I first met Aaron Aites and his partner, Audrey Ewell, in 2011 when they asked me to participate in an early preview of footage compiled for their crowdsourced film 99% — The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Documentary. I enjoyed them personally quite a bit. They’re not the most famous filmmakers, but I know a lot of people have seen and enjoyed both that ambitious effort and their cult 2008 black metal doc Until the Light Takes Us. They’re an important part of the documentary community. And they need its help, as well as yours.
Aites was recently diagnosed with aggressive kidney cancer, and neither he nor Ewell can afford to pay out of pocket, nor are they adequately insured for, the costs of treatment that could very well save his life. They’ve started a GoFundMe campaign to raise $100,000, and while Nonfics has asked its readers to support the site itself and certain crowdfunding projects in the past, this is probably the one campaign I feel most strongly about endorsing. There is no reason that someone, regardless of whether he’s a good man or a good director or whatever, should succumb not necessarily to cancer but to the situation of not being able to pay for an existing means of his survival.
Given all the people out there who’ve supported their work, be they fans of the films or participants in the making of 99% or contributors to their professional crowdfunding efforts, I’m sure the numbers needed to help Aaron and Audrey out here exist. If my memory serves, that preview five years ago gave me my first experience moderating a discussion/panel about a documentary, and I at least owe them for that. Hopefully in addition to whatever money I can give, I can also raise enough awareness to matter. Thank you for indulging me and the site in posting about the campaign here.
Without further ado from me, I recommend heading over and reading Audrey’s words for more details.