Funded! This project was successfully funded on August 5, 2011.

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The Illusionists is a documentary about the commodification of the body and the marketing of unattainable beauty around the world.

We just reached $33,000 = 100% of our initial funding goal. Does the campaign stop here? No. Can you still donate? ABSOLUTELY!

More $$$ will allow us to purchase great archival footage for the film. Let’s see how far we can go!!!

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The Illusionists is a feature-length documentary about the commodification of the body and the marketing of unattainable beauty around the world.

The film will explore the influence that corporations have on our perceptions of ourselves, showing how mass media, advertising and several industries manipulate people's insecurities about their bodies for profit.

The preoccupation with physical beauty is as old as time; what is different today is the central role that the pursuit of the perfect body has taken. It has become our new religion. Everyone is affected: boys, girls, women and men from Los Angeles to Tokyo, passing via Mumbai.

Almost 50 years ago, French philosopher Guy Debord wrote The Society of the Spectacle. In the book, he spoke about a consumer society obsessed with and drugged by spectacular images. It was eerily prophetic. The central importance that appearance has taken in our world is at the core of this film.

Style-Wise

The style of The Illusionists is similar to recent documentaries like Inside Job, Food Inc. and The Corporation, with a mix of interviews, stock footage and scenes shot on location in various countries, with high production values and reliance on the words of the interviewees. Experts will include sociologists, historians, media critics, magazine editors, marketing executives and fashion photographers, for a balanced view on the commodification of bodies.

A Closer Look at The Illusionists

There are three key elements that make The Illusionists unique. First off, there is the scope of the film: The Illusionists will explore the universality of the commodification of bodies and will feature interviews with experts from the United States, Europe, India and East Asia.

The approach of The Illusionists is also different from other documentaries on beauty and body image. The film will examine the historical roots and the economic motives behind the marketing of unattainable beauty.

The Illusionists has been thought of as more than just a film since the very beginning. Through its website and social media profiles, The Illusionists has become a platform for discussion and activism around issues of body image and media literacy. Our ultimate goal is for the documentary to become an educational tool, making viewers more empowered consumers of media.

Key Facts About This Fundraising Campaign

We are running a fundraising campaign on Kickstarter.com because there is a lot of censorship surrounding these issues. Funding the film independently, through people's donations, is the only way we can be completely candid about these topics, without interference from media companies.

The money raised through Kickstarter will go directly towards the production of the film. If the funding campaign is successful, we will start filming interviews in the United States this September, continuing then in Europe and finishing roughly 2/3 of all the interviews needed for the film by the end of this year. We will then start editing the footage and organize the shoot in East Asia for the spring of 2012. Our plan is to release the film in the winter of 2012.

There are amazing experts already lined up for the interviews, including author & filmmaker Jean Kilbourne (best known for her iconic film series Killing Us Softly), psychotherapist Susie Orbach (best known for her books Fat is a Feminist Issue and Bodies) and Jenn Pozner (author of Reality Bites Back; she was recently featured in the New Yorker and on NPR). We are also planning to interview prominent authors, historians, magazine editors and photographers.

FAQ

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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    43 backers

    Thank you! We *really* appreciate your support. In addition to a virtual hug, you will receive a “thank you” e-card from the filmmaker and you will gain access to a private section on THE ILLUSIONISTS site with updates about the making of the film.

  • Pledge $25 or more
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    131 backers

    Thank you for the awesome support! You will receive a digital download of the film, a personal "thank you" e-card from the filmmaker and access to a private section on THE ILLUSIONISTS site with updates about the making of the film.

  • Pledge $50 or more
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    89 backers

    Wow, thank you so much! You will receive: a special edition hard-copy DVD of the film, a hand-written "thank you" note from the filmmakers and access to exclusive updates about the making of the film.

  • Pledge $100 or more
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    42 backers

    Thank you for your support! We're flattered. You will receive: a DVD containing extended interviews with experts from THE ILLUSIONISTS and Elena's short films. You will also receive a special edition hard-copy DVD of THE ILLUSIONISTS, special thanks on the supporters’ page of the website and exclusive access to updates about the making of the film.

  • Pledge $250 or more
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    21 backers Limited (29 left of 50)

    You are a star! Thank you so much for your amazing support. You will receive: a limited edition coffee table book with images from the film shoot and a “making of” diary, with a hand-written dedication from the director. Your name will be highlighted in the supporters’ page of the website. You will, of course, also receive a special edition hard-copy DVD of the film and will gain access to private updates on the site.

  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    6 backers

    THANK YOU SO MUCH! In exchange for your wonderful support, your name will appear in big, bold letters on the big screen in the end credits of the film. Of course, you will also receive a hard-copy DVD of the movie, a coffee table book and access to private updates on the site.

  • Pledge $5,000 or more
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    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    If you pledge $5,000 or more you will receive associate producer credit on the film (and IMDB). Welcome to our team. :) Of course, you will also receive a hard-copy DVD of the film, a coffee table book, and access to private updates on the site.

Funding period

- (43 days)