about prenatal screening technologies, sex selection and disability deselection, and filmed performance artist, writer and English and Disability Studies scholar Dominika Bednarska about how ableism is reproduced in society.  We also filmed a classroom debating the social value of prenatal screening technologies at the Lick-Wilmerding High School in San Francisco; at the Abilities Expo in San Jose; and most recently with Fernanda Castelo, a test pilot for Ekso Bionics’ exoskeleton. Fernanda even got us out on the water a few weeks ago to film with the Bay Area Association for Disabled Sailors (BAADS). Quite a blast!

Crew news: Two terrific new production assistants came on board for the fall. Karla Claudio Betancourt and Jackie Grieff have contributed their skills and enthusiasm to the project in a variety of ways from assisting with the last production shoots, designing the new Fixed t-shirt, poster, and button, to transcribing hours of new footage. Many thanks to you both for your hard work!

I also want to welcome back editor-extraordinaire Josh Peterson who edited the Fixed trailer last year and will now be helping me bring the rough cut and all of this great new footage together to craft the final film. Josh has been cutting documentaries for almost twenty years. He was nominated for a national Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Editing in 2009 for his work on Soldiers of Conscience. He also edited The […]

28 08, 2011

Time to Celebrate!

By |Sunday, August 28, 2011|Uncategorized|0 Comments

At 1:12pm on Friday, August 26th, our 310th backer, Peter Brieger, brought us past the $25K mark! WE DID IT!

Our deepest, most heartfelt thanks to every one of you. We are overwhelmed by the tremendous outpouring of support. When we started this campaign, we didn’t know if we would make it. We believed in the importance of this film but weren’t sure enough other people would agree with us. Yet 300+ people came together to say, yes, we need more conversation about the ethical, social and philosophical issues surrounding human enhancement technologies, differing perceptions of disability, and what it means to be human.

Just yesterday the BBC and NPR ran stories about Oscar Pistorius and his journey to athletic stardom—but not without a swirl of controversy. Does the double amputee have an advantage or doesn’t he? What do we really mean by disability? Is his story following the old “super crip” narrative, or is he part of a movement that’s redefining what’s “normal”?

These are the kinds of questions Fixed addresses, and while our goal of $25k will go a long way toward finishing the film, there’s still 4 days to make more magic happen.

What other wizardry is there? In our push to expand the conversation, we want to develop curriculum to reach students at the high school and college levels, as well as in medical schools and bioethics programs. The added dollars will allow us to devote more resources towards that goal.

If you haven’t yet contributed, donations can be made right up to the cutoff time of 9 a.m. on Wednesday, August 31. And, please, let’s make the most of these last few days by continuing to spread the word!

Thank you again. We are ecstatic!

With […]

11 08, 2011

Tweet Tweet, 10K & a Pinky Promise

By |Thursday, August 11, 2011|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Dear friends of Fixed,

Today marks a huge milestone: we hit 10K on Kickstarter! In fact, as of writing this, 111 backers have collectively raised $10,380! We are 41% of the way there, folks. Do you know just how much you all ROCK my world?!

I cannot thank you enough, but, instead, I will try to do my best to keep you better informed about Fixed as we move forward.

To this end, Fixed has entered the Tweeting world today and has a brand spankin’ new Twitter account: www.twitter.com/FixedDoc

If you are on Twitter (and it seems I am one of the few who hasn’t been in the Twittersphere much thus far so you are probably there), please follow me and I’ll follow you, too. Okay, see, that just sounds creepy. But you know what I mean. I want to follow what you’re thinking about, what cool links you discover, what you’re up to, etc… So please, tweet tweet!

155 of you have already discovered the FIXED Facebook page @ http://www.facebook.com/FIXED.the.movie  Good on you! Now where are the rest of you? Please come visit, join the page by clicking “like”, comment on the stories you’ll find there and post away about your own work, thoughts or related discoveries. I mean, seriously, every day there are more and more stories in the news about new technologies and new artistic movements challenging how we think about disability and the body, sometimes in oppositional and deliciously complicated ways.

How about this for an incentive? I will send a free Fixed poster to the next 30 people who become both a FixedDoc Twitter pal *and* who “like” the  FIXED Facebook page. (Full disclosure: posters won’t be ready for mailing until October, but they […]

29 07, 2011

The FINISH FIXED KICKSTARTER campaign has launched! $25K in 37 days! Can we raise it?

By |Friday, July 29, 2011|Uncategorized|0 Comments

At 9am, Monday, July 25th, we launched the FINISH FIXED KICKSTARTER campaign with a goal to raise the $25K that’s needed to finish the film in 37 days! Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing platform. If we don’t reach our goal or surpass it by August 30th, then we won’t receive any of the money pledged.

It is now 5 days into the campaign and thanks to the generous donations of our first 38 backers, we have raised $4,486! That’s 17% of the way to our goal. We have 32 days left to raise the remaining 83%. We know we can reach this goal but not without your help.

If all of you wonderful FIXED fans out there made a donation today and then ask 10 of your friends or colleagues to match your contribution, we would reach our goal and FIXED would be on its way to the finish line in no time. No donation is too small. Every dollar counts!

So be sure to check out the Kickstarter page today by clicking on the icon above. You can learn more about the campaign, see a short video clip with the director, and check out all the great rewards you will receive for making a donation! Please spread the word!

http://kck.st/fixedthemovie

19 07, 2011

FIXED gets ready for the Tarrytown Meeting in NY & our Kickstarter launch!

By |Tuesday, July 19, 2011|Uncategorized|0 Comments

The FIXED team has been working around the clock getting ready to both launch our Kickstarter fundraising campaign later this week and to head off to the Big Apple, or just north of the Big Apple rather to Tarrytown, NY, for a three day conference, hosted by the Center for Genetics and Society. The Tarrytown Meeting is a gathering of scholars, activists and media makers from all over the country and beyond, focused on the social implications of human biotechnologies. We will be holding two rough cut screenings at the conference, as well as being a part of the Biopolitical Cultural Festival.

Here’s a link to a video from last year’s conference and more information:

Tarrytown Meeting 2010

“From July 27-29, CGS hosted the inaugural Tarrytown Meeting, the first of three planned annual events. More than 100 invited advocates, scholars and others gathered over three days to consider what can be done to ensure that human biotechnologies support rather than undermine social justice, human rights, ecological integrity and the common good. The Tarrytown Meetings, and the network of individuals and organizations participating in them, grew out of a series of strategy consultations with colleagues and allies. ”

In other news, we will be kicking off our Kickstarter campaign later this week! Stay tuned for more updates!

8 04, 2011

Breast Cancer Gene Case Has Another Day in Court

By |Friday, April 8, 2011|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Breast Cancer Gene Case Has Another Day in Court
by Eric Hoffman and Jaydee Hanson, Biopolitical Times guest contributors
April 7th, 2011

A three-judge federal appeals court heard arguments on Monday in a case that could decide the future of human gene patents. The high-profile lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Public Patent Foundation on behalf of a number of researchers, patients, women’s health organizations and scientific organizations against Myriad Genetics and the University of Utah Research Foundation, holders of patents on genes known as BRCA1 and BRCA2 that are associated with elevated risk of breast cancer. The plaintiffs argue that the US Patent and Trade Office erred in granting these patents because genes are products of nature, not human inventions.

The panel heard Myriad’s appeal of a decision strongly favoring the plaintiffs that was issued in March 2010 by Federal District Court Judge Robert Sweet. Whatever is decided by the appeals court, many observers expect the case to continue on to the Supreme Court.

A few things stood out in Monday’s hearing. First, the judges were very interested in whether all the plaintiffs actually have standing in the case – that is, in whether they have actually been harmed by Myriad’s control of the genes. For example, University of Pennsylvania researchers whom Myriad stopped from conducting BRCA1/2 testing are now saying that if the patents on those genes are ruled invalid, they are unsure whether they will continue to screen for them. The judges focused on this account to the exclusion of statements filed by more than 150 other labs attesting to work that had been halted by the Myriad patents or by “cease and desist” letters from the company. The ACLU […]

11 09, 2010

Welcome!

By |Saturday, September 11, 2010|Uncategorized|0 Comments

What does “disabled” mean when a man with no legs can run faster than many Olympic sprinters? With prenatal screening able to predict hundreds of probable conditions, who should determine what kind of people get to be born? If you could augment your body’s capabilities in any way imaginable what would you do? From pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to neural implants to bionic limbs, researchers around the world are hard at work developing a myriad of technologies to fix or enhance the human body. What does it mean to design “better humans” and should we want to?

Welcome to the companion site for FIXED, the documentary about disability, ableism, and emerging technologies that will, and are, changing our very notion of what it means to be human.

We invite and encourage your participation! Our hope is that this website and the film will serve to create more spaces for meaningful public discourse and debate around these issues of human adaptability, our interactions and co-evolution with technology, the blurring line between ability/disability and therapy/enhancement, and finally to challenge entrenched notions of “normal.”

How do our values about ability and disability get embedded in our technology? Is this a new eugenics or something different behind this new wave of nano-bio-engineering?

We will be posting related articles periodically as well as posting video excerpts from the film. Please explore the site, leave a comment, introduce yourself and be a part of building this online community!

Visit FIXED on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FIXED.the.movie