Time-Sensitive Request:

I’m heading to film in Palestine and the West Bank, and I need your help.

[Update: Our fundraising campaign has ended. Thanks to generous online and offline contributions, we met and exceeded our goal. Thank you everyone!]

Friendship is a lost art. For some of us, even just getting out of the house is a lost art. Connecting to people, understanding them, reaching across divides, both the abstract ones and the physical ones. It’s harder now than it’s ever been.

This year, I’m partnering with my friend, the singer-songwriter Timothy Palmer, to produce a documentary film series that seeks to reach across divides, explore our differences and embrace our common humanity. It’s called So I Have This Friend.

Tim has received generous seed funding for the effort, and next month we’ll travel together to Palestine and the West Bank, where he and his sister Julia spent formative parts of their childhoods. Julia will join us on the trip, her first time back to the region in 30 years.

Image: Bradley Howard

We’ll film five unique stories, and what connects each of them to the other is resilience in the face of extreme challenges. As you’re no doubt aware, this is one of the world’s most notorious conflict zones, an area perhaps distinguished more by its divisions than anything else. But what we’re after is deeper. As much as we can, we want to blow right past the larger conflict and arrive at a place where we can look individual people in the eye — connect to them on a personal level and help tell their stories in as meaningful and beautiful a way as possible. The broader narrative may be an important thread, but the tapestry of an individual life is richer than the stories on our news feeds.

As I write, this film project is not yet completely funded. You can help, if you feel so led. While our initial seed funding covered a large portion of our needs and allowed us to begin making arrangements for travel, lodging, local fixers and interviews, we still need an additional $2,500 to help us cover the cost of film equipment rental and insurance. We have until May 18 to raise the necessary funds. You can donate today over at our Indiegogo campaign. In return, we’d like to offer a series of rewards for everyone who supports us. Thank you in advance. I can’t wait to come back and share the fruits of our labor with you all.