Currently Crowdfunding: ‘Burying our Brothers’
Today our currently crowdfunding project is the ambitious documentary Burying our Brothers, a timely film about the rise of Uber and its relationship to the deaths of NYC taxi drivers.
Filmmaker Greg Lovett explores how in a few short years New York City taxi drivers have suffered a slide from the middle class into crushing poverty, based on the changing landscape brought about from ridesharing technology companies such as Uber.
The team behind Burying Our Brothers hopes to raise awareness for this important issue. In fact, they just started an Indiegogo fundraising campaign at www.igg.me/buryingourbrothers. Share it with your network to help them raise the money needed to complete production.
Following a spate of tragic taxi driver suicides – such as Douglas Schifter, who shot himself in front of City Hall, Roy Kim, who hanged himself in his home, and Kenny Chow, who drowned himself in the East River – the team behind Burying our Brothers chose to take action with their cinematic skills.
Until recently, driving a taxi in New York was a gateway to the middle classes. Once drivers raised enough funds to purchase a medallion (permit to operate their own cabs), they had exclusive right to pick up passengers on city streets. In 2014, the cost of these medallions rose to a whopping $1 million.
The arrival of ridesharing services like Uber, while beneficial to consumers, has caused medallion prices to fall sharply – they now sell for under $200,000 each. Taxi drivers who previously borrowed funds to purchase a medallion or used the medallion as collateral for home mortgages or student loans are now deeply in debt – and a long way from the stable lifestyle they once expected.
Most taxi drivers are honest, hard-working immigrants who came to America in search of a better life. Now, because the City of New York can’t keep its promise to give them the exclusive right to pick up passengers on the street, many are faced with bankruptcy.”
Greg Lovett: Producer/Director/Editor
Greg has over 30 years of experience in the film & television industry. He began his career as a television director for the Houston Astros baseball team and, upon relocating to Holland in the late 1980s, worked as a producer-director in the Dutch television industry for over 10 years. He was later involved in projects that led to the introduction of broadband internet and interactive TV to Holland.
In 2018, he founded Image Essays, a nonprofit production company that specializes in the development of media projects of social political and historical interest that open minds, provoke dialogue, and encourage positive social change.
Greg believes documentaries can generate empathy in audiences, illuminate new perspectives, activate powerful emotions, and influence social change. Previously, his award-winning documentary Delay, Deny, Hope You Die drew attention to the plight of soldiers poisoned on military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ultimately this movie provided a platform for the cause and helped lead to new legislation for veterans.