Funded! This project was successfully funded on January 22, 2012.

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The search for true love by transgender trailer park matriarch Jheri Jones and her two adult sons in Bible belt Mississippi.

 WHAT’S THE PROJECT ABOUT?

The feature documentary follows The Joneses family along their courageous pursuit of love.  Trevor is a 34 year old virgin, Brad was born with brain damage, and Jheri Rae Jones was formerly their father. Now, as three single adults living under one trailer park roof in small town Mississippi, they are each ready to embark on a journey to find love outside this reunited, close-knit family unit.

Spitfire and matriarch Jheri Rae Jones is searching for a man who will love her in the autumn of her life. Finding a good man in the rural American south is hard enough, but Jheri’s problem is finding one who accepts her past. Formerly known as Jerry, Jheri changed her name when she had gender reassignment surgery a few years prior.  Now 70, Jheri has an active dating life and feels ready for love more than ever before. Yet Jheri has found it a difficult search in a place where transexuality is still largely unaccepted.

Also, Jheri is now sharing her home with her two adult sons, Brad and Trevor.  After initially being dismissed by her sons after her surgery, the untimely death of Jheri’s ex-wife two years prior has forced them all back together and a new family bond has just finally stabilized.

BRAD is 40 and has never had a serious girlfriend. He suffered brain damage at birth and has been a dependent on his parents ever since. Brad is set to join a new weekly social club in the city of Jackson where he can meet other people with mental disabilities and open the door to new romantic opportunities.

TREVOR is 34 and his biggest problem remains his own insecurity, as he’s also never had a girlfriend, yet dreams of a wife and family of his own. Luckily, Trevor has just discovered the vast world of internet dating -- if he can only muster up the guts to put himself out on the line.

THE JONESES feature documentary will capture Jheri’s quest to find an accepting and loving man; Brad’s search for romance among the mentally challenged; Trevor’s attempts to find a girl who isn’t put off by his lack of experience; and how the three of them stick together as an extremely unique and loving family. Each of their individual journeys to find romance are fevered, funny, often fruitless, but full of heart and human insight.

WHY KICKSTARTER?

Starting December 8th, we're launching our Kickstarter Fundraising Campaign for THE JONESES for just 45 days.  Kickstarter has helped fund numerous documentaries and other creative endeavors, and it’s such a unique opportunity for fans to get involved in the creation of projects that they believe in and ought to be made.  We are so happy to be a part of this platform, and extend the collaborative process of filmmaking to ALL OF YOU out there!

Our goal is to raise $27,500 and we MUST reach our goal for Kickstarter to fund the project. With Kickstarter, it’s all or nothing!  So, if we don't raise a minimum of $27,5000US in 6 weeks time, we won't receive a penny. So we really need your help in making this campaign successful!   Please pledge early and often and remind your friends to do so, too!

If by luck, we surpass our goal, the extra money will be used to pay for the numerous out of pocket expenses the production team has spent already and will spend in the post-production phase.  $27,500 is just a small portion of our total budget, so we would of course appreciate any extra pledges you can help bring to the project!  Combined, Amazon & Kickstarter take around 8% of the funding, so any extra dollar really helps!

Don’t forget - we will not receive any funding unless we 100% meet our goal. 

To make your donation, just click on the green button to the right to “back this project” and it’ll lead you to Amazon.com to process payment.

WHAT’S THE STATUS OF THE PROJECT?

While a portion of filming THE JONESES has been completed, there is still much more to be documented.  While we have been very lucky that The Joneses family has opened up their hearts and homes to this project, we also want to be able to tell a story that transgresses over time.

As there is a lot of trial and error in dating, and relationships naturally progress or decline over time, it is important to return to Mississippi as soon as possible to help document such evolution, yet also without infringing on anybody’s privacy more than necessary.

Initially THE JONESES began as a short documentary (Channel 4 / Brit Docs) and screened at a handful of prestigious film festivals (including HotDocs and Sheffield).  However, it became quite clear early on that a feature length documentary was needed to fully capture this extremely unique, heart warming and endearing family.

WHAT WILL KICKSTARTER FUNDS BE USED FOR?

Money raised from Kickstarter will enable us to finish production on the documentary in 2012 and hire an editor to assemble a rough cut by July.

Once we reach this point, with the rough cut on hand, we will be able to seek financing or sales to close our budget gap so we can properly finish the edit, including sound mix and color correction.

We are hoping for a Festival World Premiere either by the end of 2012 or first quarter of 2013.  We expect the festival exposure will help us secure Distribution for a Theatrical release, followed by DVD/VOD/i-Tunes and TV broadcast worldwide.

Your support truly means so much to us!  It will be able to help us to continue documenting the Joneses heartwarming story and also stay on schedule. And by backing our project, as a bonus, you will also receive our exclusive rewards (to the right) as a small token of our appreciation.  

WHO’S MAKING THIS PROJECT ANYWAYS?

Director/Cinematographer:  Moby Longinotto studied at the National Film School in England where his graduation film “Make Me Proud” was well received at multiple international film festivals and won numerous awards.  Since then, Longinotto has gone on to make strong narrative observational documentaries as well as television programs for UK TV as Director/ Cinematographer.

Highlights of his work include “Bad Boy”, a powerful piece made for the BBC, “Waiting For Khyron”, a moving film about a young couple having a baby for Channel 4, and “Small Town Boy”, a touching film about one teenager’s identity struggles.

Longinotto is currently working on extending “The Joneses” into a feature length documentary film.

Producer:  Aviva Wishnow started out at a handful of notable New York independent film companies and international sales agents.  Over the past 10 years, she’s worked at iDeal Partners Film Fund and consulted at Sierra Pictures and Sidney Kimmel International, among others.

Wishnow’s first feature documentary, BLANK CITY, has been critically acclaimed and had its international premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival (Panorama 2010).  Executive Produced by Andrew Karsch, Fisher Stevens (Oscar Winner “The Cove”), Josh Braun and Dan Braun, the film had its US theatrical release in April of 2011 and will be theatrically released in key territories worldwide in 2012. The film will also be available on DVD/VOD/Itunes February 21, 2012 in the US via Kino Lorber.

Associate Producer: Jordan Mattos is a filmmaker, artist, and programmer with works showcased in Bidoun and Paper magazine. He worked for 5 years as Head of Narrative Acquisitions for IndiePix Films. In 2007 he associate produced BILLY THE KID, which won the Best Documentary award at SXSW and a Cinema Eye Honor for Outstanding Achievement in a Debut Feature. He is currently an associate programmer for the Queens World Film Festival.

Produced In Association with Pure Fragment Films

Founded by Aviva Wishnow and Celine Danhier, Pure Fragment Films produces both fiction and documentary films from burgeoning international filmmakers and includes “Blank City” as it’s inaugural production.

FAQ

  • Great idea! YES you can! Once you donate to our campaign, you can increase your pledge amount and change your reward level before our “closing date”. Just sign-in to Kickstarter, go to our campaign page and click on the blue “Manage Your Donation” button that appears (after a donation is made). Then, you can either enter in a new amount, or choose a new reward.

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  • Of course! Once the project is fully funded, we will send you a message through Kickstarter requesting all your necessary information. If you’d like to make the donation a gift, then you can just let us know all the details of the person you’re gifting to. If this is a belated Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzi gift, we will even send a holiday card!

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  • Once our goal is funded, we will begin creating and shipping incentives. You will get a message through Kickstarter requesting the details we need to complete your order, such as address, T-shirt size, etc. You will receive your gifts as soon as we can possibly send them out.

    For some gifts there may be a wait, as they need to be made, edited or printed. We will be in touch via email and you will be notified about your gifts as they become available.

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  • Yes! Pledge away. And, tell your friends too!

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  • US shipping is included in the pledge amount. (Add $5 for Canada & $7 anywhere outside the US)

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  • Once you click the green “Back This Project” button in the upper right-hand corner, you will be asked to input your pledge amount and select a reward. At this point, you will be taken to Amazon.com to make payment where you will also have the ability to opt out of receiving any reward other than good karma.

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  • Nope. It's anonymous to the public. While Kickstarter lists how many people have placed pledges at various levels, no further information is accessible to the public - including the dollar amount or your name.

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    26 backers

    Special thanks on the film's website and email updates about the film's progress!

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    14 backers Limited (16 left of 30)

    A signed poster by the Director and the above.

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    25 backers All gone!

    A free digital download or DVD of the film upon release and all of the above.

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    13 backers

    For our New York donors, two tickets to attend the Feb. 27 screening of Moby Longinotto's The Joneses (short) and Smalltown Boy! Presented by the NYC LGBT Gay Center. Plus all of the above (including a copy of the completed feature film).

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    9 backers

    A digital download or DVD of Director Moby Longinotto's previous award-winning short film "Smalltown Boy", an I LOVE Mississippi bumper sticker, a postcard of the film's artwork signed by the Director, and all of the above.

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    5 backers Limited (95 left of 100)

    All the above plus a digital download or DVD of the feature documentary "Blank City" (www.blankcityfilm.com) from the producer of The Joneses, as well as a mini-poster on the film.

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    15 backers

    A DVD upon release signed by the Director AND special thank you in the film’s ending credits, a thank you postcard from the Joneses family and all of the above.

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    1 backer Limited (24 left of 25)

    Exclusive Behind-The-Scenes Footage via Digital Download and a limited edition hand-drawn T-Shirt from Jordan Mattos and a special silk screened poster for the film, and all of the above.

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    0 backers

    DVD and Poster signed by the Director and the entire Joneses family! In addition, you will receive a special CD of Mississippi Doo Wop and a personalized mug set for 2 of Robert Indiana's infamous LOVE artwork. Plus all of the above.

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    1 backer Limited (2 left of 3)

    A custom engraved, desk size Robert Indiana LOVE sculpture (that can also double as a paperweight) plus an autographed full sized movie poster for the producers's first documentary BLANK CITY - autographed by John Waters, Jim Jarmusch, Steve Buscemi, Debbie Harry, Thurston Moore (& others)!

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    A one-on-one phonecall or skype session with the Director, Producer or any member of the Joneses Family – it’s your choice! We can talk about anything you like – the weather, your projects, politics or religion. Nothing’s off limits! And, you guessed it!? All of the above.

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    Private dinner party in NY, London, or Mississippi with the Director and/or Producer for you + 1.

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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    Associate Producer Credit on Film & IMDB Entry. Two Tickets to the World Premiere of the Film and After Party. (Travel not included).

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    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    Private Screening of film for you + 1 in NYC, London or LA at the Soho House. Plus a box set of music AND movies from infamous Mississippi born rocker Elvis Presley and a faux fur blanket with a portrait of an informidable white tiger just like The Joneses family owns!

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    0 backers Limited (4 left of 4)

    Co Producer Credit on Film & IMDB Entry. Plus Four Tickets the World Premiere of the Film and After Party (Travel not included). Plus a personalized Mix CD created by the Joneses Family. What will be on it? Nobody knows! Plus three 8x12 professional quality photo prints from set and 5 commercial copies of the DVD upon release.

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    1 backer Limited (2 left of 3)

    All of the above swag plus, a trailer of your very own! That is, a movie trailer. We will have our film's editor cut a trailer for you on any film project you might be working on.

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Spend a weekend filming with the Director and The Joneses family. A 3 night stay in a 4 star hotel in Jackson, Mississippi plus round trip coach airfare (within the continental US) included for one. Get a firsthand look into the documentary filmmaking process and witness the Joneses’ search for love.

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Executive Producer Credit on Film, including your own title card at the start of the film. Plus R/T coach airfare (domestic only) and a 3 night stay in 4 star accommodations for the film’s world premiere for one. Six Tickets to World Premiere of the Film and After Party.

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Funding period

- (45 days)