"I was born inside the movie of my life...I don't remember how I got into the movie, but it continues to entertain me."
- Roger Ebert
THE FILMLIFE ITSELF, the first ever feature-length documentary on the life of Roger Ebert, covers the prolific critic’s life journey from his days at the University of Illinois, to his move to Chicago where he became the first film critic ever to win the Pulitzer Prize, then to television where he and Gene Siskel became iconic stars, and finally to what Roger referred to as “his third act”; how he overcame disabilities wrought by cancer to became a major voice on the internet and through social media.
Director Steve James (HOOP DREAMS) has conducted interviews with over two dozen people, including lifelong friends, professional colleagues, the first ever interview with Gene Siskel’s wife, and filmmakers Errol Morris, Werner Herzog, Ramin Bahrani, Gregory Nava, Ava DuVernay, and Martin Scorsese, who is one of the executive producers.
“This movie is a love story really –– Roger’s love for
movies, for Chaz, and even in his own way, his love for Gene.
Ultimately, though, it’s a film about Roger’s love for life itself.”
- Steve James
ACCESSIBLE TO ALL. UNITING A COMMUNITY OF FILM FANS.
We tried to think of perks that Roger would have loved. In keeping with Roger’s identity as the most popular and influential critic, we are offering a private pre-theatrical streaming experience of the film as the central reward for our partners (you!) in the campaign. Everyone, everywhere will have the ability to support the film and participate in its actual live premiere for just $25.
We are also offering a whole range of other perks to thank you for your involvement, including special advance filmmaker screenings, the ability to get a signed DVD for you AND the school or library of your choice, Skype sessions and workshops, signed memorabilia, and even a chance to have drinks and hear stories of Roger at an iconic Chicago bar.
So please help us finish the film and spread the word!
PARTICIPATE and help us SHARE THE LOVE
You can become an early champion of the film by contributing at a level with which you’re most comfortable. Then begin spreading the word and engaging in the discussion across the internet and in the real world about Roger’s significance--what he accomplished and what he meant and continues to mean to film culture and all of us who love movies.
If we are fortunate enough to exceed our fundraising goal, we intend to contribute towards charitable causes. The Roger and Chaz Ebert Foundation & The Roger Ebert Center for Film Studies at his alma mater, the University of Illinois, represent Roger--what he stood for as a critic, a progressive voice, and someone who bravely battled cancer and disabilities.
The Roger and Chaz Ebert Foundation is a private independent foundation. Its principle focus is to support educational and arts organizations by funding programs and projects that assist children and families in underserved areas, emerging writers and filmmakers, and established arts and cultural institutions.
The Roger Ebert Center for Film Studies in the College of Media at the University of Illinois will be the premiere center for reasoned deliberations on the past, present and future of the moving image, its production, distribution, exhibition, criticism, technologies, industries, economies, and cultures. Above all, the Center will be a place dedicated to championing the power of cinema and to furthering Roger's vision, high standards and mission to challenge, encourage and honor filmmakers, critics and writers who follow their hearts and work to illuminate and improve the human condition - who embrace life itself. http://media.illinois.edu/service/
Notwithstanding potential benefit to the charitable entities mentioned, funder's contributions to this campaign are NOT deductible as charitable contributions.
7,202 REVIEWS, 7,202 MEMBERS
During his career at the Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert wrote 7,202 reviews. His impressive legacy spans half the history of cinema and has changed countless lives. We want to build a community of 7,202 members, each member representing one of his reviews. We will send the review that matches your member number as part of your thank you. The funding goal we have set is important to allow us to finish and distribute the film, but reaching that magical number of members is perhaps even more important to us. That specific level of support, which works out to just over $20 a member, will allow us the independence and freedom to take this film directly to the fan base in the way in which Roger would have wanted, using a mix of unique cinematic special events (the Advance Screenings); innovative and egalitarian technology-based distribution (the Private Pre-Theatrical Stream); and initiatives aimed at advancing film appreciation and education (the Shared Happiness and filmmaker consultation perks).
HOW WE INTEND TO USE THE FUNDS
Making a film is expensive! We want to make the best one possible, and with your support we will. Below are the areas of post-production to which we will be directing campaign funds. Who says post-production can’t be fun?
- Composer & Original Soundtrack
- Film Graphics & Animations
- Color Correction & Picture Work
- Audio Mix & Sound Sweetening
- Music Licensing
- Archival Footage Licensing
THANK YOU! And as Roger always said, “See you at the movies.”www.ebertmovie.com