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Nuns On The Bus

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Watch the Trailer:

More than one million views on Facebook! There is already a huge hunger for this film.

With your support we can finish and release this essential film in time to inspire empathy and civic engagement before the 2018 elections.

"To me, Jesus has always been about justice"

-- Sister Simone Campbell

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Sister Simone Campbell and her band of feisty nuns fight for the poor and marginalized, challenge the Catholic church and US government, and wrestle with their own power and voice as they journey across an increasingly divided America.

Share their journey. Inspire courage. Help heal our nation.

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Holy Moly!

Join Us

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Join us on the bus!

STORY

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Sister Simone Campbell is a troublemaker.

Sister Simone is lobbying for poor people’s rights on Capitol Hill when she gets the news: Pope Benedict is punishing American nuns for being "radical feminists,” naming her specifically as a bad influence on the other nuns.  Her confusion and anger grow, when soon after US Rep. Paul Ryan claims his "Catholic social teaching" as justification for a new budget that would hurt the poor. Where are the values of the church? Where is this democracy going? Instead of backing down, she fights back, by hitting the road with a group of radical sisters and together they launch a movement.

Across the nation, the Sisters draw adoring crowds, pleas for help, and hostile opposition, while Simone emerges as a leader with celebrity status. She appears on talk shows from 60 Minutes to The Colbert Report, testifies before Congress, and even has a private meeting with President Obama. But prominence brings new conflicts, and Simone and her sisters wrestle with the tensions between their vision for change and the game of what’s “politically possible." Can they make a difference? Will they keep their promises to the people they swore to defend?

With grace and humor, the film follows Simone to strategy sessions with political operatives, confrontations with Christians troubled by her positions, connection with families torn apart by loss, and evenings of wine-fueled joviality with her sisters. Ultimately, the nuns must learn to embrace the discomfort of encounters with people who challenge them—such as Bill, their loyal bus driver who casts his first-ever vote for Trump, and mothers of young Black men killed by police, who demand they acknowledge their whiteness in new ways. Tracing Simone’s journey through an era of momentous change, the film offers a moving and timely exploration of what it means to truly dedicate your life to faith, justice and community.

 

Impact

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We need the nuns now more than ever.

At a time of national political upheaval, this film is a salve, beacon and energizer for those motivated to become politically engaged, those feeling pain because of divides in their families or communities, and those personally threatened by recent events.

The film will help viewers find:

  • courage to speak and stand up;
  • a moral center, peace and grounding to heal and persist;
  • the strength and compassion to reach across divides, listen, and fight together to understand each other's struggles and create the way forward together for a fuller vision of "we the people;"
  • models of ordinary people standing up to make a difference;
  • the willingness to embrace uncomfortability while striving for reasonability.

We plan to finish the film and release it in 2018, carrying out our campaign to maximize its impact on civic engagement and national conversations about persistent social divisions and the potential for political transformation.

 

Supporters

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There is already a huge hunger for this film.

We believe this film has the potential to breakout to help restore reason, sanity and care to our national conversation.

> 2,000 backers

More than 2,000 people have contributed funds to make this film a reality.

 

> 12,500 shares

The fundraising trailer has already been shared more than 12,500 times on Facebook...

 

> 1 million views

...and the trailer has been viewed more than a million times!

People-powered filmmaking.

Our deep, heartfelt thanks to everyone whose enthusiastic support is making this film possible. 

 

WHY NOW?

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When I jumped on the bus and started filming 5 years ago, I had no idea we'd be given an opportunity to chronicle one of the most politically tumultuous periods in American history.

This journey has changed my life. I hope that by sharing it with you we can all travel with the Nuns on the Bus, learn their lessons along the way, and be fortified for the challenges and opportunities ahead. 

Thank you for all you do,

-- Melissa

 

Film Team

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Melissa Regan - Director / Producer / Cinematographer

Melissa is a Sundance award-winning filmmaker, tech entrepreneur, educator and mechanical engineer. Her 24-minute documentary No Dumb Questions -- about 3 young sisters whose Uncle Bill becomes a woman -- received an award at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival and appeared on HBO, PBS and Oprah. The film and related educational campaigns are changing hearts, minds, and policies in schools, colleges, and communities around the world.  

Melissa has produced award-winning social change films for nonprofit and corporate clients, designed award-winning educational software, co-founded an early Internet software company, taught math, science and engineering, and published research on innovative uses of technology for learning. Client projects include an award-winning short documentary series for The Coca-Cola Company about water and sanitation in Africa and an e-learning Executive Education product line for the Stanford and Harvard Business Schools. She has a masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University.

Granted exclusive, behind-the-scenes access, Filmmaker Melissa Regan captured the intimacy, joy, struggles and truth of the nuns' incredible 5 year journey. She has filmed Sister Simone and the Nuns on the Bus since the very first day of the first bus trip in 2012, to the 2017 Women’s March on Washington; at home, in hotel rooms, at motherhouses, in Rome and everywhere in between.

 
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Sara Archambault - Producer

Sara is the Program Director at the LEF Foundation and Programmer/Founder of the award-winning films series The DocYard. Sara’s professional history connects to production, programming, and foundation work. She was Executive Director of the RI Council for the Humanities, Managing Producer on Emmy-nominated documentary Traces of the Trade, and Producer for Christopher Lydon’s Open Source. Sara is producing the feature documentary Street Fighting Men which is supported by IFP, Hot Docs Pitch Forum, San Francisco Film Society, Film Independent, and the Sundance Documentary Fund. She is an advisor, juror, and panelist with a number of festivals and foundations including RIDM, Chicken & Egg Pictures and the NEA. Sara is a 2013 Sundance Creative Producers Lab Fellow and was sited among the "Ten to Watch" in 2013 by The Independent. She has a BFA in film from Syracuse University, an MA in Cultural Studies from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a certificate in radio production from the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies.

Sara's parents were a former Catholic nun and priest, both active in social justice networks throughout their lives. Connected to the Berrigan brothers and further radicalized by the death of their friend Maura Clark who was one of the four nuns brutally killed in El Salvador, Sara’s parents committed the lives of their family to direct action. For Sara, watching the nuns discussions on tour reminds her of protest planning in her living room - conversations full of nuns and priests who to her were “aunts” and “uncles.” Radical nuns are a familiar terrain for her and many of her parents’ cohort are still active in groups like the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and have even spent some time on the bus.