Basic Income Documentary

Be As You Are

a documentary film with the audacious goal of orchestrating the launch of a Universal Basic Income for a city in the United States & Canada

"I’m now convinced that the simplest approach will prove to be the most effective — the solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income." - Martin Luther King.

We believe everyone should have an equal opportunity to pursue their dreams in life. Rose provides a look at  just one of the many doors a basic income can open.




Our Vision

Create positive societal transformation. Take action to correct the injustices of poverty, income inequality, financial insecurity, enslavement to work and other related ails of modern society. The basic income solution is neither left nor right. It's forward.

The Film

We are in development on a feature length documentary about Universal Basic Income. We are focused on illuminating the impact and experience of UBI by humanizing the experiments and pilots proliferating across the globe.  

The Story

We have been talking to people around the globe to research the stories of individuals impacted by receiving a basic income. We have also begun to bring some of their stories to life by filming their experiences and the ripple effect it has had through generations. We are beginning with a pilot authored in the mid 70's in Dauphin, Canada. The government launched a Basic Income pilot called Mincome where nearly all of its 2,000 residents received a guaranteed income. We will tell the story of the architects of this pilot and through deep character exploration we will breath life into a story of the long and short term impact on the local residents. Besides Mincome we will feature five other pilots showing the effects of UBI to help audiences better understand how it can change life.

The Movement

The ambitious goal of this project is to pick up where Dauphin left off. With learnings and inspiration from the residents and architects of this previous project we will work with a US city to implement a Universal Basic Income Pilot. Through the art of storytelling we will build political will, work with city officials, solicit funding from foundations and garner public support to show that society is better when everyone has their basic needs taken care of.


The Art of Humanizing An Issue

In exploring these various examples of Basic Income in action, we have pinpointed the most impactful results that a Basic Income has on real people. Through the art of film we are capturing the impact and effect of people receiving a basic income in these communities.

We will be focusing on specific, key characters in each of the following locations:




One of the world's top tech accelerators is conducting the first long-term study of Basic Income ever in the United States. The experiment plans to explore "how people’s happiness, well-being, and financial health are affected by basic income, as well as how people might spend their time."



Impact on Education & Crime

From 2008 to 2010, a thousand residents of the Namibian village of Otjivero, Omitara received a basic income, and the results are nothing short of stunning. School dropout rates fell from 40% to zero, the number of children attending school more than doubled, and overall crime rates fell by 42%.





Finland has set aside €20 million for a two-year experiment in providing a  Basic Income to its residents in four different trial groups. The working group leader, Professor Olli Kangas, hopes the experiment will "encourage people who are afraid of losing their unemployment or other benefits to take short-term jobs" and have the opportunity to create their own small businesses.



Unlocking Human Creativity

Since 2009, GiveDirectly has been providing direct cash transfers, with no strings attached, to the extreme poor in East Africa, and leading the movement to conduct rigorous quantitative analysis of direct cash transfer in development. Now, along with researchers at MIT, GiveDirectly will be conducting its own large-scale trial of a basic income with 6,000 people receiving payments of $1/day for 10 years.



Madhya Pradesh, India


In the Madhya Pradesh Unconditional Cash Transfers Project, researchers found that introducing a Basic Income fostered more equal decision-making in households and actually saw many women working more (up to 16% more in one group). Malnutrition and child labor decreased significantly, while sanitation and school attendance increased.


Manitoba, Canada

Reducing The Stigma of Poverty 

From 1974 to 1979, about 2,500 residents of Dauphin, Canada received a "MINCOME." Researchers observed positive health impacts, a significant reduction in hospitalization, especially for admissions related to mental health and to accidents and injuries, and a shift in resident's attitudes and stigmas toward the poor and welfare recipients, for the better.



The Storytellers


Be As You Are is produced by Truth Be Told Productions; a social justice documentary film house on a mission to creative positive social transformation. We are all deeply passionate about telling stories that make the world a better place.


Director. Ken is a seasoned and awarded film director who started Truth Be Told Creative, a boutique production shop to tell stories that help make the world a better place.

Alan Webb

Producer. Facilitator and Founding Organizer of the Open Master's, a grassroots community of self-directed learners. Working for a world in which everyone is free to give their gifts to each other.

Tania Ku

Cinematographer. Tania is a filmmaker committed to building more integrated human family that our hearts know is possible.




Isara Krieger



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Rob Rainer (BICN / OBIN)


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Juliana Bidadanure (Assistant Professor in Philosophy Stanford University)

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Scott Santens (Basic Income Advocate)

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Jim Pugh (Universal Income Project)

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Sandhya Anantharaman (Universal Income Project)

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Ron Hickel (Mincome Pilot)

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Jason Cohen (Bread & Butter Films)

Larry Cohen (Build The Floor)


Exploring the Bigger Picture.

Each of these pilots highlights the incredible impact a Universal Basic Income has on the people within these individual communities. Together, these human stories offer a greater exploration of how best to evolve together during a time in which the very foundations of our society and global economy are being challenged:

— Capitalism is an incredible engine of creativity and innovation, but it has also created massive gaps between the ultra-rich and the poor. As of 2014, there are more than 45 million people (14.5%) in the U.S. who live below the poverty line, while the top 20% of Americans own 85% of the country's wealth. How can we help our economy—and even capitalism itself—evolve in a way that serves everyone?

— The American Dream is no longer what it used to be. What makes us happy, and what is the best way to achieve this? Is it possible to live in a society where we can pursue our passions and pay the bills? What can we do to better align or interests, desires and skills with how we make a living?

— Automation and artificial intelligence are on the verge of providing massive efficiencies, but it also means that robots are primed to replace human jobs at a scale never before seen. This will not just be a blue-collar phenomenon. How can we respond preemptively to prevent the massive increases in inequality and poverty that would come with large segments of the population out of work?

Supporting the Movement

"The contemporary tendency in our society is to base our distribution on scarcity, which has vanished, and to compress our abundance into the overfed mouths of the middle and upper classes until they gag with superfluity. If democracy is to have breadth of meaning, it is necessary to adjust this inequity." - MLK

We are savvy media makers who are not just interested in telling a story; we are committed to using our work to support, build, and spread the Universal Basic Income movement and to find and promote solutions to these and other deeply entrenched injustices in our world.

We will be creating media in a variety of different forms and lengths on the road to a feature-length documentary film, so that our discoveries can be shared as we go-- not just in one grande finale.

If you are involved with building the basic income movement--advocating for change, championing policy, or designing, implementing, or participating in Basic Income pilots-- and want to help share the stories that matter to a wider