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We need $75,000 to finish this film on families struggling in the worst economy in 80 years, while facing huge cuts to social services. Read more

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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on September 27, 2012.

We need $75,000 to finish this film on families struggling in the worst economy in 80 years, while facing huge cuts to social services.

About this project

Wow!  We reached our $25,000 Kickstarter goal in just 9 DAYS! 

Let's keep the momentum going!  To cover the full cost of the online post-production work on the film --the sound mix, coloring and music-- we need $75,000.  The $25,000 (or more) raised through Kickstarter will put a down payment on this last phase, and get the process moving forward.  But every additional dollar donated beyond our Kickstarter goal will help us get this film to the public as soon as possible.  We are so encouraged by the flurry of interest in AMERICAN WINTER, and by the tremendous support this film has received in such a short time.  THANK YOU!

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Filming and offline editing of American Winter are COMPLETE, and we are on the home stretch of finishing the film. We are raising funds for the sound mix, the color correction and the music, as well as the first phase of the film’s outreach campaign. 


ABOUT THE FILM 

AMERICAN WINTER is a documentary feature film that reveals the personal stories of families struggling in the worst economic downturn since the 1930’s. Shot over the course of the winter months of 2011-12, the film follows eight families battling to keep their heads above water while facing overwhelming financial challenges and a shrinking social safety net available to help them. AMERICAN WINTER presents an evocative snapshot of the state of our economy as it is playing out in millions of American families.

This film draws attention to the human stories at the heart of our nation’s most pressing economic issues. The devastating effects of the mortgage meltdown, soaring unemployment, the healthcare crisis, and the budget cuts to our country’s social service safety net are presented through the eyes of families struggling to keep their kids fed and clothed and with a roof over their heads.

HOW WE MADE THIS FILM 

To make AMERICAN WINTER, we worked with the nonprofit organization 211info in Portland. 211 is a national nonprofit referral service that takes calls from families in crisis to provide information on social services that might be available to help them. Our production monitored thousands of calls from distressed families calling 211’s emergency hotline in search of help. We then followed the stories of many of these callers over several months.

While filming, we were able to show incredible firsthand stories of families slipping into poverty, working families losing their homes, people who remain jobless or underemployed, children going hungry, families getting their heat shut off in the dead of winter, and people with health issues overwhelmed by medical costs. During filming, it was also clear that many middle-class families are finding themselves needing assistance for the first time in their lives.

Experts, including economists, policy analysts, clergy, and social workers on the frontlines of the economic fallout, also weigh in throughout the film, giving context to the personal issues and trials of the families.

WHY WE MADE THIS FILM

AMERICAN WINTER reveals the alarming consequences of the sharp decline of the middle class, the cuts to social services, and the fracturing of the American Dream. By documenting the personal stories of families who are suffering in the economic fallout, our hope is that viewers will come away feeling that the families profiled in the film are much like their neighbors, their relatives, or even themselves. This film gives desperate families a voice, and it has the potential to become a powerful tool to educate, inspire, empower, and move audiences and communities to action. We need to get this film out now, when questions about budget cuts, taxation, the plight of the middle-class, and funding for the social safety net are in the national discussion.

In addition to getting this film into theaters and on television to reach the widest audience possible, we are launching an aggressive outreach campaign to ensure that this film makes an impact. Once the film is complete, we will be able to work with organizations and communities all over the country with a goal to inspire action to help struggling families, restore the middle class, and preserve America’s social safety net.

WHAT WILL THE FUNDS BE USED FOR? 

Thus far, AMERICAN WINTER has been funded entirely by grants from non-profit foundations and private donations from individuals. These donations have allowed us to complete the filming and the offline editing, but we need additional support to complete post-production and to release the film. 

The funds from Kickstarter will be used to: 

          ** FINISH THE FILM  The bulk of the $25,000 will make this film possible by helping pay for the sound mix, graphics, color correction and music. 

          ** PROMOTE THE FILM  We will be working with outreach and community groups like Rebuild the Dream, The National Association of Social Workers, and 211info (among others) to use the film to spark a conversation about our nation’s economic challenges. The more we raise, the larger impact we can have! 

AMERICAN WINTER is fiscally sponsored by the INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY ASSOCIATION (IDA), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  

FOLLOW OUR PROGRESS:

AMERICAN WINTER on Twitter  

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    125 backers

    Receive exclusive first-look American Winter updates.

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    80 backers

    Get placed on the DONOR ROLL on the film’s website (http://www.americanwinter.com) and receive exclusive first-look American Winter updates.

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    392 backers

    Receive the AMERICAN WINTER DVD upon the film's release, plus the exclusive project updates and special thanks on the American Winter website.

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    60 backers

    Receive TWO AMERICAN WINTER DVDs, plus the exclusive project updates and special thanks on the American Winter website.

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    37 backers

    Receive TWO AUTOGRAPHED DVDs from the producers, get placed on our website’s donor roll, and important project updates.

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    6 backers

    We’ll get you tickets to the closest AMERICAN WINTER PREMIERE to you. Plus you’ll get the autographed DVD, placed on the donor roll and exclusive American Winter updates.

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    3 backers

    Receive a THANK YOU CALL from the producers, the Emmy-winning Gantz Brothers. Plus you get the tickets to an American Winter premiere, an autographed DVD, placed on the donor roll and exclusive American Winter updates.

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    1 backer

    Be placed in the FILM’S CREDITS under special thanks section. Plus get a thank you call from the producers, tickets to an American Winter premiere, an autographed DVD, placed on the donor roll and exclusive American Winter updates.

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    0 backers

    Have DINNER WITH THE PRODUCERS, Emmy award-winning filmmakers Joe and Harry Gantz, in Los Angeles. Plus you get placed in the film’s credits, tickets to an American Winter premiere, an autographed DVD, placed on the donor roll and exclusive American Winter updates. (Travel/hotel not included.)

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    PRODUCER CREDIT. It’s your name in the film’s credits, as a producer, to show we couldn’t have made this film without you. You will also receive a dinner with the producers, tickets to an American Winter premiere, an autographed DVD, placed on the donor roll and exclusive American Winter updates. (Travel/hotel not included.)

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Funding period

- (30 days)