About this project
UPDATE! WE DID IT!
Thank you so much each and every one of you...we can't wait to spread the 'Joy' around the world!
Greetings Cinephiles, Faeries, Poetry Slammers, and those who simply are ‘weird’!
Help bring Big Joy to a theater near you!
We’re so excited that BIG JOY: The Adventures of James Broughton is getting such wonderful responses from audiences and reviewers. In the course of a few short months we celebrated in Austin, TX with a World Premiere at SXSW, won Best Documentary at Florida Film Festival, The Reel Northwest Award at Seattle International Film Festival, and finished in the top 10 for the Documentary Audience Award at Tribeca Film Festival. We screened the film as far away as Hong Kong and received a standing ovation and honorable mention for Best Documentary back home at The Castro Theater in San Francisco.
"A lovely valentine to a countercultural figure whose sense of joy and adventure will win you over" - David Lewis, SF Chronicle
"Frameline's must-must-must-see film" - Beyond Chron
"One of the festival's showcase films...as fascinating as it is enriching" - Examiner.com
"A remarkable documentary" - Cine Source
WHY KICKSTARTER? (AGAIN?!)
We’ve decided to “follow our own weird” in our distribution process, and use multiple inspiring means of getting the film and the BIG JOY message out to the world. This is our FINAL Kickstarter campaign, and we look forward to working with you to spread the joy.
We are looking for funding for DIY distribution so that we can connect the masses to the genius that is James Broughton. While running a single week in NY can cost as much as $50k, we are relying on grassroots and a hybrid theatrical distribution model to keep costs low and audience engagement high. Nonetheless there are expenses to incur such as booking theaters, printing posters, publicity, multiple exhibition copies, international encoding...
All the money raised will go directly into the release of the film where we will arrange for poetry readings, special Q&As, and celebrations. For our international audiences, you are part of the process too. We want the film to reach the world and our Kickstarter DVDs and Digital Streaming will not be regionally encoded.This film has been about blazing our own path from the beginning. With the help of great partners along the way like IFP and Northwest Film Forum, we have shown there is an audience for this queer literary indie film icon.
If Broughton were still alive today he would be 100 years old in November. While his physical body still danced across this earth he lived and worked with artists and film luminaries such as Stan Brakhage, Pauline Kael, Alan Watts, Alan Ginsberg, Kermit Sheets, George Kuchar, Michael McClure, Anna Halprin, and Joel Singer. He continues to live on thanks to the works of his contemporaries like Jack Kerouac, Gus van Sant, Keith Hennessy and Armistead Maupin, but with your help we can makes his legacy live beyond his centennial. And who doesn’t want to help a 100-year-old man spring back to life (non-zombie, of course!)?
"I met James first through his films at the Museum of Modern Art ... I knew him for the last ten years of his life. He was a mentor of mine. I feel like his work is so relevant to this century that I just had to make a film." - Stephen Silha, Director, BIG JOY
"...one of the fathers of west coast independent cinema." - Karen Kemmerle, TribecaFilm.com
"the grand classic master of Independent Cinema" - Film Culture magazine
"James Broughton for decades occupied a special place comparable to that of Jean Cocteau, Buster Keaton, Erik Satie and Edith Sitwell." - The Independent
"If you never saw his films, you haven't known what joy is." - Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton explores Broughton's complex path, where “Adventure - not predicament” is one of life’s maxims, and where nursery rhymes and fantastical images pave the way into the mystical, serious and truly profound. It chronicles his life, his art, his rather unconventional choices and his ceaseless ability to follow his own artistic weird. All told, he made 23 films and published 23 books of poetry.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
Stephen Silha / Executive Producer, Director
Stephen Silha is a freelance writer, filmmaker, facilitator, and futurist. Born in Minneapolis, he began writing for newspapers in the suburban fifth grade, and went on to report for The Minneapolis Star and The Christian Science Monitor. He has worked with several philanthropic foundations including the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, and with Children’s Express News Service, Libraries for the Future, the United Nations, Yes! Magazine, and Good News/Good Deeds: Citizen Effectiveness in the Age of Electronic Democracy.Stephen studied English and communications at Principia College and Mankato State University, where he worked on a futuristic education system for a proposed experimental city in Minnesota.
After several illuminating years working for the Mott Foundation in Flint, Michigan, he moved to the Puget Sound bioregion of Washington, where he has lived for 34 years as a (gasp!) freelance writer, publicist, facilitator and consultant. He is past president of the Washington News Council, a forum for media fairness in Washington State. He has also co-facilitated youth-adult dialogues on Vashon Island, WA, where he lives. . His other current project, Journalism That Matters, is a conversational think-and-do tank begun in 2000 on the future of journalism, which has inspired new experiments across the country. BIG JOY: The Adventures of James Broughton is his first feature documentary.
Eric Slade / Director, Producer
Eric Slade is an independent director and producer based in Portland, Oregon, where he was born and raised. Eric graduated from Emerson College in 1981 and spent 15 years in San Francisco (with an amazing group of documentary filmmakers) before returning to his native city of Portland. Eric’s feature documentary Hope along the Wind, The Life of Harry Hay premiered on PBS in 2001. Winner of the Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival, the film was nominated for a Bay Area Emmy Award for Best Documentary and received numerous Best Documentary Awards at festivals around the world (including the Seattle, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Fort Worth Lesbian Gay and Film Festivals).
Eric has worked extensively with PBS, including as a producer on the PBS series History Detectives (2003-2010) and on PBS’ Great Lodges of the National Parks. He was series producer for the CPB series Bridging World History. In 20+ years of creating award-winning educational & promotional productions for corporate and nonprofit clients, Eric has also been the recipient of many grants, including the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Council for the Humanities, the San Francisco Arts Commission and more. http://www.ericslade.com
Dawn Logsdon / Editor, Co-Director
Dawn Logsdon, editor, has been working on documentaries about social justice and history for over 15 years. She edited the Academy Award-nominated Weather Underground, Sundance award-winning Paragraph 175, George Foster Peabody Award award-winning The Castro, and many other documentaries for PBS, HBO, and Channel Four in England. She produced, directed and edited Faubourg Tremé, The Untold Story of Black New Orleans and is currently working on a documentary about the public library, Free for All. http://www.freeforalldocumentary.com
Years before Burning Man, James Broughton embraced the principles of Radical Self-expression and Participation. BE RADICAL! BE FREE! EXPRESS YOURSELF! PARTICIPATE! FOLLOW YOUR OWN WEIRD! SHARE BIG JOY WITH FRIENDS ON TWITTER AND FACEBOOK!
Risks and challenges
There's no guarantee that our theatrical distribution will be profitable. We are at the mercy of theaters and digital platforms to book the film, nor can we guarantee that the film will play in your city. However, we have a distribution partner on board and are confident that with your support this will bring joy to humans everywhere.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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