THE GILLIGAN MANIFESTO Indie-Gogo’s to a theater near you

Jesus Figueroa

Crowdfunding campaign to bring Gilligan documentary to big screen

Writer-Director Cevin Soling’s highly anticipated documentary "The Gilligan Manifesto" is utilizing a crowdfunding campaign ( to bring the movie to theaters in New York and Los Angeles this coming November. 

With a goal of $35,000 that will pay for the venues and marketing, filmmaker Soling is also qualifying his doc about the iconic 1960’s television show Gilligan’s Island for the Academy Awards. 

The film will play from November 16 – November 22 at Laemmle’s Music Hall in Beverly Hills and from November 23 – November 29 at Cinema Village in New York City.
“Despite the widespread success of good documentary films and the huge fanbase that Gilligan’s Island continues to maintain, distributors demand overwhelming evidence of interest before they will release documentaries theatrically. For this reason, I am getting two theaters in major markets to screen the film,” Soling said.
The Indie-Gogo campaign launches on September 5 and goes to October 2. 

Donation incentives include collectible postcards, Mary Ann's Cookbook, an SS Minnow life preserver, and even a vintage Packard Bell radio that is the same model as the one featured on Gilligan's Island.

The Gilligan Manifesto:
Just one year after the Cuban Missile Crisis, television writer Sherwood Schwartz began filming his comedy classic "Gilligan's Island," which depicts seven Americans shipwrecked on a deserted island.

Soling’s film reveals that this seemingly innocuous sitcom was actually an analogue for a post-apocalyptic world where survivors had to rebuild civilization. This theme reflected a major concern during the Cold War when many families had fallout shelters in their homes. What is even more shocking is that the society the castaways create is founded on Marxist Communism. Soling’s revelation was published in the prestigious academic journal, Americana: The Journal of American Popular Culture.

To convert his article into a feature documentary, Soling interviewed creator Sherwood Schwartz and also spoke with Russell Johnson and Dawn Wells, who played the Professor and Mary Ann, as well as several professors from Harvard.
“Sherwood Schwartz said that he conceived Gilligan’s Island as a social microcosm where people from all walks of life would have to figure out how to get along,” Soling said, “but he confessed to me, in his final interview, that the show was deliberately designed as lowbrow humor to conceal its political message. For this reason, American audiences never realized that the show celebrates Marxism and lampoons Western capitalism and democratic governance.” 
“The most transgressive message conveyed by Gilligan’s Island is that it shows how much better off people are in under true communism – not the dictatorship governments the Soviets and McCarthyites called communism. The characters that represent the pinnacle of success in capitalist society – the millionaire and the movie star, become whole people and establish social bonds that they never could have otherwise. On the island, their lives cease to be empty.”
Prior to creating the "Gilligan Manifesto," Cevin Soling produced and directed the first theatrically released documentary on education "The War on Kids," which was honored as the best educational documentary at the New York Independent Film and Video Festival and has been broadcast on Pivot, The Documentary Channel and The Sundance Channel.

Soling wrote, produced and directed Ikland, which documented his efforts to rediscover the “lost” Ik tribe of northern Uganda, who were famously disparaged in the early 1970s as the worst people in the world. 

The film won Best Documentary Content at the Boston International Film Festival and was heralded by the NY Times and other major media outlets. Last year, he completed "Mr. Cevin & the Cargo Cult," a documentary about a tribe in Vanuatu who worship America, and is currently working on "The Summer of Hate," a documentary on the Beatles’ controversial observations on religion and racism during their tour of America in 1966.

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