11.21.2006

Raising Funds for"Dear Zachary"

Below is a message from my high-school friend Kurt Kuenne, who some of
you know and/or whose films you might have seen. Kurt is one of the
most decent people I know, and his decency translates into films that
are not only technically sound but morally uplifting. He's working on
an important and personal film project and he needs help. Take a look
at the website and trailer he mentions below, and if you're interested
in supporting this project, please do so.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Subject: Please help - trailer for Kurt Kuenne's "Dear Zachary" now on line

Dear Friends,

Kurt Kuenne here; I hope this email finds you all well. I have a very
big favor to ask of you, and I apologize for the mass email, but it
would take me forever to contact each of you wonderful folks
individually about this, so I'm going for the modern shorthand. Here
it is:

As many of you well know, for the past four and a half years I have
been working on a documentary film about the life and murder of my
lifelong friend Dr. Andrew Bagby (1973-2001). Andrew was killed 5
years ago by his ex-girlfriend, who fled the U.S. for the Canadian
province of Newfoundland and went on to give birth to his son after
Andrew's death. I began making this movie for that little boy,
Zachary, as a way for him to get to know his father when he came of
age. Because Canada let Andrew's killer walk free on bail while
awaiting extradition, she had the opportunity to commit another murder,
killing herself and baby Zachary on August 18, 2003. After a lot of
soul searching and conversations with Andrew's parents, we ultimately
decided that I would transform my film for Zachary into the story of
what happened and release it to the general public. It is titled as it
was begun, "DEAR ZACHARY: A LETTER TO A SON ABOUT HIS FATHER." The
film will become a powerful tool in the Bagby's fight to get the bail
laws in Canada changed, so that a tragedy like this will never happen
again. Andrew's father David has written an excellent book about this
nightmare which is being published in the spring; my goal is to have
my film done by May to coincide with its publication, and to make the
deadline for the 2007 Toronto Film Festival. We aim to hit the media
with a strong one-two punch next year, book and movie working in
concert.

In order to meet this goal, we need to raise some money. This film is
not for profit, it is fiscally sponsored by the International
Documentary Assocation, a 501-C(3) organization, and all donations to
it are tax deductible. All proceeds from the film will go to the Dr.
Andrew Bagby Scholarship at Latrobe Area Hospital in Latrobe, PA and
the Dr. Andrew Bagby and son Zachary Bursary at Memorial University,
Newfoundland. Every contribution helps, no matter how small.

I've cut a 10 minute trailer to give everyone a sense of what the
finished feature film will be like. It is now on line at:

www.dearzachary.com

If you are moved by what you see and would like to contribute to the
cause, that would be wonderful. Tax deductible donations can be made
on line, or checks may be mailed to the International Documentary
Association, or donations can also be made to me directly (thereby
avoiding the IDA's 5% sponsorship fee). All the information is on the
site.

PLEASE forward this email to everyone you know, and please ask them to
forward it to everyone they know and so on. I believe we actually have
a shot at making change. On October 4th, the government of
Newfoundland released a review and investigation officially finding
that Zachary's death was preventable if the departments of Child, Youth
and Family Services and Child Protection had done their jobs right and
removed Zachary from his dangerous mother's custody; the head of the
department resigned, and politicians were squirming and tripping over
themselves to endorse the review's recommendations and begin their
implementation. The Provincial Minister of Justice took the review's
findings to the federal government to begin discussing the topic of
bail reform. This investigation and review would not have happened if
Andrew's parents hadn't stood up and screamed for change. That was
Step One, and it has been successful -- but the issue of bail still has
not been addressed. That is Step Two in this endeavor; David Bagby's
book and my movie are going to be the juggernaut that keeps this issue
in the public eye until it is seen to completion.

Thank you so much for your time and help. Check out the trailer. I
hope that you will join me on what has been the most rewarding journey
of my life. I sincerely believe we have a shot at making the world a
safer, better place.

All the best,

Kurt
Writer/Director/Composer, "Dear Zachary"
www.dearzachary.com

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