This blog follows the journey of Sarah and Greg as they made their film. To see a trailer, read more, learn about the progress of the film or share your story visit AMERICANBEARFILM.COM
60 days. 25 States. 5 Bears.
Sarah and Greg are setting out on an adventure exploring American trust and fear through hospitality. Armed with their charm, courage, and a camera, they will rely on the kindness of strangers for a home each night, and if they're lucky, a few meals along the way.
The story began in summer 2009 when Greg exclaimed in his sleep, "We have to go to Bear, Colorado!" Unfortunately, no Bear actually exists in Colorado. However, there are five Bears in America, fortuitously located in a perfect a 'U' around the continental U.S. - in Washington, Idaho, Arizona, Arkansas, and Delaware. Following the trail of the Bears, Sarah and Greg will travel through 25 states of all different cultures, demographics, populations, and Americans.
Through conversations with locals, we will explore our themes on a personal level and embrace the stories that turn strangers into neighbors. Our discussions with scholars and professionals will dig into the philosophy and nature of a core aspect of what makes us human. We will understand why (or if) we let people into our hearts and our homes.
A lot of exciting things have been going on in the last couple months -- and we're about to kick some of them into action!
Our brand new website will feature our first full trailer for the film, as well as photos, this blog in a new format, and a special page we're most excited about: Your Voice, which will feature stories, photos, songs, videos, any medium from any person about kindness, connections, and America. Send us Your Voice at BearDocumentary@gmail.com!
The site goes live at 8:30pm on May 9th and we're throwing a party in New York City! From 7:30-10 we'll be partying at Brad's restaurant and bar, at 10 Waverly Place in Manhattan. Everyone is welcome to join us and meet dozens of other fun and friendly people!
But here's the exciting part -- in honor of the themes of the film the party is a PAY IT FORWARD PARTY -- which means we want you to do something nice for someone else at the party or before the party. (Read some of our ideas!)
PAY IT FORWARD PARTY – MISSIONS!
On the road, we often received many things from our hosts: food, experiences (we went to concerts, lakes, beaches; we played board games, bocce), we were given books to read, music to explore, mementos of friendships formed. We kept in touch. That’s what we want to do here. Not mandatory, but highly encouraged. Our ideas:
1. Bring a stranger, a tourist, or someone you met in the last week – someone you introduce yourself to specifically to bring them to the Pay it Forward Party. Show them what New York has to offer!
2. Bring your favorite recipe or a treat to share. (We wont be eating any outside food, but we can certainly distribute it!)
3. Bring a craft or something that you made to give to someone you don’t know – a tie-dyed shirt, a friendship bracelet, a key chain, sculpy art, a sketch, a painting, a comic strip, a mix CD, a list of your favorite restaurants in the city.
4. Bring something from home that you no longer need to pass on to a stranger. Your old iPod (mine will be there). A book. An old (but clean) shirt. A candle. A scarf...
5. Bring photos from what you’ve seen in America – your last vacation, your last road trip, even just your hometown. Tell us stories!
6. Bring a poem (that you’ve written, or that you’re moved by) that has something to say about race, gender, sociology, and human connections.
7. Do a random act of kindness, and bring it to the party however you can: as a story, a photo, or however you can share it and inspire.
8. Bring a post card addressed to yourself -- exchange it with a stranger so you can become pen pals.
9. Do five little (but important) things over the week – hold a door open for a stranger, smile at someone who looks sad, help someone carry their groceries, give directions to someone who is lost, talk with a homeless person, pick up trash, share a snack with someone, donate blood…..
10. This party is about the paying forward of energy, time, money, kindness – you get it! So bring something that belongs here!
ALSO ------> Brad's has super yummy (and inexpensive) food and drinks to enjoy also! We will be playing music from the band who did the music for the trailer, and writing things on walls (covered with paper of course).
Thanks for reading, and check out the site starting May 9th!