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For the last 50 years, conspiracy researchers have suspected Ruth & Michael Paine of being part of a plot to frame Lee Harvey Oswald.
For the last 50 years, conspiracy researchers have suspected Ruth & Michael Paine of being part of a plot to frame Lee Harvey Oswald.
For the last 50 years, conspiracy researchers have suspected Ruth & Michael Paine of being part of a plot to frame Lee Harvey Oswald.
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92 backers pledged $26,025 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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The Assassination & Mrs. Paine

$26,025

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Amazing--we made it!  Thank you to everyone who has contributed, shared, and supported us over the last three weeks.  We've had some extremely generous backers over the last few days.  The excitement seems to be building for this film.

We now have a stretch goal: $30,000

The total budget of the film is estimated at over $100K. $25K was the bottom line amount we needed to raise to edit a festival-ready cut of the film. Kickstarter fees, fiscal sponsor fees, and rewards will account for about 20% of that $25K.

There will be many more costs, including archival footage rights, music, sound mixing, and color correction. Additionally, there are a few more shoots that could add some great to new material to the film: visiting DC for the JFK records release in October, following up on leads in Dallas, and examining Ruth Paine's papers, which are housed in a special collection at Swarthmore College.

Please continue to spread the word.  Thank you!

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This project is fiscally sponsored by The Film Collaborative. Donations (minus processing fees) are tax-deductible. Your credit card will not be charged unless the project reaches its goal.

Who are the Paines?

In 1963, Ruth & Michael Paine were friends and benefactors of Marina & Lee Harvey Oswald. Marina lived in Ruth Paine's home and Lee visited on weekends and spent the night before the assassination there. Much of the evidence against Oswald was found in the Paine's garage and Ruth became a key witness against him. On the surface, the Paines appear to be just another middle-class couple living in suburban Dallas. But researchers quickly began to uncover some curious facts about them and their role in the assassination case. For instance, both of the Paines come from prominent families with links to the CIA.

The Paines are a sort of crucible for the JFK assassination--those who see a conspiracy generally believe that the Paines must be in on it. And those who believe Oswald acted alone see them as two of the most innocent people you could imagine. Their story offers an illuminating lens through which to explore this history and the conflicting perspectives around it.

How the Project Began

From the Director:
I've been a student of assassination history and a documentary filmmaker for over ten years. When I found out that Ruth and Michael Paine lived just 50 miles north of me, I knew I had to try to make this film. I was unsure whether Ruth would even agree to be interviewed, but after two years of filming, I have all the footage necessary to create one of the most intriguing JFK films yet.

Beyond the Choir

If you have been waiting for a serious documentary that takes the JFK assassination story beyond the niche of marginalized conspiracy films, then this project is for you. The story of the Paines is dramatic, mysterious, and still evolving. They are undeniably compelling characters, even for viewers who might normally dismiss this topic. Whether you see the Paines as falsely accused or thoroughly guilty, it is still a great story.

The Assassination & Mrs. Paine will treat this controversial history with the aesthetic and philosophical care it deserves, while never losing sight of the truth and why this story matters. With a savvy and dramatic film, we will also inspire the curiosity of younger viewers in the assassination and Cold War history.

The famous Mannlicher-Carcano was allegedly stored in Ruth Paine's garage.
The famous Mannlicher-Carcano was allegedly stored in Ruth Paine's garage.

As a supporter of our project, you will be part of bringing this important story out to a broad audience in a subtly-crafted, highly-watchable, and hard-to-dismiss film.

Your Support is Crucial

Up to this point, the project has been funded out-of-pocket and with two small grants. The controversial nature of this film makes it a tough sell with traditional funders, so your support can make all the difference. $25,000 is the bare minimum we need to hire an editor and create a festival-ready cut of the film. Editing takes months of full-time work and we need your support to do it right. If we can exceed our goal, additional funds will go directly towards archival footage, additional interviews, music, sound mixing, and color correction. The total budget of the film is estimated at well over $100,000.

Rewards

We have some great rewards, including two book packs featuring some of the director's favorite assassination books. The Asssociate Producer and Executive Producer rewards will give you prominent credit in the film and IMDb, plus an invitation to provide feedback on a rough cut of the film.

Join the Ongoing Investigation!
Research into the Paines continues to this day. Our film has already generated new leads and witnesses. Donate $50 or more and you will receive a digital dossier so you can become part of our research team! Donate $200 or more and you'll receive digital transcripts of the full interviews shot for the film, along with a Blu-Ray disc.

Interviews

We've interviewed great characters on both sides of the conspiracy debate, including: Ruth & Michael Paine, Vince Salandria, Gary Aguilar, Max Holland, Jim DiEugenio, Priscilla Johnson McMillan, Sue Wheaton, Bill Simpich, E. Martin Schotz, and others.

Producer/Director Max Good

Max's first feature documentary, Vigilante Vigilante: The Battle for Expression (2011) played in theaters across the country and on Netflix. His short documentaries have played at the Sheffield Doc/Fest, Big Sky, SF Docfest and many other festivals. Max's films are intellectually provocative and often explore conflicting perspectives. He aims to challenge comfort and complacency, as well as to entertain. He holds an MFA in documentary film from Stanford University and a BA in communications from the University of Pennsylvania.

Whether you can contribute monetarily or not, spreading the word by sharing this campaign will be critical to helping us reach our goal.

You can visit us online at JFKPaine.com and you can see the trailer (minus Kickstarter pitch) here on Vimeo.

And please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Thank you!

 

Risks and challenges

The JFK assassination is an overexposed topic. But at the same time, factual knowledge about the assassination is sorely lacking, especially among younger generations. There are very few high-quality, responsible JFK documentaries, and we are confident that the little-known story of the Paines will make for a unique and gripping film.

Scores of sensationalized conspiracy theories have been promoted in books, film, and online. Our film will hold both the pro and anti-conspiracy camps to a high standard of verifiable evidence. Our goal is to clearly separate opinions and speculation from real knowledge. At the same time, the film will consciously avoid never-ending counterarguments about the minutiae of the case.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    THANK YOU!!

    Have your name listed (if you choose so) as a donor on our website + our gratefullness!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    DIGITAL DOWNLOAD

    ADVANCE Digital Download (or unlimited stream) of "The Assassin & Mrs. Paine." See it before anyone else! + All rewards above.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    JOIN THE INVESTIGATION

    We need more sleuths out there investigating the Paines and the accusations against them! You will receive a special digital dossier of information and an invite to join our online forum. + All rewards above.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    YOUR NAME IN THE END CREDITS AS A FUNDER

    We will list your name (if you choose so) in the end credits of the film as a funder. + All rewards above.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    BLU-RAY DISC + INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS

    You will receive an HD Blu-Ray disc of the film when it's released and digital copies of all interview transcripts. + All rewards above.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    MINOX SPY CAMERA

    (For backers giving over $250 after 4/13) Own a spy camera just like the one that was taken into evidence at Ruth Paine's home. The camera was so controversial that even J. Edgar Hoover was writing memos about it! You'll also get a dossier with all the documents and debate on the mysterious Minox! + All rewards above.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    CRITICAL THINKER'S BOOK PACK

    A challenge to critical thinkers everywhere: we have chosen one book from the "lone nut" wing and one from the "conspiracy" wing. Judge for yourself where the truth lies! + All rewards above.

    "Case Closed" by Gerald Posner

    "JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters" by James Douglass

    NOTE: Books may be pre-owned. They will be delivered within two months of this campaign's end date.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    CURATED JFK BOOK PACK

    Out of thousands of books on the JFK assassination, we put together a pack of our top 5. + All rewards above.

    "JFK and the Unspeakable" by Jim Douglass
    "History Will Not Absolve Us" by E. Martin Schotz
    "The Devil's Chessboard" by David Talbot
    "On the Trail of the Assassins" by Jim Garrison
    "The Assassinations" Edited by Jim DiEugenio & Lisa Pease

    NOTE: Books may be pre-owned. They will be delivered within two months of this campaign's end date.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    TICKETS TO THE PREMIERE + MOVIE POSTER

    Two tickets to the premiere screening or a screening of your choice (travel expenses not included) and a signed movie poster. + All rewards above.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    BE AN ASSOCIATE PRODUCER

    You will have your name prominently featured in the film as an "Associate Producer." Includes IMDb credit and an optional rough cut feedback screening. + All rewards above.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    BE AN EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

    You will have your name prominently featured in the film as an "Executive Producer." Includes IMDb credit, optional rough cut feedback screenings, and 3 personal consultations with the director. + All rewards above (except Associate Producer).

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Funding period

- (30 days)