WBCN and The American Revolution

Cambridge, Massachusetts | Film Feature


Bill Lichtenstein

4 Campaigns | Massachusetts, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $104,147 for distribution. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

226 supporters | followers

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Together, we gathered the archives and funded this award-winning documentary to tell the story of how in the late-1960s and early-70s, this radical, underground radio station fueled profound social, political and cultural change. Now, with your help, the film will be seen by audiences everywhere!

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

Mission Statement

The film's compelling story features activists who intersect via the radio station and music, anti-war activism, and the civil rights, women’s and LGBTQ liberation movements, as they struggle to end a war and transform the roles and rights of women, gays and lesbians and African-Americans.

The Story

Thanks to our amazing supporters like you, who shared their archives and stories, as well as donated financially, the landmark, feature-length documentary film "WBCN and The American Revolution" is done and is playing to sold-out film festival audiences and great reviews across the country!   

Now we need your help, one more time, as we raise the funds for the music rights necessary to bring the film to screens everywhere! 


Please make your pledge now, and receive a great donor reward, including an invitation to an exclusive December 4th screening of the award-winning film followed by a private after-party with WBCN announcers, staff, Red Sox Hall of Fame legend Bill "Spaceman" Lee, and other VIPs, with music by the James Montgomery Band and special musical guests.


But invitations are limited so make your donation now below!  


Plus, lucky donors will be chosen at random for special prizes including a "Meet and Greet" with Suzanne Vega at an upcoming concert, tickets to see the Boston Celtics play the Milwaukee Bucks at the TD Garden, and others to be announced! 

"WBCN and The American Revolution" is the new, feature-length documentary that tells the previously untold story of the early days of the radical, underground radio station WBCN-FM, set against the profound political, social, and cultural changes that took place in Boston and nationally during the late-1960s and early-1970s. 


It's the incredible, true story of how a radio station, politics, and rock and roll changed everything.  

With your help, we have been able to raise the funding and locate the archival sights and sounds needed to produce and finish the documentary.  


Now, we're asking for your help, one last time, to bring the film to screens everywhere, beginning with the release in theatres starting this December, followed by a planned national TV broadcast and the release of the film for home and educational viewing.   


The film has received an overwhelmingly positive response from the public and critics, including winning "Best Documentary" at the 2019 DC Independent Film Festival, and being chosen as "Centerpiece Spotlight: Documentary" at the 2019 Independent Film Festival of Boston, where it sold out a 900-seat theatre and had rush ticket lines around the block. 



"I watched the movie with awe," -- Ty Burr, the Pulitzer Prize-nominated film critic in the Boston Sunday Globe.  

"Wildly succeeds in reanimating a lost era of both radio and social history." -- Art New England .

"Stunning. . ." -- Chris Faraone, Dig Boston.


Director Bill Lichtenstein was just on WCVB's Chronicle discussing the film and our efforts to get it out to screens everywhere. 

The film was one of only three to sell out its screening at the Woods Hole Film Festival. It was also shown at the Rhode Island International Film Festival, and a Saturday night screening as the "Showcase Film" at the Newburyport Documentary Film Festival on September 14th is sold out -- the fastest sell-out in the festival's 14 year history.  Upcoming is a screening at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Museum and Library on September 19, and the Orlando Film Festival, DOCtober Festival, in Bellingham, WA, and BendFilm Festival, in Oregon, in October.   

"WBCN and The American Revolution" has been produced thanks to the extraordinary public effort and help from supporters like you.  This includes the thousands of fans of the legendary radio station who have helped make the film a reality through financial donations for the film's production as well as by sharing audio and visual archives for the film about the radio station which had no archive collection from its early days.  


To date, the financial support we have raised has allowed us to complete the documentary and to license the music and other rights needed to release the film for festivals and public TV.


Going forward, we need to get the additional music rights to allow us to show the documentary in theatres, along with schools, libraries, and other non-theatrical settings, as well as online and on DVD for home video. 


The funds for the music rights will go to the musicians who wrote the songs and performed them.  There is very little room -- other than to pay for the rights -- if the film is to reach a wide audience, particularly given the importance of the music to the film.  


"WBCN and The American Revolution" remains non-profit through our 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor, the Center for Independent Documentary, and all contributions are tax-deductible. 


We hope we can count on you to make a tax-deductible donation of any amount now.  And, make a pledge of $104 (below) to join us on Wednesday, December 4th for the special VIP screening of the film at the Fenway Regal Cinema, in Boston, and after-party with WBCN announcers, staff and the James Montgomery band with special musical guests. 


But do it now -- invitations to the special screening and after-party are limited! 


We changed the world one time, and together we can do it again.  Thank you for your ongoing interest and assistance with this landmark documentary production and our campaign to bring it to screens everywhere. 


-- Bill Lichtenstein and the WBCN and The American Revolution team



"WBCN and The American Revolution" is a non-profit production of LCMedia Productions in association with the Center for Independent Documentary and UMass Amherst Special Collections and University Archives.  


Use the WishList to Pledge cash and Loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an Incentive directly.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Music Licensing Fees

Costs $80,000

Fees to composers and artists of music in film for theatrical, TV and home video distribution.

Film archive rights

Costs $5,400

Archival film licensing fees for theatrical, TV and home distributions.


Costs $4,800

Production staff. Three months x $1,600 per month = $4,800.

Online Studio

Costs $6,000

Completion of film in online studio for TV and home distribution.

Offline Editor

Costs $4,000

Editor to re-cut film for national public television broadcast. $4,000.

Office including edit room

Costs $2,250

Office including edit room and admin costs. Three months x $750 per month.

Festival Entry Fees

Costs $1,650

Fees for film festival entries and attendance. $1,650.

About This Team

Bill Lichtenstein, Producer and Director

Bill's media career began in 1970, at the age of 14, at WBCN, when he worked first as a volunteer answering the station's Listener Line, and later as a newscaster and announcer. Bill’s later work as a journalist spans the next 50 years, and includes seven years at ABC News where he produced investigative reports for “20/20,” “World News Tonight” and “Nightline,” and, since 1990, as president of Lichtenstein Creative Media, based in Cambridge, MA.


Bill has received more than 60 major journalism awards including a George Foster Peabody Award, TV and radio's highest honor; United Nations Media Award; Guggenheim Fellowship; eight National Headliner Awards; and three national news Emmy Awards nominations. Bill's last documentary film, “West 47th Street,” aired on the PBS series "P.O.V.," won "Best Documentary" at the Atlanta Film Festival and was called "must see" by Newsweek and "remarkable" by the Washington Post.


From 1979 to 2005 Bill was a Member of the Faculty of New School University, where he taught  "Investigative Reporting" and "Documentary Filmmaking."Bill has written on media, politics and health for the New York Times, Nation, Newsday, Boston Globe, Village Voice and HuffPost.


Rob Massey, Director of Photography

Rob works on assignment for ABC, CBS, and NBC News, PBS and CNN as well as shooting independent documentaries.


Timothy Meagher, Editing

Timothy's wide-ranging experience includes highly-acclaimed programs and documentaries for Frontline,  Discovery, MTV and WGBH.


Paul Adams/Mass Productions, Audio and Video Archival Restoration and Digitization

Paul and Mass Productions restrored and digitized audio and video archives for the film. Paul's background includes working in radio as an announcer and audio engineer at WQRC on Cape Cod.


Peter Miller, Story Editor and Consulting Producer

Peter has co-produced PBS documentaries by Ken Burns including "The War," and the Peabody Award-winning "Frank Lloyd Wright" along with his own films "A.K.A. Doc Pomus" and "Bedlam." He brings to the project his experience managing productions with large volume archives and helping craft them into compelling documentaries.


Molly Flanagan, Associate Producer

Molly has worked on the distribution of the film. She is a current Wellesley College student studying Cinema and Media Studies.


Jay Rooney, Executive Producer

Jay wrote and produced comedy material for air on WBCN in the 1970s as part of the group "Real Life," and later created short films and radio programs. He has since built several successful businesses and is an avid collector of radio and photographic archives.


Mitchell Kertzman, Executive Producer.

Mitchell joined WBCN from WBRS at Brandeis as part of the original announcing team in May of 1968 when The American Revolution went to 24 hours. He discovered software later that year and devoted the rest of his career to it. He was founder and CEO of Powersoft Corporation, CEO of Sybase and CEO of Liberate Technologies. In 2003 he went from “player to coach” and joined Hummer Winblad Venture Partners as a venture capital investor, leading investments into enterprise software startups. He is still a Managing Director at HWVP.


Richard Barna, Executive Producer
Richard was an original WBCN announcer and Program Director of WBRU, Providence and WHCN, Hartford, where he co-founded the Progressive Radio Network with over 400 stations nationwide. He has built several successful non-radio businesses and is an active angel investor in New York. Richard is pleased to work with the film to create a compelling narrative of how music and media can forge a powerful community.

Sridhar Tayur, Executive Producer
Sridhar is an Academic Capitalist: a Professor at Carnegie Mellon University; founder of the software company SmartOps and the social enterprise OrganJet; and an investor in startups and venture capital. His charity, RAGS Family Foundation, funds documentaries, independent film festivals, higher education, medical research, microfinancing, and programs combating human trafficking.


Robert Sennott, Executive Producer

Rob worked at WBCN in its early days and later became an entrepreneur. He has launched and run numerous successful companies. Rob served on the board of directors of the Upper Valley Haven, a Vermont social service/anti-poverty program.


Eliza Licht, Community and Educational Outreach

Eliza is developing and implementing the community and educational oureach campaign to maximize the impact and visibility of the film. She worked for 17 years at the PBS documentary series P.O.V., where she built and expanded the community and education engagement department.


Chris Kelly, Publicity

Chris is director of Fifth House Public Relations, and the former senior publicist for the award-winning PBS documentary series Frontline. Chris has more than 20 years of public relations experience and is responsible for media and press relations for the film.


Anthony Wermuth, Music Consultant

Anthony says he has done just about everything you can do in the music business ... except become rich. He began as a volunteer at WBCN in 1971, answering the station's Listener Line. and later worked in production, news and on-air comedy.


Jay Fialkov, Legal Advisor

Jay is deputy general counsel at WGBH and a professor at Berklee College of Music. As a former entertainment attorney, his clients included Phish, George Thorogood, the estate of bluesman Robert Johnson, and Rounder Records.


Christopher T. Bavitz, Legal Advisor

Christopher is WilmerHale Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and Managing Director, Cyberlaw Clinic at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society.  Previously, Chris served as Senior Director of Legal Affairs for EMI Music North America.


Attorneys from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius 

The film has received critical pro bono legal assistance with its development, production and distribution from attorneys at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.


Production Companies:
Lichtenstein Creative Media (LCMedia) is a Peabody Award-winning independent media production company located in Cambridge, MA with extensive media production, distribution and educational/community outreach experience, particularly with social justice and human rights issues.


Center for Independent Documentary (CID) is the non-profit 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor of the film, and has collaborated on independent documentaries for more than 25 years, with more than 150 CID films seen on HBO, PBS, at the Sundance Festival, earning Emmy Awards to Peabodys.


University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Special Collections and University Archives inspires discovery through the collection and curation of cultural heritage materials, with a particular interest in media and social change.


WBCN and The American Revolution Board of Advisors:

Pat Aufderheide, professor of Film and Media Arts, American University; Professor Noam Chomsky; Rob Cox, Director of UMass Amherst Special Collections and University Archives; Jeff Feuerzig, filmmaker; Hester Fuller, journalist; Peter Jaszi, Professor of Law Emeritus and Faculty Director of the Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Clinic, American University; Marc Kirkeby, independent consultant and writer and former VP Sony Music Entertainment; Jeff Kisseloff, author of “Generation on Fire: Voices of Protest from the 1960s”; Al Kooper, musician; Phillip Martin, Senior Investigative Reporter, WGBH; Philip Rosen, professor of Modern Culture and Media, Brown University; Robert Ross, Professor, Clark University; Ken Steinhardt, Field CTO, INFINIDAT; and Dick Wingate, Music/Tech Consultant and former Program Director, WBRU-FM.

Current Team