About this project
*** NEW STRETCH GOAL: $40,000! ***
We have hit our goal! THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone who has backed our campaign so far - you are all individually responsible for ensuring that we'll be able to bring Thank You For Playing to theaters and communities worldwide in the coming months, and we are humbled and so, so grateful for your crucial support.
But we still have some time to go, and we'd like to push for a new goal of $40,000, which would enable us to bring the film to more cities, reach more communities through grassroots marketing, and even make the video game available to play on consoles outside some key theater venues.
If we reach $40,000, we have a couple of additional special rewards for backers:
- For those who pledge or have pledged $20 or more: you will also receive a high-resolution printable digital file of the official Thank You For Playing theatrical poster (in addition to any other rewards you are set to receive)
- For those who pledge or have pledged at $195 or more: you will also receive a copy of the video game, That Dragon, Cancer. With this copy, you can demo the game at your screenings of Thank You For Playing!
So if you know any folks who haven't pledged yet, please tell them to do so - keep spreading the word, so we can reach this valuable stretch goal!
*** PRESS UPDATE *** DID YOU SEE SOME OF THE FANTASTIC PRESS THE FILM AND THE VIDEO GAME HAVE RECEIVED DURING THE KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN? READ ABOUT THEM IN THE NEW YORK TIMES, FORBES, VICE AND KILL SCREEN.
*** TAX DEDUCTIBLE UPDATE *** WE ARE NOW ACCEPTING TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATIONS! EMAIL US DIRECTLY (firstname.lastname@example.org) IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO MAKE A TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION, AND YOU CAN STILL RECEIVE ANY OF THE REWARDS LISTED ON THIS PAGE.
*** PLEDGE UPDATE *** ADD $15 TO YOUR PRE-EXISTING PLEDGE TO ALSO RECEIVE AN EXCLUSIVE HIGH-RES PRINTABLE DIGITAL FILE OF ART FROM "THAT DRAGON, CANCER."
Hello! We’re David and Malika, we’re independent filmmakers in Brooklyn and the directors of “Thank You For Playing”.
We’re raising funds to bring Thank You For Playing to theaters across North America and communities worldwide, and we need your help!
Since the film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April of 2015, it has been touring the festival circuit and has played to packed theaters at over twenty film festivals on five continents. We get community screening requests every week and have been thrilled by the overwhelmingly positive audience response to the film. Here’s what some reviewers have said about the film:
"Unimaginably intimate.” - The New Yorker
"Powerful. Fascinating." - Indiewire
"Touching, funny and strangely existential." - The Hollywood Reporter
Whether it’s gamers/developers, doctors, nurses, art therapists, or parents, it has become clear that there is a wide and receptive audience and people who want to share this film with their communities. Our goals with this Kickstarter campaign are: 1) to bring the film to a wide audience in theaters in the US/Canada, and 2) to connect directly with various communities worldwide to allow them to host their own screenings, whether its for indie game developers, hospital staff, students, social workers, and more.
Why theaters and community screenings? Although the film deals with a challenging topic, Thank You For Playing is an inspiring and powerful personal story that really comes alive on the big screen with an audience. What’s more, the film documents the creation of the critically-acclaimed, recently-released video game, That Dragon, Cancer. We plan to use these screenings to bring both the film and the game to gaming and non-gaming audiences alike, and start unique conversations around video games, art, technology, and bereavement. Imagine being able to watch the film in a packed theater, then play the game on consoles in the lobby, and then talk with the game team and your fellow moviegoers about the experience all in one evening! We've done this at a few film festivals already and seen what a great impact this unique combination can have. Now we can make it happen across North America, and even further afield!
So, please watch our video and read below to learn more about what we’re doing and how you can help. Then reserve your personal copy of the film, or book a public screening copy for your school, community, or company, and take a look at the other rewards for backers who join us!
WHAT IS THE FILM ABOUT?
Thank You For Playing follows indie video game developers Ryan and Amy Green over 18 months as they build an unusual and poetic video game about their emotional journey raising Joel, their young son who was diagnosed with brain cancer.
Throughout their creative process, Ryan and Amy must decide where to draw the line in sharing their family’s experiences of raising a dying child. From having their sons reenact difficult conversations, to recording Joel’s giggle, to painstakingly photographing every detail of the hospital, their lives become consumed by the complicated process of creating a digital world that mirrors their own, even as they continue to love and care for their son.
The result is a game called "That Dragon, Cancer" - an astoundingly honest and innovative work of art about the universal complexity of grief. Our documentary, Thank You For Playing combines footage from Ryan and Amy's real and animated worlds to offer an intimate and thought-provoking glimpse into how the fusion of art and technology - in this case, a video game - can be used to document profound human experiences in the modern age.
This film was made independently of the game and its creators, by a completely separate creative team. However, throughout the process, we've had the pleasure of getting to know Ryan and Amy, and their developer partner Josh Larson extremely well. We have been inspired by their story, and we hope you will be too.
WHAT'S SO SPECIAL ABOUT THIS MOVIE?
Video games and interactive media are emerging as a wildly innovative art form. At the same time, society is questioning our dependence on technology more than ever: It seems to be bringing us closer together and yet farther apart. We are fascinated by this tension, which is why we set out to make Thank You for Playing.
From the moment we first heard about Ryan and Amy Green’s video game, “That Dragon, Cancer,” we wanted to know more about why the couple had chosen a medium so often associated with explosions and violence to convey one of the most emotional and spiritually challenging experiences a family can face: raising a young child with a terrible disease. Once we saw for ourselves how many people were profoundly moved by the game, and how playing it often facilitated more, rather than less, social interaction, we were hooked and knew we had to keep following this story. The fact that a video game was capable of awakening this sort of empathy astounded us, and we soon realized that Ryan isn’t only a video game developer, he’s also an artist—and programming is his paintbrush.
Thank You for Playing explores the very personal experiences of a family battling cancer and the beauty and hope that can be found in the artistic process, while also examining the age-old question of where the boundaries lie in representing difficult emotional experiences in art.
The response to the film has been wonderful, with press coverage from:
There's a full list of rewards on the right, and here's a basic highlight of some popular ones:
$150 - Your own personal Q&A with us and/or the game team/stars of the documentary - ask anything!
$190 - Be our special guests at the NYC Premiere!
+ TONS more options, including hosting a screening, education copies, personal q&as, posters, and more!
CAN I HOST A SCREENING AT MY SCHOOL, GAMER GROUP, HOSPITAL, CHURCH, COMPANY OR ORGANIZATION? AND HOW DO I DO IT?
Yes you can! Among our rewards on the right is the opportunity to book the film for a screening for your community. Typically, if you're screening a film to a club or organization, you need what's called a public performance license (read more about that here). During the time of our Kickstarter campaign, we're offering a unique discounted deal: 1 screening with a public performance license and a filmmaker Skype Q&A for $195 for non profits, and $295 for other organizations. Or an educational copy of the film - yours to keep and screen as often as you like, for $350. All three of these will allow you to use a screening of the film in any way you choose - as a fundraiser, a community event, etc. This is significantly cheaper than standard rates, and available only during our Kickstarter campaign, so worth snapping up now! And of course, if you have any questions about any of this, feel free to email us: email@example.com.
WHERE YOUR MONEY GOES:
Releasing a film is expensive, and $35,000 is the minimum amount we need to raise to make it happen. If we manage to raise more than that, we’ll be able to bring the film to even more locations. We’re working with indie film distributor FilmBuff to book theaters, and manage the digital release of the film. And we’re excited to be launching a grassroots screening tour (often free to the public) in community centers, churches and campuses around the world.
We're also inviting community organizations, game development groups, universities and others to book their own screenings through this Kickstarter. If you represent one of these groups, you can do a screening as an educational or fundraising tool, and simultaneously help bring this remarkable story to wider audiences through the theatrical release.
Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing platform, so if we don’t raise our full goal within 30 days, none of the pledges will be charged and we’ll end up with nothing—and we’ll have to cancel the theatrical release. So please give what you can—and then help us spread the word!
I CAN’T AFFORD TO DONATE, CAN I HELP SOME OTHER WAY?
YES! While even just a small donation would be tremendously helpful (every penny counts!), you can also SHARE this page on your Facebook or Twitter feed, or SIGN UP for our mailing list to stay in touch with the film. And you can follow the film on Facebook and Twitter for updates.
AND DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUT THE GAME!
The video game that Ryan, Amy and Josh created was released in January. It’s incredible. Learn more at thatdragoncancer.com and you can get a copy through our rewards!
MORE ON THE TEAM:
DAVID OSIT is a documentary film director, editor and composer. His work has appeared in places such as HBO, NBC, PBS, TLC, Al-Jazeera America, Channel4, Arte, VICE, and Wired. David’s first feature documentary film BUILDING BABEL which he produced, directed, shot, edited and composed, was a recipient of ITVS Open Call funding, broadcast as the series premiere of PBS America Reframed in 2013, and played at film festivals worldwide, including True/False and DocNYC. David was co-producer and composer for WHERE HEAVEN MEETS HELL (IDFA, Hot Docs), which broadcast on PBS Global Voices in 2013. David was also the editor of LIVE FROM NEW YORK!, the opening night film of the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival, which broadcast nationwide on NBC in Fall 2015. He received his bachelorʼs degree at the Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Michigan, and studied Refugee Law at the American University of Cairo. David is a recipient of the Anthony Rhodes Vice Presidential Scholarship and received his MFA in Social Documentary Film from the School of Visual Arts in New York.
MALIKA ZOUHALI-WORRALL is an award-winning director, producer and editor of British/Moroccan origin. She is one of the directors and the producer of CALL ME KUCHU (2012), a documentary that depicts the last year in the life of the first openly gay man in Uganda, David Kato. The film premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, where it won the Teddy Award for Best Documentary and the Cinema Fairbindet Prize. It has since won 18 more awards, and was theatrically distributed in North America and Europe to critical acclaim, with a 98% “Certified Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Malika is a Chaz & Roger Ebert Directing Fellow and an alumnus of the Film Independent Documentary Lab, the Tribeca All Access program, the Firelight Producers Lab, and the Garrett Scott Documentary Development Grant. In 2012, Filmmaker Magazine named Malika one of 25 New Faces of Independent Film. Malika is a graduate of Cambridge University, and holds an M.A. in International Affairs from the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po), where she studied with a full scholarship from the Entente Cordiale Scholarship Scheme. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband, journalist Andy Greenberg.
Impact & Outreach Producer:
LAURA VIGILANTE is a New York producer and creative strategist. She began her career as a Campaign Manager/Impact Producer at Six Foot Chipmunk where she worked on social issue documentaries, including The Square, American Promise, God Loves Uganda, Inequality for All, and Escape Fire. She evolved into the role of Creative Executive at Candescent Films where she provided financial and creative support to documentary filmmakers committed to using film to illuminate social issues. Vigilante recently worked on the global launch of the new HP Inc., and is currently a producer on Last Call, an upcoming feature documentary directed by Lana Wilson. She manages social media and outreach for NUTS!, Private Violence, and Thank You For Playing. Other clients include BYkids and Social Diva Media. Vigilante serves on the Screening Committee for Hamptons International Film Festival and is a member of New York Women in Film (NYWIFT). She graduated with honors from Columbia University and received an award for her outstanding commitment to diversity, social justice, and multiculturalism.
Risks and challenges
We’ve been working hard for months to put together a strong distribution team and plan to release the film, so we’re confident at this stage that the risks are pretty minimal. This team includes a stellar bunch at our distributor FilmBuff (which has previously distributed acclaimed docs such as Exit Through The Gift Shop and Senna), as well as kickass impact and outreach producer, Laura Vigilante, who most recently worked on the Oscar-nominated documentary, The Square, and the three-time Emmy-nominated film, American Promise.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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