The Worlds of Ursula K. LeGuin

Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin (working title) is an hour-long documentary film exploring the life, roots, and ideas of the celebrated Bay Area-born science fiction and fantasy writer Ursula K. Le Guin being produced by Arwen lee Curry.

Le Guin, now 79, continues to write and publish from her home in Portland, Oregon. She arrived with a bang on the topsy-turvy literary scene of the late 1960s, elevating science fiction and fantasy to new levels of political sophistication and artistry. Over the course of her inimitable career, Le Guin has published more than thirty books of fiction, fantasy, sci-fi, children’s literature, poetry, and nonfiction. Although she is one of our best-loved living writers, and the multiple winner of the highest awards in her genre, her compelling story has never before been captured in a documentary film. Produced with Le Guin’s full participation, Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin will be a riveting journey through the author’s career and her worlds, both real and fantastic.

Why is science fiction, or any fiction, important now? We populate an age of global disasters, when technological advancement has surpassed the predictions of early sc-fi writers — yet the basic understanding of how to live together harmoniously seems light-years away. It is essential that we take seriously the task of imagining — and endlessly reimagining — our world. To survive, we must question basic assumptions about how to share resources and responsibilities, how to end global warfare, and how to protect our planet’s ecology. Perhaps more than any writer of her generation, Le Guin has determinedly examined possibilities for how we might achieve such a balance. Her courage in confronting this great creative task makes Le Guin one of our most relevant living writers.

Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin will also be a deeply regional film. The daughter of renowned anthropologist Alfred Kroeber and writer Theodora Kroeber, Le Guin grew up in Berkeley and the Napa Valley during the Great Depression. Her father was the friend, student, and teacher of Ishi, the last member of his exterminated Yahi tribe, who emerged from hiding near Chico, California in 1911 and lived at the then-new University of California Anthropology Museum in San Francisco until his death from tuberculosis six years later. As a writer, Le Guin continues to weave themes of exile, discovery, ethnography, individual identity, and cultural relativism into her stories. In her work as in no other, we can look more deeply into the West’s legacy of trauma and promise.

Aimed for public television, new media, and limited theatrical release, Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin will explore Le Guin’s life and ideas in exclusive interviews, stunning archival footage, and a variety of classic and experimental film techniques. Traditional documentary progresses linearly through time — Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin will take a highly structured, but more unusual approach. The film will be divided into twelve short chapters of varying lengths, approaching different significant passages or themes of the writer’s life and work using different styles and rhythms. Like songs on a great old LP, these chapters will come together to form a harmonious whole that does justice to the complexity of Le Guin’s contribution.

Production of this new documentary is scheduled to begin in October. Please help us to raise the funds needed to capture this important authors world on film. To make a secure tax deductible contribution just click HERE.

If you are in the Bay area, please join us at a fundraiser on Sunday September 28 from 6:30-8:30 pm at Needles & Pens, 3253 16th Street San Francisco. For more information contact Arwen Curry at: Arwencurry@gmail.com

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