|Morgan Freeman is narrator for "Breaking the Taboo," a brand new documentary which examines the failed global War On Drugs|
Features Interviews with Former President Carter and Former President Clinton on Global Drug Laws
First movie made by indie documentary maker Sam Branson
Sundog Pictures on Wednesday announced the release of their first feature documentary, Breaking the Taboo, which takes a critical look at the global War On Drugs and how it has failed.
"Having spent two years working on Breaking the Taboo, I am convinced, now more than ever, that this is a debate that has to happen," said Sundog Pictures founder Sam Branson (son of Virgin Records founder Richard Branson) in making the announcement. "Not just on a local level, in our own communities, but on the global stage."
|Sam Branson, Sundog Pictures: "Having spent two years on Breaking the Taboo, I am convinced, now more than ever, that this is a debate that has to happen"|
Narrated by Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman, Breaking the Taboo takes a critical look at how after 50 years of prohibition, illicit drugs are now the third most valuable industry in the world after food and oil. Speaking during the documentary, former U.S. President Bill Clinton admits, "Obviously if the expected results were that we would eliminate serious drug use in America and eliminate the narco-trafficking networks, it hasn't worked."
Breaking the Taboo was filmed in eight countries; conducted interviews with more than 176 people; and has the support of four former Presidents and The Global Commission on Drug Policy.
The documentary feature follows The Global Commission on Drug Policy on a mission to break the political taboo over the United States led War On Drugs and expose what it calls the biggest failure of global policy in the last 40 years.
"I'm not proposing to replace war with peace; I propose to replace war with a smarter fight," said former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil, who will be attending the premiere in New York. "A fight using other instruments, more intelligent instruments to convince people not to use drugs. It is why we have to break the taboo."
|Johnny Webb, Sundog Pictures: "By substituting cinema with YouTube, we believe we can reach millions of people rather than merely thousands"|
Breaking the Taboo sets out facts and figures on a war that is failing on all fronts. The film calls for its audience to demand an honest debate amongst politicians and to break the taboo on a subject that for many decades has been viewed by the majority of world leaders as "political suicide."
To facilitate this, Sundog Pictures is approaching the distribution of Breaking the Taboo in a groundbreaking way, to encourage as much participation in this crucial debate as possible, by partnering with YouTube to host a completely free of charge worldwide premiere. The film will go live on December 7th on its own branded channel, http://www.youtube.com/breakingthetaboofilm.
Breaking the Taboo's digital strategy embarks on a new model for film distribution, by soley distributing on YouTube.
"It's incredibly difficult to get significant theatrical distribution even for the most acclaimed feature documentary, and even then you can measure audiences in the tens of thousands," said Sundog Pictures Managing Director Johnny Webb. "By substituting cinema with YouTube, we believe we can reach millions of people rather than merely thousands, and create a virtuous circle of promotion which will boost viewing in the global TV window."
The U.S. premiere of Breaking the Taboo will take place in New York City at 8 p.m. EDT on Thursday, December 6, and at this time, the movie will also become publicly available on the film's YouTube channel.
As part of the social media effort, Katie Couric will lead a panel discussion via Google+ Hangouts from the New York premiere, which will be live on YouTube/Google+ the following day. Panelists include Virgin founder Richard Branson, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Ethan Nadelmann, head of the Drug Policy Alliance, and Fran Boyd Andrews, a recovering drug addict who now dedicates her life to helping others. Alison Holcomb of the American Civil Liberties Union's Washington chapter (ACLU-WA) will join from Seattle via a Google hangout.
To facilitate this, Sundog Pictures is approaching the distribution of Breaking the Taboo
in a groundbreaking way, to encourage as much participation in this crucial debate as possible, by partnering with YouTube to host a completely free of charge worldwide premiere. The film will go live on December 7, on its own branded channel.
Breaking the Taboo has also garnered the support of Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson and Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman, who have recorded viral announcements encouraging the public to "Break the Taboo" on the war on drugs. Other celebrities will be joining the campaign. Virals can be viewed and the campaign followed on the Twitter hashtag: #BreakTheTaboo.
Sundog has also partnered with academic think tank the Beckley Foundation and online movement Avaaz to run a campaign website and petition. The target for the petition is one million signatures. It will be presented to the United Nations in January to call for a change to global policy on drugs prohibition and explore alternatives to the failed War On Drugs -- which is a major objective of the film.
Breaking the Taboo is produced by Sam Branson's indie Sundog Pictures and Brazilian co-production partner Spray Filmes and was directed by Cosmo Fielding Mellen and Fernando Grostein Andrade.