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Road to Bethlehem Update
The latest news on producer / director Leila Sansour’s film 'Road to Bethlehem'
 
Dear Friend, 
 
Welcome to the first email update from Tipping Point Film Fund on Leila Sansour’s feature documentary film ‘Road to Bethlehem’ - any questions do email us and we will get back asap.
 
Background
 
As many of you know, Tipping Point Film Fund is a new, non-profit organisation that aims to grow a fund drawn from donations from the wider general public in order to support outstanding social action feature documentaries - films which also have an integrated campaigning outreach strategy. Our aim is to offer funding as well as campaigning support on each and every film. Tipping Point Film Fund is for people from all walks of life, all ages and all parts of the world – supporting challenging, truth telling films. ‘Road to Bethlehem’ is one such film - a beautifully shot film, with a powerful personal narrative that has the potential to move audiences around the world with the story it has to tell.
 
‘Thank-You’ to early supporters of the film
 
We know there have been many supporters of the film over the four years that Leila has been working on it - and this update is also by way of extending thanks to you all for your early support...and to share with you the significant progress that has been made since Leila started the film.  The film is now shot and is being edited at the moment. We have an exciting distribution plan for Christmas 2010 and have ambitious plans for the campaign outreach of the film.
 
We very much hope you - like us - are excited to catch up on news about the film. And also, energised by the impact ‘Road to Bethlehem’ can make - with audiences and decision-makers alike, around the world.
 
Update
 
Tipping Point Film Fund came on board to work with Leila Sansour in March 2009 in order to help raise a completion budget as well as work on the planning around the release, distribution, marketing and campaign outreach of the film - internationally.
 
We are still seeking funds to go towards the completion budget - so do spread the word!
 
(1) Raising the completion budget of approx £85k…new supporters helping us reach our target
 
Since the spring, we needed to raise approximately £85k in order to edit and post produce the film to the highest possible standard. We have raised about 50% of this – in part thanks to a ‘Road to Bethlehem’ presentation hosted by Amnesty International at their London offices. As a result of this fundraising event, a significant portion of the completion fund was raised.
 
We are also delighted that Irish development agency Trócaire has recently come on board and awarded 7,500 Euros towards this finishing fund. We are looking forward to working with them, and other agencies, on the outreach campaign of the film. As a faith-based organisation Trócaire is united with similar organisations across the world through CIDSE (International Cooperation for Development and Solidarity) and the wider church network Caritas Internationaliso. 
 
Other recent funders to come on board include the CBA-DFID Broadcast Media Scheme, which is supporting the film with a grant award of £10,000. The CBA-DFID Broadcast Media Scheme was established in 2001. The CBA (Commonwealth Broadcasting Association) has funding from DFID (the UK Government Department for International Development) to manage the scheme which is editorially independent. The objective of the scheme is to improve UK public understanding and awareness of the developing world via the mainstream broadcast media.
 
We continue to receive donations from private donors - some of whom came to our presentation at Amnesty International in the spring. We are also exploring more funds coming from other NGOs working in the region and on the issues. Additionally, we are waiting to hear back on a number of funding proposals with various trusts and funds in the UK and overseas.
  
(2) Campaigning
 
The effective outreach of the film is central to our plans - and collaborations with organisations such as Trocaire and other similar NGOs / partners will be key to this.
 
And Leila - who has many years experience campaigning on the issues concerning her country - was recently asked by The Carter Center to travel to Atlanta to make an Open Bethlehem presentation at a conference designed to bring faith agencies together around a new push for the US to play a more constructive role in its policy-making toward Israel/Palestine. It was a hugely successful event in the lead up to President Obama’s first meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu  and President Obama’s first trip to the Middle East.
 
(3) Events
 
Tipping Point Film Fund profiled ‘Road to Bethlehem’ at Greenbelt Festival this year to great interest as Greenbelt is focusing on Palestine this year. 
 
We were also very pleased to be invited to able to give a presentation of Open Bethlehem and ‘Road to Bethlehem’ at City Circle - and are exploring various ways in which we can continue to work together on both the funding and campaigning for the film. 
  
(4) Ongoing support for the film…..
 
If you would like to support this next stage of the film or you know of someone who might be interested, you can find out how to here. If you donate please send us an email alerting us to your donation marked 'Road to Bethlehem'. 
 
In the meantime, we will continue to keep you posted on the progress of the film and look forward to reporting back as the edit develops….
 
And if you have questions or ideas you would like to ask or share – do get in touch.
 
With best wishes, 
 
from Leila and us all at Tipping Point Film Fund - Deborah, Thea, Kevin and Justin. 
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