By Inka Linda
Who says you can’t just spend your graduate school savings to produce a film to help save our species? 26-year-old CEO & Producer Aakanaash Pothuktuchi did, and his upcoming feature film Sedition will make history with a revolutionary approach to storytelling, business and activism.
In a world where the film industry centers around Hollywood and celebrity worship, Sedition is a declaration of a new standard in cinematic storytelling targeted directly to Millennials who hear the call of actually giving a sh*t about the planet we live on.
Its story follows the journey of a CIA whistleblower who comes to India seeking asylum after releasing a series of videos which showcase illegal U.S. government drone strikes on a school in Yemen, traversing through the Himalayan mountains and the border of China. With the use of drone technology the film captures hauntingly luscious cinematography to reawaken our primal humility and spiritual awareness about Mother Earth.
Sedition is doing what no film has ever done before: it is the first feature film to structure its business as a for-profit social enterprise model in order to contribute 50% of profits to a nature conservancy fund to preserve forest lands & 20% of profits to a rural education fund to builds schools and increase literacy rates in rural communities.
The mind behind this evolutionary intersection of business, art and activism is 26-year-old social entrepreneur and environmental activist, Aakaanksh Pothukutchi. He asked himself the pressing question many of us are now being challenged to finally face:
“What can I do with my limited time here on this planet to help ensure the survival of our species?”
Having studied business at Babson College, the top university for Entrepreneurship in the U.S, Aakaanksh found himself like many other disillusioned Millennial graduates: confused, depressed and seeking more in life beyond society’s expectations of a 9-5, 2.2 kids and a house.
Through a series of synchronicities during a spiritual 18-month long backpacking journey across his home country India, Aakaanksh connected with filmmakers Summer Nicks and Joel Marrocco. During his travels he met Western Yogi travelers which made him recognize how deeply unhappy people in the West and around the world are on a spiritual level. Such insights and revelations during his journey helped him come to terms with his own purpose and calling.
“Back then I thought a lot about death. I still do. I could sense how empty people felt, just like the way I did but eventually I just had to ask myself what it is that I can do to actually help ensure the survival of our species-even if we don’t know how much longer we’ll actually be around for. At the rate we’re going, with our consumption habits, with allowing corporations to prioritize profit maximization at the cost of all else that is sacred, we’ll join the 90% of life that’s gone extinct. We’ll be just another failed mutation. ”
Together Aakaansh, Summer Nicks and Joel Marrocco developed an indie production team to film across some of the most breathtaking sites throughout the Himalayas; with over 60% of filming already done, their team is now in midst of a fundraising campaign to raise money to finish filming. But beyond money, their campaign is a call-out to Millennials about how to use the power of their money as our vote. Instead of simply paying to be entertained, Sedition offers us the opportunity to make a tangible difference in the world: one tree and one child at a time.
As more of us sense the visceral truth of what many of our ancestors called Kali Yuga, the End Times, the Fourth World, etc. Many of us are asking ourselves how willing are we truly to a build hospitable world for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren to actually live in?
To Aakaansh, the answer is clear in a time in human history where humans are eating away at our own life support systems. It is about creating a business model that leverages the power of storytelling and profit to plant seeds back into the earth and in the minds of the next generation of changemakers.
“Trees perform countless other humans services – perhaps the most important being, you know, providing us with oxygen so we can breathe. Yet knowing this, we’re cutting down 15 billion trees a year and in the past 50 years alone, over 50 million hectares of forests have been destroyed. We’ve cut down 55% of all trees on the planet. We need to be realistic about the reality we are leaving behind for our children, if we will even be around to watch each other grow.”
Aakaansh and his team are here to completely abolish old models and sentiments about business, profit and cinema. He posits that “Each dollar is our vote” and as Millennials we have the potential to tap into our connectivity and purchasing power to reshape our world to reflect what we actually value. Our truest power lies in our willingness to write a new story about our generations as changemakers and nullify apathy
A story that unites us as a generation to recognize that the survival of our future children and our planet depend on us to live courageously and creatively.
Watch the trailer below and make sure to check out and donate to his campaign!