John Teton has 24 days to raise money to produce video on world hunger

by: SUBMITTED - John Teton has taken his case for the International Food Security Treaty to many places, including Yale University, as shown here. Now he is taking his case to the general public.John Teton has taken the International Food Security Treaty from being a pie-in-the-sky issue to something that is affirmed by political and religious leaders.

For 20 years he has been making a quiet but relentless case that the treaty is legal, has the potential to eradicate world hunger and must be enforced. He has taken his case everywhere, including many times on Capitol Hill.

Now the Lake Oswego man is ready to make his final push: taking his case to the public. His hope is that they in turn will push the politicians and make the treaty a reality.

“Nations often have to be pushed by the public on great social causes,” Teton said. “Emancipation, the vote for women, child labor — it took decades for these things to happen, but they did.”

His tool for accomplishing this great cause is the animated video “Thunder Head Clearing” and having it shown on YouTube. To make it will cost $71,000, and so Teton is seeking to finance it through Kickstarter, an Internet funding program that helps turn pipe dreams into reality. It has raised $700 million for artistic projects in just a few years.

by: JOHN TETON - This title card for 'Thunder Head Clearing' should immediately grab people's attention. The goal is to have the video complete by 2014. “I think our odds are good,” Teton said, “especially if the general public gets behind it.”

Teton got his own big push to become a crusader against world hunger from his daughter Sage 20 years ago. It happened at the family dinner table. The 10-year-old tyke became so enraged by the idea of so many people starving that she demanded immediate action from her dad — meaning now, as in that very minute, if not sooner.

“I would do it tomorrow,” declared the little girl. “I would get on a plane.”

“She was so insistent!” Teton said.

Actually, he was well prepared to receive his daughter’s call to action because he had already been thinking about the problem of world hunger. He had thought to himself: “When people are starved to death it had to be a crime. It should be easy to find out.” It was. But Teton found that these world laws had absolutely no teeth because they had never been enforced. He also found there were a “handful of things that could really be done to reduce world hunger.”

But who would step forward and lead the fight? Sage Teton’s father, that’s who.

When it came to tackling world hunger, Teton proved to be something of a mild-mannered super man. Yet after all of his accomplishments Teton found that, to reach his goal of immediate and effective action on enforcing anti-hunger laws, he had to influence the public to light fires under lawmakers. So he is using his position as owner of Earthlight Pictures, an animation studio, to spread the word among animators, and he has gotten his Kickstarter campaign on the rails. Now, all Teton needs is $71,000. And he has 24 days, under Kickstarter requirements, to raise it. by: JOHN TETON - The characters Lucy and Alicia find themselves in a forest in 'Thunder Head Clearing.' The video will have no dialogue but it will pack plenty of meaning.

You can’t be a visionary without plenty of optimism, though, and Teton believes his video will part the seas of world hunger.

He already has his leading lady. In a case of art imitating life, the top role will be played by Sage Teton, now a 31-year-old attorney.

“There will be no dialogue,” Teton said, “but it will tell a story. People will be able to find out what they can do. I think it will have great impact.”

For more information about “Thunder Head Clearing” and the International Food Security Treat, go to the sites and

Cliff Newell can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and 503-636-1281, ext. 105.

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