Date: Sat, 25 Oct 2008 16:19:01 -0400
Subject: CALL OUT TO SQUATTERS--PLEASE FORWARD.
CALL OUT TO SQUATTERS--PLEASE FORWARD.
My name is Hannah Dobbz, and I am an independent journalist and filmmaker. In 2007 I completed work on a 45-minute documentary called Shelter: A Squatumentary. (See: www.killnormal.com/shelter.) The film examines squatting as a housing alternative in the San Francisco East Bay from 2004-2007. I spent 2008 promoting and distributing the documentary, which was wonderfully successful.
I am now starting work on a second squatting documentary, this time exploring US housing and property law and the legal loopholes that sometimes making squatting in this country possible.
Squatting is often talked about in the European context, leaving many people believing that North American squatting is an impossibility. Working with a radical housing rights expert, my goal is to uncover the legalities of squatting in the US by citing working examples of squats in various states and tying to them the laws of that specific state. I want to inspire potential squatters and reassure them that it can happen and that it may even be a viable method of building community.
As a former squatter myself (Power Machine, Emeryville, CA), I understand the sensitivity around squats, and the last thing I'm looking to do is blow up somebody's spot. Thus, I am looking for longer-term, somewhat open, quasi-legal squats or former squats to document and squatters to interview.
Mostly what I want to talk about is the history of the place and whatever legal loopholes allow for its continued existence (or the process that allowed for the property's purchase). I would need to film the inside and/or outside of the building (depending on its sensitivity), and I am willing to work with residents as far as comfort levels of what should or should not be filmed. Please also keep in mind that whatever product comes out of this project may not emerge for a few years, which could possibly cushion the sensitivity of the squat (that is, it might be gone by then).
If you are interested in participating in this film, or if you have any questions about it, please contact me at: Hannah.email@example.com
Thanks! And um…squat or rot!