Life Itself - A feature documentary based on Roger Ebert's memoir

Building a community for Roger Ebert fans who want to be among the first to see the new film, Life Itself.
Sbybfgvsaobnww3ptwsu
Kartemquin Films
934 Facebook Friends
Film
Chicago, Illinois
United States
13 Team Members


"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 FILM

LIFE 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

                                          

                                     


Find This Campaign On
$153,875USD
raised by 1,657 people in 1 month
103% funded
0 time left
Verified Nonprofit
$150,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on January 13, 2014
In partnership with
Select a Perk
  • $125USD
    Featured
    LIFE ITSELF Autographed Swag

    All the perks of the Ebert Fan Club + Private pre-theatrical streaming link + T-shirt + messenger bag + Autographed LIFE ITSELF DVD or Blu-Ray+ autographed Movie Poster of LIFE ITSELF (Estimated delivery for DVD/BluRay in late 2014/early 2015 depending on distribution; Estimated delivery for remaining items is early 2014) –Please add $25 for International shipping

    19 out of 50 claimed

  • $5USD
    Social Media Shoutout

    Backers will receive a shout out via Facebook and/or Twitter and be thanked on the official website of LIFE ITSELF.

    109 claimed

    Estimated delivery: December 2013
  • $15USD
    Ebert Fan Club

    In addition to the social media shoutout, supporters will receive exclusive access to an unreleased Roger Ebert video tribute edited by legendary documentarian Steve James. This special tribute includes remembrances from Errol Morris, Ramin Bahrani, and other master filmmakers. (available December 2013 at end of campaign) AND a transcript of the finished film, with a thank you foreword digitally signed by director Steve James.

    54 claimed

    Estimated delivery: December 2013
  • $25USD
    Private Pre-Theatrical Stream

    See the film first! Supporters will receive a private link allowing access to view the film simultaneous to its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2014 and prior to its release in theaters. Additionally, supporters will have the ability to participate in an interactive Q and A with the filmmakers, and other luminaries close to Roger, via live stream from the festival + All the perks for the Ebert Fan Club. Streaming powered by VHX.

    474 claimed

    Estimated delivery: January 2014
  • $25USD
    Streaming Gift Card

    What better way to gift the cinephile in your life than with a gift card for the private streaming experience of LIFE ITSELF. In addition to the film stream (powered by VHX), recipients of the gift card will also have access to the Sundance Q and A with the filmmakers and other luminaries close to Roger. AND you'll also receive a $5 gift card from Roger's favorite restaurant Steak 'n Shake!! Yummm!

    14 claimed

    Estimated delivery: January 2014
  • $25USD
    Streaming & Steak 'n Shake

    Receive a private link to view the film simultaneous to its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2014 including Q and A with filmmakers via live stream from the festival. Streaming powered by VHX. And that's not all!! As Roger acknowledged "My Steak 'n Shake fetish is not unique". So you too will be able to enjoy the "crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch" of perfection when you receive the $5 gift card from Roger's favorite restaurant, Steak 'n Shake + all the Ebert Fan Club perks!

    59 out of 250 claimed

    Estimated delivery: January 2014
  • $40USD
    T-shirt or messenger bag

    Exclusive T-shirt or messenger bag designed by caricature artist, Squigs of Roger "thumbs up" + all the perks of the Ebert Fan Club (Estimated delivery early February 2014) - Please add $20 for International shipping + private pre-theatrical streaming link, powered by VHX

    123 out of 1000 claimed

  • $50USD
    DVD signed by Steve James

    A copy of the finished film on DVD autographed by Director, Steve James (Estimated delivery in late 2014/early 2015 depending on distribution) – Please add $15 for International shipping + private pre-theatrical streaming link, powered by VHX

    87 out of 1000 claimed

  • $60USD
    Blu-Ray Signed by Steve James

    A copy of the finished film on Blu-Ray autographed by Director, Steve James (Estimated delivery in late 2014/early 2015 depending on distribution) – Please add $15 for International shipping + private pre-theatrical streaming link, powered by VHX

    61 out of 1000 claimed

  • $67USD
    The Ebert Movie Society

    Let's talk about the movies. Join an exclusive, password-protected, members-only 1-hr conference call with Steve James and the team (and the other members, and SPECIAL GUESTS) once per month for 6 months to share stories of the film's distribution news, and chat about various topics like filmmaking, distribution, marketing and more. Starts January 2014. $67 in honor of 1967, the year Roger began writing film reviews. + private pre-theatrical streaming link, powered by VHX

    22 out of 67 claimed

  • $75USD
    DVD Shared Happiness Deal

    1 autographed copy of the film for you AND 1 copy sent to the educational institution of your choice. Share the gift of film appreciation with the next generation! (Estimate delivery in late 2014 or 2015, depending on distribution) DVD for educational institution licensed for non-commercial institutional purposes only. No public performance rights are allocated. –No International shipping + private pre-theatrical streaming link, powered by VHX

    12 out of 1000 claimed

  • $75USD
    Swag for the Ebert Fan

    All the perks of the Ebert Fan Club + Private pre-theatrical streaming link + T-shirt + messenger bag + Autographed DVD or Blu-Ray. (Estimated delivery in late 2014/early 2015 depending on distribution) –Please add $25 for International shipping + private pre-theatrical streaming link, powered by VHX

    140 out of 1000 claimed

  • SOLD OUT

    $75USD
    Scorsese-Signed GOODFELLAS DVD

    A DVD signed by GOODFELLAS director and LIFE ITSELF executive producer Martin Scorsese! Please add $25 for international shipping.

    1 out of 1 claimed

    Estimated delivery: January 2014
  • $100USD
    New York City Screening

    Attend an intimate and memorable viewing experience of LIFE ITSELF before it is released in theaters and attend a Q and A and post-reception with Director Steve James and other filmmakers. Hosted by Rooftop Films. When and Where: February 3, 2014 at 7PM, (location TBA); Hosted by Rooftop Films and sponsored by Piper Heidsieck Champagne House + private pre-theatrical streaming link, powered by VHX

    47 out of 100 claimed

  • $100USD
    Chicago Screening

    Attend an intimate and memorable viewing experience of LIFE ITSELF before it is released in the theater and attend a Q and A and post-reception with Director Steve James and other filmmakers. When and Where: February 10, 2014 at 5 p.m, Gene Siskel Film Center [of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 164 N State Street] + private pre-theatrical streaming link, powered by VHX

    88 out of 100 claimed

  • $100USD
    Los Angeles Screening

    Attend an intimate and memorable viewing experience of LIFE ITSELF before it is released in the theater and attend a Q and A and post-reception with Director Steve James and other filmmakers. (Estimated date=early 2014) + private pre-theatrical streaming link, powered by VHX

    20 out of 100 claimed

  • SOLD OUT

    $100USD
    Dinner Party & Streaming Link

    Enjoy two tickets to THE DINNER PARTY in Chicago presented by Fear No Art on January 20th with famed Everest Chef Joho, Sun Times Film Critic Richard Roeper, Tributosaurus Lead Singer and Wire club owner Chris Neville, and female Rapper sensation, DESSA, the opening act is members of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra. info: http://fearnoartchicago.com/about-dinner-party/ + private streaming link powered by VHX to view the film including Q and A

    4 out of 4 claimed

    Estimated delivery: January 2014
  • SOLD OUT

    $100USD
    The Dinner Party & Link

    Enjoy two tickets to THE DINNER PARTY in Chicago presented by Fear No Art on January 20th with famed Everest Chef Joho, Sun Times Film Critic Richard Roeper, Tributosaurus Lead Singer and Wire club owner Chris Neville, and female Rapper sensation, DESSA, the opening act is members of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra. info: http://fearnoartchicago.com/about-dinner-party/ + private streaming link powered by VHX to view the film including Q and A

    1 out of 1 claimed

    Estimated delivery: January 2014
  • SOLD OUT

    $150USD
    Signed Scorsese DVD & Poster

    1st come, 1st served! HUGO: signed blu-Ray and poster; RAGING BULL: signed DVD and poster; TAXI DRIVER signed DVD and poster; please add $25 for international shipping. Estimated delivery early 2014

    2 out of 2 claimed

  • SOLD OUT

    $250USD
    Ultimate Ebert Fan

    All the perks of the Ebert Fan Club + Private pre-theatrical streaming link +$5 Steak 'n Shake gift card + T-shirt + Messenger bag + Autographed DVD or Blu-Ray; movie poster autographed by Director Steve James AND special inclusion in the official "Thank You" credits in the film's end crawl, plus a thank you credit on IMDb. (Estimated delivery early 2014, DVD and Blu-Ray delivery late 2014/early 2015) – Please add $30 for International shipping

    4 out of 4 claimed

  • $250USD
    Ultimate Steve James fan 1

    All the perks of the Ebert Fan Club + Private pre-theatrical streaming link +$5 Steak 'n Shake gift card + T-shirt + Messenger bag + Autographed DVD or Blu-Ray; movie poster autographed by Director Steve James AND an autographed HOOP DREAMS DVD and autographed poster! (Estimated delivery early 2014, DVD and Blu-Ray delivery late 2014/early 2015) – Please add $30 for International shipping

    3 out of 15 claimed

  • $250USD
    Ultimate Steve James fan 2

    All the perks of the Ebert Fan Club + Private pre-theatrical streaming link +$5 Steak 'n Shake gift card + T-shirt + Messenger bag + Autographed DVD or Blu-Ray; poster autographed by Director Steve James AND an autographed THE INTERRUPTERS DVD and autographed poster! (Estimated delivery early 2014, DVD and Blu-Ray delivery late 2014/early 2015) – Please add $30 for International shipping

    0 out of 10 claimed

  • $250USD
    Ultimate Steve James fan 2

    All the perks of the Ebert Fan Club + Private pre-theatrical streaming link +$5 Steak 'n Shake gift card + T-shirt + Messenger bag + Autographed DVD or Blu-Ray; poster autographed by Director Steve James AND an autographed THE INTERRUPTERS DVD and autographed poster! (Estimated delivery early 2014, DVD and Blu-Ray delivery late 2014/early 2015) – Please add $30 for International shipping

    0 out of 10 claimed

  • $250USD
    Ultimate Steve James fan 2

    All the perks of the Ebert Fan Club + Private pre-theatrical streaming link +$5 Steak 'n Shake gift card + T-shirt + Messenger bag + Autographed DVD or Blu-Ray; poster autographed by Director Steve James AND an autographed THE INTERRUPTERS DVD and autographed poster! (Estimated delivery early 2014, DVD and Blu-Ray delivery late 2014/early 2015) – Please add $30 for International shipping

    0 out of 10 claimed

  • $250USD
    Ultimate Steve James fan 2

    All the perks of the Ebert Fan Club + Private pre-theatrical streaming link +$5 Steak 'n Shake gift card + T-shirt + Messenger bag + Autographed DVD or Blu-Ray; poster autographed by Director Steve James AND an autographed THE INTERRUPTERS DVD and autographed poster! (Estimated delivery early 2014, DVD and Blu-Ray delivery late 2014/early 2015) – Please add $30 for International shipping

    0 out of 10 claimed

  • $250USD
    Theatrical/DVD THANK YOU

    Thank you credit in the crawl of the theatrical/DVD release of the film. (NOT in Sundance version or listed on IMDb) +All the perks of the Ebert Fan Club + Private pre-theatrical streaming link +$5 Steak 'n Shake gift card + T-shirt + Messenger bag + Autographed DVD or Blu-Ray; movie poster autographed by Director Steve James. (Estimated delivery early 2014, DVD and Blu-Ray delivery late 2014/early 2015) – Please add $30 for International shipping

    3 out of 25 claimed

  • $300USD
    Video Chat with Filmmakers

    A one hour Skype/Google Hangout with Steve James and Zak Piper, the director and producer of the documentary. They will help workshop your own film ideas, or just tell you stories about Roger, or anything you like! + private pre-theatrical streaming link, powered by VHX

    3 out of 10 claimed

  • SOLD OUT

    $500USD
    Hang Out with Filmmakers

    The beers are on the house at the Old Town Ale House for an evening of shop talk and tall tales courtesy of Steve James and Zak Piper and one of Roger's old friends and drinking buddies from his early years. –Transportation and lodging not provided + private pre-theatrical streaming link, powered by VHX

    5 out of 5 claimed

  • SOLD OUT

    $500USD
    Holiday Streaming Bundle

    "Wow, where's your big red suit and beard, Santa?" Give the gift of LIFE ITSELF! Get 20 gift cards for the private streaming experience of LIFE ITSELF, to occur simultaneous with the Sundance world premiere! In addition to the film stream (powered by VHX), recipients of the gift card will also have access to the Sundance Q and A with the filmmakers and other luminaries close to Roger. AND you'll also receive 20 $5 gift cards from Roger's favorite restaurant Steak 'n Shake!

    2 out of 2 claimed

  • SOLD OUT

    $500USD
    SUNDANCE Insider Press Perk

    Go behind-the-scenes at Sundance and see the inner workings of the press and interview process! On January 20 from 10AM-noon, go to the CNN Films Lounge and accompany Steve James, the LIFE ITSELF producers, and Chaz Ebert as they do interviews, junkets, and tapings! (estimated delivery date= January 18, 2014)

    1 out of 1 claimed

  • SOLD OUT

    $500USD
    HOOP DREAMS Press Perk

    Shadow our own Tim Horsburg during the press junket of HOOP DREAMS while they interview Steve James, Gordon Quinn and other filmmakers on Jan 20 at Sundance Film Festival.

    1 out of 1 claimed

    Estimated delivery: January 2014
  • $1,000USD
    Private Editing Session

    Learn from a Pro! Director Steve James will view your film and provide feedback on editing technique (up to 60 minutes).

    2 out of 5 claimed

  • SOLD OUT

    $1,000USD
    Sundance Show & "Sip & Sup"

    You and 3 friends will be the guests of Kartemquin Films for the Monday, January 20th 1PM screening of LIFE ITSELF at the Sundance Film Festival! After the Q&A you will be escorted to a celebratory "Sip & Sup" private party at Red Rock Brewery for the filmmakers compliments of KatLei Productions.

    1 out of 1 claimed

    Estimated delivery: January 2014
  • SOLD OUT

    $2,500USD
    Steve James School Tour

    Steve James visits your school/university, shows LIFE ITSELF, shows clips from his films, talks about his career in filmmaking, and what Roger Ebert meant to him. (Within US only. Cost of flights, expenses not included).

    5 out of 5 claimed

  • $2,500USD
    Morgan Spurlock School Event

    Morgan Spurlock of SUPERSIZE ME fame, will visit your school/university in the NYC area, screen one of his films, show clips from his other works, answer questions about his career in filmmaking, and offer filmmaking advice. (Within NYC area only, venue expenses not included) (Estimated delivery date early 2014)

    0 out of 1 claimed

  • $2,500USD
    Ava DuVernay School Event

    Ava DuVernay, director and documentarian, and winner of the 2012 Sundance Best Director award for the acclaimed "Middle of Nowhere", will visit your school/university in the LA area, screen one of her films, answer questions about her career in filmmaking, offer filmmaking advice, and talk about her relationship with Roger. Within the LA area only, venue expenses not included) (Estimated delivery date early 2014)

    0 out of 1 claimed

  • SOLD OUT

    $3,500USD
    Sundance Experience

    Party with us at SUNDANCE 2014! 2 tickets to the Sundance world premiere of LIFE ITSELF! 2 tickets to the Sundance 20th anniversary screening of HOOP DREAMS! 2 tickets to the CNN FILMS party! 2 tickets to the CINETIC MEDIA party! 2 tickets to a private LIFE ITSELF lunch party!

    1 out of 1 claimed

    Estimated delivery: January 2014
  • SOLD OUT

    $3,500USD
    Ramin Bahrani School Event

    Ramin Bahrani, acclaimed director of such films as "Man Push Cart" and "Chop Shop", will visit your school/university in the NYC area, screen one of his films, answer questions about his career in filmmaking, offer filmmaking advice, and talk about his relationship with Roger. (Within the NYC area only, venue expenses not included) (Estimated delivery date early 2014)

    1 out of 1 claimed

  • SOLD OUT

    $5,000USD
    Screening at Ebert's Theater

    Roger was larger than life, and his story is meant for the big screen, and what could be more memorable than a pre-theatrical screening of LIFE ITSELF for you and 48 guests in the theater once used by Roger & still used by other Chicago Film Critics today? A Q&A will follow your screening with Steve James and other filmmakers all at the Lake Street Theater in Chicago. –Transportation & lodging not provided (Estimated delivery early 2014)

    1 out of 1 claimed

  • SOLD OUT

    $5,000USD
    Screening at Siskel's Theater

    Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel's relationship may have seemed contentious, but there was also mutual respect and admiration. How better to celebrate LIFE ITSELF than a private screening for 50 guests at the Gene Siskel Film Center - followed by a Q&A with Steve James and other filmmakers. –Transportation & lodging not provided (Estimated delivery early 2014)

    1 out of 1 claimed

  • SOLD OUT

    $10,000USD
    Screening with Chaz & Steve

    Chaz Ebert and Steve James will come to your hometown anywhere in the contiguous US, treat ten people to a private dinner and conversation filled with stories about Roger, and autograph 10 movie posters! After dinner, Chaz and Steve will sit with you during a private screening for up to 100 guests (based on your hometown venue capability), and hold a Q&A afterward to answer all your questions! (Estimated delivery early 2014)

    1 out of 1 claimed

  • SOLD OUT

    $10,000USD
    "Urbana-Champaign" Screening

    100 guests will attend a memorable viewing experience of LIFE ITSELF in Roger's home town, attend a Q and A and post-reception with Director Steve James and other filmmakers. Hosted by Roger's favorite restaurant, Steak 'n Shake! (Estimated date = early/mid 2014)

    1 out of 1 claimed

Do you think this campaign contains prohibited content? Let us know.