About this project
MICHAEL MOORE on AN ENCOUNTER WITH SIMONE WEIL:
"Julia Haslett has made a profound and moving film on a woman who continues to speak to all of us. Few Americans know of Simone Weil, but this deeply affecting documentary will make you want to know more. AN ENCOUNTER WITH SIMONE WEIL challenges all of us not to look the other way when we see the suffering of others. Julia's personal journey through the film is both heartbreaking and inspiring."
AN ENCOUNTER WITH SIMONE WEIL began eight years ago when I read a line written by the thinker, activist, and mystic, Simone Weil: "Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity." It evolved into what can only be called an obsession––an obsession with this extraordinary young woman who Albert Camus described as "the only great spirit of our time." I could never have imagined it would unfold the way it did. My life, and that of the subject I was pursuing, became intertwined, politically and personally. AN ENCOUNTER WITH SIMONE WEIL is the story of that journey.
The film premiered to much acclaim at IDFA in Amsterdam and since then has screened at numerous international film festivals, including Traverse City where it won Michael Moore's Special Founder's Prize. It's also been showing on college campuses across the U.S. and Canada. The film deeply moves those who see it. And, without exception, it instigates dynamic conversations about empathy, activism, and personal responsibility amongst people with wildly different political and religious beliefs.
Now we're trying to bring AN ENCOUNTER WITH SIMONE WEIL to the big screen. We've secured a theatrical release at the Quad Cinema in New York City. But we need at least $15,000 to cover our expenses. They include publicity costs, archive footage clearances, and new music composition (see detailed budget below). A theatrical premiere in NYC will get us much-needed press attention and help bring AN ENCOUNTER WITH SIMONE WEIL to communities around the US and the world.
WE MADE IT!A HUGE THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO MADE OUR KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN SUCH A SUCCESS! It is deeply moving and encouraging to us that there are so many people out there interested in Simone Weil and the values she embodied. We look forward to collaborating with you to bring AN ENCOUNTER WITH SIMONE WEIL to your community. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you didn't get a chance to contribute during our Kickstarter campaign, it's not too late. You can always make a tax-deductible donation through our fiscal sponsor Women Make Movies. All donations will go toward funding our national and international outreach campaign.
Come see the film during its opening week at the Quad Cinema, NYC (March 23 - 29)
We're excited to announce that New York Magazine has chosen AN ENCOUNTER WITH SIMONE WEIL as a Critic's Pick!Buy your tix here. If you can, we urge you to come opening weekend. How we do then will determine whether the film gets extended for a second week. Small independent films like AN ENCOUNTER WITH SIMONE WEIL depend on word-of-mouth publicity, but too often the film is off the screen by the time people hear about it.
We've lined up some great special guests including Sylvie Weil, Sylvère Lotringer, and Anna Brown (all of whom also appear in the film). Check out our screenings page for schedule and updates.
Get involved with spreading the word about the premiere! Download and forward our screening flyer and/or print it out and put it up at your workplace, local cafe, or bookstore. Students with valid ID get in to weekday matinees for $6.50.
Our NEW T-SHIRT designed by Mazal Bohbot Berrie will be available for sale during our run at the Quad Cinema. Soon you will be able to buy it directly from simoneweilmovie.com. Check for updates.
WHO IS SIMONE WEIL?
Simone Weil spent her life tirelessly advocating for the poor and disenfranchised in 1930s Europe. She was a writer, organizer, teacher, soldier, and anarchist. She was a secular Jew who became a Christian mystic. She was a deeply compassionate person who would not let herself rest as long as others were suffering. And at 34, she left behind a body of work that when read today gives a powerful critique of 21st-century global economic and social injustice. Yet few people even know who she is. It is my firm conviction that if more people did our world would be a more humane place to live.
HOW YOUR MONEY CAN HELP
The overall cost to premiere AN ENCOUNTER WITH SIMONE WEIL in NYC is $29,200. The good news is we recently received a grant for $10,000, and between us we can cobble together another $4,000–$5,000 of our own money. But that still leavesa $15,000 shortfall. We need your help to raise that. If you do, together we can begin introducing Simone Weil to the world!
Your pledge would help cover these expenses:
-- $7,000 towards archival licenses (required to clear historical footage for theatrical release)
-- $1,500 new music composition & performance (to replace tracks that were too expensive to license)
-- $550 sound mix with new music
-- $4,000 for a publicist
-- $1,000 for online advertising
-- $350 to create a bluray for theatrical exhibition
-- $600 publicity materials (posters, postcards, flyers)
We are distributing AN ENCOUNTER WITH SIMONE WEIL on our own. Traditionally, a distributor would pay for a publicist, advertising, and other theater costs. DIY distribution means we don't have that financial backing so we need to raise all the funds required for the film's release. More and more filmmakers are choosing to self-distribute. This reflects a radical shift in the media landscape. It also means audiences (you!) can get directly involved with projects you're interested in. So instead of having a middle-man (ie, distributor) you can form a direct relationship with a filmmaker whose work you like and consider important. And given how little funding there is for documentary films, which rarely ever make money, it means documentary filmmakers can keep making and distributing work.
WHAT IF WE DON'T REACH OUR GOAL?
If funding fails, all pledges are canceled and that's that. Your card is not charged. Of course, we're not going to even consider that a possibility :)
CAN WE EXCEED OUR GOAL?
Yes, we can! If we exceed our goal then we can direct all those additional funds to get the film out there to more communities around the U.S. and the world.
HOW KICKSTARTER WORKS
Kickstarter is an innovative new online platform to help fund creative projects. It's an all-or-nothing funding method where we either reach our goal and get all the funds or don't reach our goal and get none of them. In other words, if we don’t raise our goal of $15,000, we lose everything. Once we reach our goal, we'll be in touch to get your address so we can send you your reward.
HOW TO PLEDGE
Just click the green “Back This Project” button in the upper right-hand corner. You will be asked to input your pledge amount and select a reward. From there, you will go through the Amazon checkout process. You must finish the Amazon checkout process for your pledge to be recorded.
CAN YOU DONATE ANONYMOUSLY?
Yes. It just requires you create a new Kickstarter identity/log in and use that when you pledge. Just be sure to use a secondary email address when registering so the system doesn't get confused.
CAN I DONATE FROM OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES?
Yes. You can donate from any country in the world! If you have any problems just contact us.
WANT TO HELP BUT CAN'T DONATE?
Become an Outreach Partner! Write something about the film! Spread the word about the film in your community and receive a special Outreach Partner credit on our website. We’d love to discuss partnering with you, your organization, your community to help get the word out about the film. You can also share this link with friends and write about the campaign so more people know about it. Please contact us with any questions.
INTERESTED IN PLAYING AN EVEN LARGER ROLE ON THE FILM? OR WANT YOUR DONATION TO BE TAX-DEDUCTIBLE?
We are giving Executive Producer credit for $25,000. Your name will appear on screen at the NYC theatrical premiere and in all subsequent screenings in theaters, museums, on college campuses, broadcast television, and educational and home video DVDs in the U.S. and internationally.
This donation is tax-deductible through our 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor Women Make Movies.
This is a good option, for anyone else wishing to give a large sum and receive a tax deduction.
With my sincere gratitude,
''...an astonishing and revelatory piece of work." ~ Sian Miles, author of Simone Weil: An Anthology
"...this is a film for all those who question deeply and who realize that life, especially when perplexing, demands attention and generosity." ~ The Rev. Eric O. Springsted, President of the American Weil Society
"...an intellectual odyssey..." ~ Alexander Carnera, Editor's Pick, DOX Magazine, Copenhagen
"...the film invites serious
reflection on some of the most important and intractable elements of the human
condition. I recommend it highly."
~Vance Morgan, Philosophy Professor, Providence College
Home Video DVD of AN ENCOUNTER WITH SIMONE WEIL
Signed copy of AT HOME WITH ANDRE AND SIMONE WEIL, a new memoir by Sylvie Weil––award-winning author and niece of Simone Weil
Lunch with Sylvie Weil––award-winning author and niece of Simone Weil
Dinner with "Simone Weil" (actress Soraya Broukhim) and Director Julia Haslett in NYC
NEW REWARD! An iconic Simone Weil T-SHIRT. 100% cotton. Black on red, w/quote on back: "Truth is too dangerous to touch. It's an explosive."
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