Filmmakers Robert Cortlandt and Dan Goldes are asking for the public’s help in completing their documentary 5 Blocks that details the transformation taking place along San Francisco’s Mid-Market corridor.
This morning Goldes (seen at left in the photo) and Cortlandt announced they had launched a new crowdfunding campaign to help cover the cost of their last year of filming.
“We’re in the final year of shooting 5 Blocks and it’s vital that we get the footage that tells the story about the changes in the neighborhood,” they wrote in an email to supporters of their project. “While we will go into post-production following this phase, we still need to film interviews and ‘b-roll’ footage of what the area looks like now.”
As the Bay Area Reporter noted in a 2013 article, the friends, who met at a gay country western dance party, have spent the last three years chronicling the changes along the once gruff and gritty thoroughfare into a new hub for arts groups, tech companies, and high-end housing.
Lured by generous city tax breaks, companies like Twitter and Uber are now headquartered in the area. Pop-up events like a Friday night beer hall and food truck party in U.N. Plaza are activating central Market Street areas long considered best to be avoided at night.
Amidst the commercial changes, Goldes and Cortlandt have been capturing the stories of artists, low-income seniors, and residents of single-room-occupancy hotels who have long made the neighborhood their home. Their plan is to focus on “the personal stories of three individuals who currently live and work in the 5 Blocks area, while the background of a sometimes messy transformation from ‘skid row’ to ‘vibrant neighborhood’ unfolds.”
The San Francisco Film Society is the film’s fiscal sponsor and has been collecting donations for it online. By the end of last year they had raised more than $40,000 in public donations to finance the film.
A two-and-a-half minute teaser of the film can be seen on the society’s website here.
Their latest fundraising effort is being done through the website Hatch Fund. It aims to raise $10,000 by the end of Thursday, November 20.
As of Wednesday afternoon, they had already surpassed $4,500, roughly 30 percent of their donation goal. To donate, visit their crowdfunding campaign page here.