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A documentary film about the life of photojournalist Chris Hondros, two-time Pulitzer finalist who was killed by hostile fire in Libya.

Once our campaign is concluded, please visit www.chrishondrosfilm.com for updates, details and information about continuing to contribute to this important film. Thank you to everyone who has made this such a huge success. We are humbled by your generosity. -- The Filmmakers 

Important updates! Our goals have changed since we met our original goal. Read the latest here.

The Story

“The desert takes our men from us, and they don't always return."
— Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

"Hondros: A Life in Frames" is a feature-length documentary film about the extraordinary life and career of my best friend -- Getty Images photojournalist Chris Hondros, who was killed by hostile fire in April 2011 while covering the Arab Spring uprising in Libya.

Just as Chris was so much more than a photographer, this film will be more than just a retrospective of his work covering the world’s conflicts. It will be an around-the-world journey retracing the path of his career through landmark world events as he developed into one of the preeminent photojournalists of our time.

But the film will also illustrate the lesser known, but equally important, impacts Chris had on the lives of those he photographed, impacts that extended well beyond the moments he captured on film.

Chris covered almost every major world conflict since the late 1990s. He was a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and recipient of numerous photojournalism honors, including the prestigious Robert Capa Gold Medal.

For his friends and the people he came into contact with during the course of his work, he was so much more than a list of accomplishments, and that’s what this film is about. It is an exploration, led by me -- Chris’s childhood best friend and fellow journalist Greg Campbell -- to learn about the man behind the lens.

Greg Campbell and Chris Hondros © Evan Eile
Greg Campbell and Chris Hondros © Evan Eile

I met Chris when we were freshmen in high school. I was with him when he took some of his first photos as a young novice -- and I worked with him in Libya when he took some of his last as a seasoned professional who was preparing to transition into a new phase of his life.

Greg and Chris in Libya ©Nicole Tung
Greg and Chris in Libya ©Nicole Tung

While the film will explore the thousands of photos taken throughout his career -- documenting conflicts from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Sierra Leone and Angola -- it will linger on landmark moments in his development as both a photographer and as a person. Traveling to Liberia, Iraq and Libya, viewers will learn about the little-known stories behind several of Chris's milestone photos, stories that are new and surprising even to people who were as close to him as I was.

It's one of the reasons I'm doing this film -- to better understand the experiences that made him who he was.

The film will combine never-before-seen archival footage; new material filmed on location in Liberia, Iraq and Libya; and a deep selection of the work that made Chris one of the most revered and renowned photojournalists of his time. The result will be a portrait seen from numerous perspectives -- through the eyes of his colleagues, his friends, and the subjects of his photos.

That’s where this Kickstarter project comes in.

Your generous tax deductible donations will allow our crew to travel to Liberia for the first leg of production, to revisit the Liberian civil war on the 10th anniversary of when Chris took one of his most iconic photos. The image of government soldier Joseph Duo exulting after firing a rocket propelled grenade at rebel soldiers threatening to overrun Monrovia was an instant masterpiece of photojournalism. It captured the conflicting emotions of warfare in singularly artistic fashion and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2003.

Joseph Duo in the Liberian Civil War © Chris Hondros/Getty Images
Joseph Duo in the Liberian Civil War © Chris Hondros/Getty Images

What makes the photo truly special, however, is the story behind it, when Chris returned to Liberia to find the man in it. That meeting had a thorough and lasting impact on Duo’s life, and it embodies the humanity that Chris brought to his life and to his work.

Joseph Duo and Chris Hondros reunited in Liberia
Joseph Duo and Chris Hondros reunited in Liberia

Behind-the-lens stories like this, which can be found throughout his career, compose the unique tapestry of Chris’s life and they shed light on who he was as a person.

They deserve to be told. Your generous contribution toward our goal will ensure that they are.

© Scout Tufankjian
© Scout Tufankjian

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Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

This project has an ambitious travel schedule, with on-location shoots scheduled for some difficult areas of the world.

But our producers, which include Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Daniel Junge, are familiar with working in troubled countries and we are blessed to have the support of Chris’s wide network of international friends and colleagues to help with logistics and contacts.

The film also has the support of Chris’s family and close friends; the Annenberg Foundation, which has generously supported this project; and Golden Globe-winning actress Jamie Lee Curtis, who is a passionate advocate of this project.

All donations to this important film are tax deductible through our partnership with the nonprofit Denver Film Society.

Any amount of money we collect above our goal will be put toward our next trip, to Iraq -- so please continue to donate and promote this campaign. Every dollar truly does count.

Chris was an exceptional person whose death has been felt in all corners of the world. His legacy -- as a photojournalist, as a humanitarian, and as a friend -- deserves to be celebrated and memorialized.

Your generous contribution to this project will ensure that it is. Thank you for being a part of this important project.

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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    92 backers

    You will have exclusive access to updates and behind the scenes news throughout the production. You will also receive a special thank you postcard featuring Jeff Swensen's portrait of Chris Hondros along with a special thanks on Twitter, Facebook, and website.

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    You will be given a digital download upon the film's official release. Also at this level: postcard, thanks, and exclusive access to production news and updates.

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    We will send you a signed DVD and signed film poster. Also at this level: a digital download, postcard, exclusive access and a special thanks.

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    50 backers

    Greg Campbell will send you a signed copy of the 10th-anniversary edition of his book Blood Diamonds, inscribed with a personalized note of appreciation, plus access to a private website with behind-the-scenes production stills. Also at this level: DVD, signed poster, a digital download, postcard, exclusive access and a special thanks.

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    You will receive a pair of VIP tickets to an exclusive, invite-only screening of the completed film near you (travel not included). Also at this level: signed Blood Diamonds book, DVD, signed poster, a digital download, postcard, exclusive access and a special thanks.

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    5 backers

    You will be given the complete library of Greg Campbell's books: The Road to Kosovo (digital only), Blood Diamonds, Flawless, and Pot Inc. Also at this level: VIP Tickets, DVD, signed poster, a digital download, postcard, exclusive access and a special thanks.

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    3 backers

    We will set up a private 30 minute video Skype or phone conversation with you to discuss the production, give you an in-depth perspective on the process behind-the-scenes, and answer any questions you have about the film. Your name will also be listed in the on-screen film credits under "Special Thanks." Also at this level: VIP Tickets to a screening, Campbell’s authored books, DVD, signed poster, a digital download, postcard, exclusive access and a special thanks.

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    1 backer Limited (5 left of 6)

    You will be listed as an Associate Producer in the opening credits and will be receiving 2 VIP tickets to the film's Exclusive Theatrical Premiere. Also at this level: private Skype/phone call, VIP Tickets, Campbell’s authored books, DVD, signed poster, a digital download, postcard, exclusive access and a special thanks.

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    2 backers Limited (1 left of 3)

    You will be listed an Executive Producer in the opening credits and we will fly you (plus one) out to have dinner with the filmmakers along with a special screening and after party as an incredible thanks for donating to this important film. Also at this level: hosting a screening in your town, VIP Tickets to theatrical premiere, Campbell's authored books, DVD, signed poster, a digital download, postcard, exclusive access and a special thanks.

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