About this project
Karski & the Lords of Humanity
On May 29 2012, Jan Karski received post mortal Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded by the President Barack Obama.
Newsweek labeled Jan Karski one of the most prominent personalities of the 20th century, and his mission was described as one of the ethical milestones of our civilization. The story of Karski’s mission encapsulated some of the most challenging ethical and historical dilemmas of the Twentieth Century. Jan Karski epitomized the essence of the tragic fate of European Jews but his story was also a lesson about the best and the worst qualities of human nature. The audience will have the opportunity to become acquainted with his story, which defeats all stereotypes and restores faith in humanity at a time of humanity’s utter corruption.
Karski & The Lords of Humanity is a feature-length partially animated documentary project. The film tells the story of a member of the Polish underground who acted as a courier during World War II and whose most prominent mission was to inform the Allied powers of Nazi crimes against the Jews of Europe in an effort to prevent the Holocaust. Jan Karski infiltrated the Warsaw Ghetto and a Transit Camp and carried his dreadful eye-witness report of the atrocities to Britain and the United States, hoping that it would shake the conscience of the powerful leaders or – as Karski would call them - the Lords of Humanity.
Our project offers an earnest portrait of an extraordinary individual and a unique perspective on the history of World War II and the Holocaust. It is a story of a man juggled between life and death while fulfilling a desperate mission to stop the annihilation of European Jews. The movie will portray the biggest tragedy of the 20th century as reflected in the life of a single individual.
The tale of Jan Karski's wartime activities is much more than the story of one man's adventures. It is a parable of human folly, urgently relevant to the world we inhabit today. His mission was not a failure. The risks Karski took to witness the Final Solution firsthand and the mind-shattering reports he delivered about it forced Allied leaders to confront the horror for the first time. When Karski broke the taboos of his exiled government and began to speak out about the fate of the Jews, he played a major role in shaping public opinion in the free world.
The innovative fusion of technologies employed by our team will create a unique film reality, and will bring Karski’s compelling story to life. The film will employ fiction-like scenes presented by means of animation techniques intertwined with documentary scenes and archival footage, including authentic voice-over by Jan Karski himself. Thanks to the animation techniques, we will be able to recreate the events, which took place during Karski’s World War II mission. We will be able to recreate his treacherous visit to the Warsaw Ghetto, where he witnessed the indignities and traumas to which Jews were being subjected in Nazi-occupied Poland only months preceding the Final Solution. Hours of interviews recorded with Jan Karski after the war will provide the most authentic first person narrative, and will accompany the animated reenactment of events against the background of authentic archival footage.
This film will be the newest in the collection Slawomir Grunberg’s films, which explore major themes in the humanities. Many of the previous films were broadcast on PBS, HBO and many international television networks. Among them are: "School Prayer" (Emmy Award Winning), "The Peretzniks", "Fenceline", "The Legacy of Jedwabne", "Saved by Deportation", "In the Name of Their Mothers: The Story of Irena Sendler" (Directed by Mary Skinner) and the Oscar Nominated "Sister Rose’s Passion" (Directed by Oren Jacoby).
Some of the names in our production include: Yoni Goodman (Director of Animation of the Academy Award Nominated “Waltz with Bashir”),
E. Thomas Wood (author of “Karski: How One Man Tried to Stop the Holocaust”) and Dariusz Jablonski (Producer/Director of the acclaimed “Photographer”).
For more information on our Production Team go to: www.jankarski.com
Please take a look at an interview with Slawomir Grunberg on Currents TV:
STATUS OF THE FILM AND WORK PLAN
Our production team headed by Slawomir Grunberg (Emmy Winning Documentary Filmmaker of over 40 documentaries and a Guggenheim Fellow) has devoted much time to the preparation of this project. The official website: www.jankarski.com was launched in 2008. Extensive research was done at the Hoover Institution, Palo Alto, CA, which holds the Jan Karski archives. Dozens of photographs and over 40 hours of audio-visual materials were scanned or transferred from VHS to DVD. They include numerous American, British and Polish programs and films, featuring our protagonist Jan Karski, as well as around 8 hours of never-broadcast interviews conducted by members of our media staff and associates, to which we have the exclusive right. We have also identified all the archival footage and photographs, which we will incorporate in our narrative. Another part of our research consisted in a thorough selection and analysis of the textual resources and scholarship, which will further refine our intellectual approach to the topic. There is a large precedent for documentary films combining archival footage with modern-day interviews and scenes in order to recount historical events. While our project retains some of the basic features of such a documentary structure, it breaks the traditional format through the incorporation of state-of-the-art animation technologies. The estimated date of completion of the project is June 2014 which will correlate with the 100th Anniversary of Jan Karski's Birthday. The completed film will be presented as a feature-length theatrical version (90 minutes) and two parts (45 minutes each) television version, all in High Definition format. Original music score will be composed for the film. The film will be distributed by LOGTV, Ltd (www.logtv.com/films) through Film Festivals, Television Stations, Movie Theaters, On-Line Movies, DVDs and Blue-Ray Discs for the Educational Market (Schools, Universities, Libraries), and Online Streaming.
HOW YOUR CONTRIBUTION WILL HELP?
With the funds raised through this campaign, we will be able to move forward with the project and spread the story of the 20th century hero, Jan Karski, who risked his life to prevent mass murder of millions of European Jews. You will help is raise awareness of this prominent individual so future generations will not forget.
THE FUNDS WILL GO TOWARDS:
1. Filming Additional Interviews;
2. Purchasing Archival Footage;
3. Film Sound Recording;
4. Animation Studio Rental;
5. Off-Line Editing;
6. Promotion and Outreach;
7. Shipping of the Rewards;
8. Kickstarter.com and Amazon processing fee.
HOW KICKSTARTER WORKS
Kickstarter is an increasingly popular way to fund creative projects. The campaign is designed so that we must reach our goal of $45,000 - otherwise your pledge will not go through and no money comes our way. In other words, you will only be charged if the goal is met and we will only receive the funds once all of the donations reach the desired amount. You will be able to monitor the process of raising funds and we will contact you as soon as the goal of $45,000 is reached in order to make sure you receive the rewards as promised. We have only sixty days - please, help us reach our goal in time!
HOW TO PLEDGE
Just click the green “Back This Project” button in the upper right-hand corner. You will be asked type in your pledge amount. You will then go through the Amazon checkout process. You must finish the Amazon checkout process for your pledge to be recorded. Feel free to contact us with any questions.
WHAT IF WE DON'T REACH OUR GOAL?
If funding fails, all pledges will be canceled. Your card will not be charged.
Hopefully, this won’t happen! Please help us reach our goal!
CAN WE EXCEED OUR GOAL?
Yes, and we certainly hope to in order to deliver the best film we can!
CAN YOU DONATE OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES?
Yes. Once you click on the Amazon Payment Button you will see that you can pay with a credit card from any country. Remember that you must finish the Amazon checkout process for your pledge to be recorded. Feel free to contact us with any questions.
BECOME AN OUTREACH PARTNER
If you are unable to contribute financially but would like to help out otherwise, please spread the word about our Kickstarter Campaign by posting it on your Facebook and/or Twitter account and/or emailing it to your friends. You will receive a special Outreach Partner credit on the project's website. We will appreciate all the help we can get! Thank you!
If you represent an organization or a community and would like to contribute to this project, we would love to discuss the possibility of partnering with you! Please contact us, you will find all the necessary information below.
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN CO-PRODUCTION OPPORTUNITIES
There are Co-Executive Producer and Presenting Partner/Executive Producer credits available, at $50,000 and $75,000 respectively. Bear in mind that these donations are tax deductible thanks to our 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization status. The titles are honorary, rather creative/business positions. We would love to discuss these opportunities with you and feel free to contact us for further details! Thank you!
Tel +1 917 864 0715
Official Website: www.jankarski.com
Risks and challenges
WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP?
Raising funds to complete any movie is challenging, especially in the current climate of independent documentary filmmaking. It is practically impossible to complete a movie without donations and/or state grants. Success of a documentary is measured by the number of people it touches and moves, and whose support it gains.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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