Is the American Dream still reality?

Rudd’s film speaks to Canton

Andrew Rudd, professor of communication arts, is not concerned with fame but hopes to be a catalyst for change and creating awareness through his upcoming film “Safety Net.”

Being quite the creative soul, Rudd has written eight full length screen plays in his life. More recently, though, Rudd has focused on one in particular. What started out as a collection of nine documentaries about people here in Canton slowly transformed into the feature length film known as “Safety Net.”

“Safety Net” addresses the particular struggles of African American families who have had their homes foreclosed. It also speaks to the stereotypes given to those facing home foreclosure. Jerry Harris, a 35-year-old African American man, is the main character of the film, which is based around the difficult times he and his pregnant wife experienced as a result of Harris’ unemployment.

According to Rudd, the story begins in the midst of the action, as Jerry is attempting to contact an old friend who owns a factory. When his calls go unanswered, Jerry becomes desperate and decides to drive to his friend’s house despite being skeptical of the outcome.

“And I won’t tell you anymore about what happens after that because that’s what makes people want to watch the movie,” said Rudd.

Andrew Rudd's film actors on set. (Photo courtesy of Andrew Rudd)
Andrew Rudd’s film actors on set. (Photo courtesy of Andrew Rudd)

Rudd described his connection to and passion for real world matters involving the American Dream and talked about making people aware of the foreclosure issues that happen right here in Canton in relation to the film.

“There’s a narrative that circulates in our culture that suggests that people who have their houses foreclosed are either lazy, they bought too big of a house, they overspent [or] they made bad choices. That’s the assumption people put on people who suffer from foreclosure,” said Rudd.

Rudd hopes to begin filming Oct. 21 and complete the film by Jan. 2017. Several film festivals will receive the film, and Rudd hopes to host a special screening of the film in early Jan. as well.

The film was funded through the support of generous backers and kickstarter.com. Rudd needed to raise $6,700 by Oct. 19 in order to receive any of the funds pledged through the site.

“It’s high stakes, but that’s the movie business. It’s normal. It’s an emotional rollercoaster, too,” said Rudd.

Kickstarter’s mission is to “bring creative projects to life,” but it operates in an all-or-nothing fashion. Supporters pledge funds for the film, and if the goal is achieved, the filmmaker receives all of the money. If the pledged donations fall short of the goal, however, the filmmaker receives none of the pledged funds.

Fortunately for Rudd, his campaign exceeded the goal by over $1,000, so the film should be able to remain on schedule.

Jaylen Vance is a guest writer for The Aviso

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