About this project
WE DID IT! Thank You Discoverers!!!
“A bright, thoughtful indie…it’s great to see Griffin Dunne in a tailor made role”
– Leonard Maltin
"The most delightfully offbeat dysfunctional family road trip tale in recent memory"
– Truth on Cinema
"Griffin Dunne's perf is pitch perfect"
"Incredibly intelligent... Griffin Dunne's astounding and Madeleine Martin matches him step for step... absolute perfection."
– Smells Like Screen Spirit
"A wholly unique and outright entertaining road trip film. [Schwarz] works a heart-warming — if occasionally dark and hilarious — sort of magic that tells a story perfectly in sync with the wonders of real life in a modern family.”
– Santa Barbara Independent
Join Our Adventure!
I’ve dedicated the last five years of my life to making The Discoverers and had the privilege of working with more than 200 creative collaborators across 5 states to bring this story to life. We premiered at the Hamptons Int'l FF, won several awards, and have been invited to more than a dozen festivals (8 in April alone). We're incredibly gratified by the enthusiastic response to the film and are committed to sharing it in the good old-fashioned cinematic experience - with your support we’ll bring The Discoverers to movie theaters across America by the end of the year.
3 Generations, 2 Centuries Remixed, 1 Dysfunctional Family: The Discoverers is a bittersweet comedy about a family forced on a Lewis and Clark historical reenactment trek who discover themselves and each other as they make their own passage across America.
The Discoverers stars Oscar & Emmy nominee Griffin Dunne (After Hours), Madeleine Martin (Californication), Emmy-nominee Cara Buono (Mad Men), Emmy-winner Stuart Margolin (Arbitrage), NBR-winner Ann Dowd (Compliance), Dreama Walker (Compliance), Devon Graye (American Horror Story), David Rasche (In the Loop), Becky Ann Baker (Girls), Scott Adsit (30 Rock), and John C. McGinley (Scrubs).
AWARDS: Griffin Dunne has been awarded two acting prizes for his performance in The Discoverers (Sarasota FF & Sedona FF). In addition, Madeleine Martin won a Breakthrough Performance Spark Award (RiverRun FF) and Stuart Margolin was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award (Kansas City FF). The Discoverers also won the Jury Prize for Best Film at both the Kansas City and Oxford Int'l Film Festivals. Other festival highlights include Miami, Dallas, Santa Barbara, Little Rock, and Cleveland film festivals.
OUR STAR: Griffin Dunne has been making movies for more than three decades as an award-winning actor, producer, and director. He's worked with Martin Scorsese, Lasse Hallstrom, David Gordon Green, John Sayles, John Landis, Sydney Lumet, and many more. The Discoverers marks his triumphant return as a leading man and his remarkable performance has been wowing critics and winning awards.
Kickstart The Discoverers to a Theater Near You!
Hollywood spends millions to market, advertise, and blanket multiplexes with traditional fare. Our amazing cast and crew gave their blood, sweat and tears over several years to realize this film because they believe you deserve stories like The Discoverers. We stretched ourselves creatively, worked long and hard hours (mostly unpaid), and created something we're extremely proud of that we can't wait to share with audiences across America--with your support!
Bringing The Discoverers to a theater near you is a resource intensive endeavor. Your Kickstarter pledge will enable us to fund P&A, including:
- Create and deliver prints and/or digital assets to project in movie theaters across the country. The film is playing at festivals, but we need to go back to the Lab to make it ready for movie-houses.
- Hire a team to market, publicize, and promote the film
- Pay for local and national print and online advertising
- Create publicity assets including a movie trailer and poster
- Pay for events to help promote the film, such as premiere screenings
- Hire a team of distribution consultants to make the film available on all platforms
Our goal is to bring the film to theaters in over a dozen cities. Should we exceed our fundraising goal, we can expand the number of cities that we bring The Discoverers to across America!
Our Team's Discovery
In case the title wasn't a giveaway, the film's about discovery: discovering family, discovering yourself, discovering history, nature, the road . . . discovering America. As Cara Buono's character says in the film, it's touches on this Thoreau idea that sometimes you have to get lost in the woods to find yourself.
More than 200 creative people came together to make this film, and we all experienced our own personal journeys bringing this story to life. We hiked through deciduous forests, grassy valleys, and pine stands; we drove on highways, through towering cities and fading suburbs; we dressed amazing sets, built lean-to's, wedge-tents and reenactor camps; we put on buckskin and leather and shot black powder rifles, we waded through rivers and got muddy and dirty; we stayed up all night and had ho-downs around a bonfire. We followed the Lewis and Clark trail and finished the film at the jagged Northwest cliffs on the brink of the great and mighty Pacific Ocean.
Our all-star creative team includes Variety’s Cinematographer to Watch Chris Blauvelt (The Bling Ring), production designer Kelly McGehee (What Maisie Knew), editor Geraud Brisson (Big Sur), composer Aaron Mirman, Costume Designer Kim Wilcox (Nobody Walks), sound designer Ron Bochar (Moneyball), writer/director Justin Schwarz, and producers Laura Kleger and Louise Lovegrove.
With Our Deepest Gratitude
Throughout my travels across the country making The Discoverers, I've been moved by the unending generosity and support of others, without which we couldn't have made this film. I've been humbled by the kindness of friends and strangers who donated their time and resources because they wanted to support people coming together to create something that they believe will mean something to audiences. I'm grateful to the very first readers who gave me script notes; the tireless cast and crew who pushed themselves every day; the reenactors who shared their stories and loaned their gear; the restaurant owners who brought free pizzas to set; the farmer who let us film his deer; the churches and synagogues that let us set up wardrobe and makeup in their basements; the state and national parks who invited us onto their pristine land; the countless vendors who cut their rates for us; the dozens of test-screeners whose feedback helped us hone our edit; the folks who came to our sound house to lend their voices; and the countless Discoverers whose passion and creativity are forever embedded in our film.
We know that your attention, time, and money could go to thousands of different ends, and we labored to assemble rewards as special and fun as we could. Some highlights include the 1983 Mercedes station wagon picture car that takes the Birch family on the final push to the Pacific, which appears in our kickstarter video. (The car was repainted an original burnt orange to match a William Christenberry photograph reference photo.) You can get tickets to our premiere, have coffee with our actors, or be the first to hear our composer Aaron Mirman's amazing score. Acclaimed artist David Levinthal has made a special Discoverers edition Wild West print for us and artists Molly Smith and Rachel Erin Hudak have made work inspired by the film, our music-maestro Gregory Alan Isakov is giving patrons his new album, and we've commissioned artists to make a hand-screened limited edition poster, embroidered explorer patches and more!
Can donors increase pledges once they have been made?
Yes! If you have already pledged, and are signed in to your account, then instead of a green “Back This Project” button on our page, there should be a blue “Manage Your Donation” button. Click that, and you can enter a new amount or choose a new incentive!
Risks and challenges
The Discoverers is a fully finished feature film, so although there are a few variables in the distribution process that will impact how we deliver the film to audiences, we are confident we can deliver on our promise to support a theatrical release. We're in the process of figuring out the best possible release strategy for this film, exactly how many and what cities we will release in, and the timing of the opening. As for the promised rewards, we are confident that we can deliver these to you although in many cases we have estimated timing of delivery, and it may vary from our estimate.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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