Interviews

Activist-Filmmaker Ethan Paisley launch campaign for The Bystander Effect

Acclaimed activist and filmmaker Ethan Paisley is tackling what it means to be an active bystander in his upcoming film, The Bystander Effect, which kicked off a crowdfunding campaign earlier this week with a mysterious, pink stick figure now making its way around social media. 

According to IMDb, The Bystander Effect is about Evan, a young queer man, who witnesses a transwoman Daphne being attacked, and must decide whether to act upon his instinct to get involved or remain complicit. The film will touch on themes around unconscious bias, social media’s role in activism, and how forgiveness plays a role in creating social progress. Paisley was inspired to write and direct the film following the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020, particularly the movement for black trans people who are going missing and murdered at disproportionate rates. 

THE BYSTANDER EFFECT Film by Ethan Paisley | Seed&Spark Crowdfunding Video


This will mark Paisley’s newest narrative directorial work. His previous film Gone Missing was a documentary about Covid’s impact on missing Navajo people and was released by the Sunrise Movement. He has directed two (2) award-winning features and over thirty (30) short films and mixed media projects. 

The Bystander Effect campaign is raising $10K to complete the film on Seed&Spark. $250 wins you a cameo in the movie, and $5K wins you an executive producer title. To follow, make a pledge, or share the campaign, visit the Seed and Spark Campaign.

Paisley is attached to write, direct, and produce. Producers include Rabia Sultana (Angelfish), Jolene Mendes (She Paradise), Suzann Toni (The Sinners), and Rheagan Rizio (Point 453), with cinematography by Mariscela Méndez (Mr. Church) and production design by Alina Celik (On Our Way). No cast is attached as of yet.


Tell us what you think of The Bystander Effect Campaign. What are you thinking? What more information do you need? Do you have any suggestions? Or did this help you? Let’s have your comments below and/or on Facebook or Instagram! Or join me on Twitter.

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