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A dynamic, first-of-its-kind documentary about life before and after the diagnosis of Celiac Disease. Read more

Evanston, IL Documentary
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$35,427
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on May 12, 2014.

A dynamic, first-of-its-kind documentary about life before and after the diagnosis of Celiac Disease.

Evanston, IL Documentary
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About this project

I am so appreciative for all the love and support!

Please click below to hear my personal message to you.

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This is the HOME STRETCH! Our campaign ends Midnight (Central Time) Tonight!

We did it! Thanks for your continued support and don't forget our important

STRETCH GOALS:

$36,000 -- Expand our ability to finish interviews out of state.

$42,000 -- Basic website development and licensing of media footage.

$50,000 -- Marketing of finished documentary and website expansion.

$75,000 -- Distribution to multiple platforms, including streaming and cable TV.

$100,000 and up -- Video-based website that will become a portal for people to exchange stories and provide up to the moment support and expert knowledge.

“The Celiac Project” is an engaging new feature-length documentary about Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance and the obstacles people with these conditions face in safely living a gluten-free life. While avoiding gluten has become a trendy dietary choice, people with Celiac literally cannot tolerate it in their diet. Even a crumb of bread can cause irritation in the small intestine, which will trigger an immune system reaction that worsens over time. Many people with the condition suffer for years with mysterious, debilitating symptoms before obtaining an accurate diagnosis.

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I am one of those people. I experienced years of unexplained health problems before being diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2009. I went through just about every emotion, from happiness and relief to sadness and anger. But more than anything else, I was shocked that the diagnosis could have been so easy. If my doctor had known anything about this condition, he would have ordered the simple blood test that leads to a diagnosis. I wonder many times what my life might have been like had I not spent the past 20 years struggling.

At the time I was diagnosed, my oldest daughter was 9 months old. When she was 3, a blood test and an endoscopy showed she already had Celiac Disease. It was bittersweet. My wife and I were sad that she has this condition but happy she will be able to avoid the health problems I suffered. Then, just one year later, when my sister's middle child had stomach problems, all three of her kids got tested and we received the biggest shock of all: the oldest boy, who was essentially symptom-free and thriving, had it as well. People with asymptomatic Celiac Disease face the same long-term risks as those with symptoms.

When I started talking to others with Celiac I was blown away by the unbelievable stories that I heard--so many of them worse than mine. They were hospitalized, unable to keep food down, misdiagnosed with MS (and other serious conditions), had multiple miscarriages; the list goes on and on. When I learned that 83 percent of Celiacs in this country are either undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, I felt compelled as a filmmaker to unravel the mystery of this illness. We have talked with dozens of people who struggled to get diagnosed and also interviewed the top Celiac doctors in the world and are excited to share their stories in this compelling documentary.

Some of our great team:

Our Kickstarter funds will be used in the following ways:

Production: This is where we capture the raw stories.

  • Travel!  We have done a majority of the local filming, but we still need a handful of interviews from people in distant locations who are instrumental to this story.
  • A cameraman, producer and director.
  • Equipment purchase and/or rental.

Post Production:  This is where most of the funds will be used.

  • Editor and Assistant Editor
  • On-line Editor
  • Color Correction
  • Animator, to show the physical processes that take place in someone with Celiac, in a creative and dynamic way.
  • Composer

Reward fulfillment and payment of fees to Kickstarter and Amazon for helping us run our campaign online.

Our goal is to raise a minimum of $33,800 .  Up until now my wife, Ellen and I have been, for the most part, a two person crew. We have also boot-strapped the production ourselves.  At this point in production, we have shot approximately 65 percent of the film. To do this, we’ve scraped together whatever we can and put in hundreds of hours of time and effort on this and will continue to do so.  Meeting our funding goals will enable us to finish the film in a timely manner by having the assistance we need.

Ideally, we would like to be able to raise up to $75,000.  The extra funding would enable us to pay for a graphic designer, marketing and for our website, so we can have the best chance at having the most people see the film and distribute it to multiple channels.  Many thanks for making a pledge!

Click on Michael's name by his picture in the upper right to read his bio.

"The Celiac Project" t-shirts come in Men's, Women's and Youth sizes. Please remember to let us know your specific size.

Sample T-shirt (final design might change)
Sample T-shirt (final design might change)

We would like to thank the great folks at Triumph Dining for pitching in copies of their bestselling Gluten Free Grocery Guide to support us.  You guys rock!!!

We would especially like to thank Inn on Randolph for helping us create a deluxe Napa getaway package!

Risks and challenges

I have yet to hear of an independent film that went off without a hitch. It's almost to be expected. The good news is that I'm a professional, I know what I'm doing and the people collaborating with me are incredibly talented. That said, with all of the favors I am asking, I don't have complete control over the timing. I can only estimate our finish date based on our projections for completion. Everyone on board is passionate about this film and all are hard workers. I believe in them and my wonderfully supportive family to get over any challenges that might present themselves along the way.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    6 backers

    A personal thank you tweet. Welcome aboard, we're so happy to have your support!

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  • You selected
    Pledge $15 or more

    5 backers

    Become one of the "faces" of the film! Email us a digital photo (jpeg) of yourself or loved one (who need not have Celiac) and you will be added to a montage section that will be in the finished film. Plus, you'll receive a digital still from the film, a personal tweet and a warm fuzzy THANK YOU!

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    43 backers

    A digital download of the finished film (release date TBD) plus a personal thank you tweet, your face in the film and a digital still from the film.

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    Pledge $50 or more

    18 backers

    Show your Celiac pride with "The Celiac Project" t-shirt! A shout out thank you tweet, a digital download of the film (release date TBD), your face in our film and a digital still from the film. Add $6 shipping in the US.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    4 backers Limited (26 left of 30)

    A triumphant pledge! Receive the latest edition of the best selling Gluten-Free Grocery Guide from Triumph Dining. A great resource! You'll also receive "The Celiac Project" t-shirt, a digital download of the film (release date TBD) and of course, your face in our film and a digital still photo in a "thank you" email.
    Add $6 shipping in US.

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    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    27 backers

    Receive a signed DVD (release date TBD). Also receive the latest edition of the best selling Gluten-Free Grocery Guide from Triumph Dining. A great resource! You'll also receive "The Celiac Project" t-shirt, a digital download of the documentary, your face in our film and of course, a digital still photo in a "thank you" email.
    Add $6 shipping in US.

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    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    9 backers

    Receive 2 tickets to our Premiere Screening of the film and after party catered gluten free, of course! Date TBD in the Chicagoland area, transportation not included. Plus, the Triumph Dining book, awesome t-shirt, signed DVD (release date TBD), your face in the film and digital still. Come party with us!
    Add $6 for shipping.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    4 backers Limited (1 left of 5)

    Due to demand this reward level is also available for international purchase! No transportation provided. Receive 2 tickets to our Premiere Screening of the film and after party catered gluten free, of course! Date TBD in the Chicagoland area, transportation not included. Plus, the Triumph Dining book, awesome t-shirt, signed DVD (release date TBD), your face in the film and digital still. Come party with us! Add $6 for shipping.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    7 backers

    Let's chat! 15 minute Skype or phone chat with me! I'd love to "meet" you and learn a little bit about you. Ask me anything you'd like about the film, sports or Springsteen. Plus, receive 2 tickets to our Premiere Screening party (TBD), the Triumph Dining book, t-shirt, signed DVD (release date TBD),your face in our film, and a digital still. Add $6 for shipping.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    7 backers

    Associate Producer Credit in the film. Plus, all of the swag listed above!!! The 15 minute Skype or phone chat with me! Plus, receive 2 tickets to our Premiere Screening party (date TBD), the Triumph Dining book, t-shirt, signed DVD (release date TBD), your face in our film, and a digital still.
    Add $6 shipping in US.

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    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,250 or more

    2 backers Limited (8 left of 10)

    As my dad always tells me, "You gotta eat!" So we're having a dinner party for you and a guest. It'll be like you're part of our family with a night out at a favorite restaurant of ours. This will truly be a night to remember! We can get to know each other over a delicious Celiac friendly meal. Plus, you will have an Associate Producer credit, 2 tickets to our Premiere Screening, and receive all of the great perks listed above!
    Add $6 shipping in US.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $2,500 or more

    1 backer

    With this kind of generosity, you will receive an Executive Producer credit plus a 30 minute Skype or phone chat with the director, 4 tickets to the Premiere Screening Party, the Triumph Dining book, signed DVD (release date TBD), "The Celiac Project" t-shirt , a signed still photo from the film and an enormous THANK YOU. In fact, I'll shout your name outside of my house for all of my neighbors to hear!
    Add $6 shipping in US.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $3,500 or more

    0 backers Limited (4 left of 4)

    We know we are going to need a little R & R when we finish the project, so join us for a glorious Celiac friendly, gluten free weekend in Napa, CA that is fit for the Executive Producer that you are! Stay for 2 nights at the beautiful Inn on Randolph B&B, where everything is gourmet, gluten free and delicious. The package will include deluxe winery tours at both Frog's Leap and Pine Ridge Wineries. With your Executive Producer credit you will receive everything listed in the $2,500 pledge. Airfare not included.
    Blackout dates apply at the Inn. Call for availability. *We hope our stay would run concurrently, but know that schedules might be difficult to synchronize. Add $6 shipping in US.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $5,000 or more

    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    A memorable night out in the Windy City! Be our guests at a private dinner with us. We will be dining at a top tier Chicago restaurant and treat you to a VIP experience with the Chef. We can't wait to get to know you better! (Airfare not included. ) You will also get your Executive Producer credit, a 30 minute Skype or phone chat with the director, 4 tickets to the Premiere Screening Party, the Triumph Dining book, signed DVD (release date TBD), "The Celiac Project" t-shirt , a signed still photo from the film and an enormous THANK YOU. In fact, I'll shout your name outside of my house (extra loud) for all of my neighbors to hear! Add $6 shipping in the US.

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    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $10,000

    0 backers

    We would be so overjoyed by your grand gesture that we would visit you (anywhere in the US) to host a Celiac Project private screening for you - complete with plenty of gluten free goodies, of course! (Date and time TBD) Also, you will receive an Executive Producer credit plus a 30 minute Skype or phone chat with the director, 4 tickets to the Premiere Screening Party, the Triumph Dining book, signed DVD (release date TBD), "The Celiac Project" t-shirt , a signed still photo from the film and an enormous THANK YOU. In fact, I'll shout your name outside of my house for all of my neighbors to hear! Add $6 shipping in US.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States

Funding period

- (30 days)