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J STREET, an independent documentary, follows an upstart lobby group on the frontline of the world's most intractable conflict.
J STREET, an independent documentary, follows an upstart lobby group on the frontline of the world's most intractable conflict.
328 backers pledged $40,270 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$40,270

328

WE DID IT!

To all of you who have contributed, spread the word, Facebooked, tweeted, increased your pledge, THANK YOU! Knowing that you all feel so strongly about bringing this project to the world is incredibly inspiring. As we've written to many of you individually, it is both humbling and energizing. We can’t wait to get back to editing this film.

But we still have four days to go, so what should we do? Let's keep the momentum up. This campaign was to raise funds to finish filming and get to a rough cut. But we know that we’re going to have some big costs when it comes to buying the archival footage necessary to help tell our story. Then there will be graphics, color correction, sound mix, ... and more. We’re setting a stretch goal of an additional $10,000 to raise by this Thursday to help cover those costs. So if anyone you spoke to was planning on giving but hasn’t yet, let them know that their contribution is as valuable as ever.

IN THE NEWS

+972 recently published and Op-Ed that we wrote: http://972mag.com/j-street-past-present-and-future-lets-get-on-with-it/70336/

The Times of Israel wrote a curious article about us: http://www.timesofisrael.com/film-examines-j-streets-ambiguous-approach-to-pro-israel-groups/

SNEAK PREVIEW CLIPS (share with your friends!)

About the film

Three years ago, we began to track the career of J Street, the new lobby fighting to change the "rulebook" on America's relationship with Israel.

Formed around progressive Jewish groups, but seeking to organize all concerned Americans, J Street offers a bold vision for Middle East peace and US regional policy by asserting that a two-state solution is Israel’s only hope for a viable future. Furthermore, J Street maintains, any peace deal will require the Obama administration to be more active in ending the deadlock with the Palestinians. In order for the US to take this muscular role, however, the conversation about the issue must open up at home.  The term “pro-Israel” must mean more than speaking in platitudes about the two nations’ “special relationship” while turning a blind eye to political decisions that go against core democratic principles.  J Street’s strong stance challenges incumbent political forces in Washington and around the US and has revealed a fault line in the American Jewish community.  A debate is raging. 

For the members of J Street, there is a crucial distinction between those who are “anti-Israel” and those who challenge some policies of the Israeli government. This has proven to be a fault line in the American Jewish community.

J Street: The Documentary follows the lobby from its rise. More than just another story about the Israel-Palestine conflict, the film will highlight the importance of dissent in a democracy, and the need for establishing a constructive dialogue around our most divisive issues. We've followed J Street with extraordinary access, filming behind-the-scenes during high-level strategy meetings, long nights on the road, and at speaking events—some of which see J Street representatives accused of being traitors and anti-Semites. We’ve amassed 200 hours of footage, following J Street founder Jeremy Ben-Ami and his colleagues through some of their greatest triumphs and most profound doubts. We’ve interviewed players and observers from Ehud Olmert and Ami Ayalon, to Thomas Friedman and Alan Dershowitz.

Now we need to go into the edit room to craft that footage into a compelling feature-length documentary, so that we can bring these personal stories and political debates to audiences across America. 

And we need your help to make it happen.  

What we need and why

Our primary goal is to raise $35,000 on Kickstarter to finish shooting interviews with our main characters and to complete editing. Our secondary goal is to raise an additional $90,000 to complete the film. This additional money will be spent on costly archival footage acquisition, sound mixing, color-correction, animations, music, title graphics and outreach.

Last November, we pitched this project to international broadcasters at the IDFA Forum, where it was warmly received and several countries expressed broadcast interest, including YES docu, Israel’s satellite cable network. But we still have an editing cycle to go before J Street: The Documentary can be pitched to television networks worldwide.

To be clear, “we” are independent filmmakers with no affiliation to J Street. But this means we have to raise money independently. So please support J Street: The Documentary in any way you can. There are some great incentives for you to get involved at various levels of support.

Every dollar pledged makes a difference. Kickstarter is "all-or-nothing" - so your pledge won’t be charged unless we reach our goal of $35,000 by May 9th. And if you believe in what we’re doing, please help spread the word by following us on Facebook or Twitter, and sharing this link with your friends:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1922576882/j-street-the-documentary

Thank you so much for your support.

Filming at the Democratic National Convention.
Filming at the Democratic National Convention.

Two Things You Can Do  

1.Make a Pledge!

Whether it’s $5, $25, $100, $1000 or more, your contribution will go directly towards helping us finish J Street: The Documentary, bringing this important story to national and international audiences.

2. Help Spread the Word

The success of our campaign really depends on getting the word out to as many people as possible. So even if you can’t make a pledge, please consider supporting us by sharing this link with your friends via email, Facebook or Twitter. You can also like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or sign up for our email newsletter to stay up-to-date as we progress with the film.

Risks and challenges

Documentary filmmaking is always a risky and unpredictable endeavor. Sometimes shooting or editing takes longer than expected, since you never know exactly how your story and characters’ lives will evolve. We anticipate shooting additional interviews for the next 3 months while simultaneously working towards a rough cut deadline of this summer, 2013. After that we’ll submit the film to festivals and start raising additional funds to complete a professional sound mix and color correction so that the film is ready for the big screen and television broadcast.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Every dollar counts and no pledge is too small. You’ll receive our undying gratitude AND a personal thank you message from the filmmakers!

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    You’ll be the first to receive a password-protected digital download of the film when it’s released! You’ll also receive a personal thank you message and mention on our web page.

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    Get the satisfaction of seeing your name on the big screen when the J STREET credits roll at a theater near you. You’ll also receive a digital download of the film, thanks from the filmmakers, and acknowledgement on our web page.

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    For giving us an opportunity to make this film, we'll give you a glimpse into the filmmaking process! You'll receive access to a password-protected page that features exclusive excerpts from the film while we're editing. Plus all of the above rewards.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Your gift package will include a special bonus: a signed copy of THE HEBREW REPUBLIC by Bernard Avishai, an advisor to the project. You’ll also receive a special Kickstarter-edition DVD and all of the above rewards.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Join us on the red carpet to celebrate the festival premiere of J STREET in your area (travel costs not included). We’ll even thank you for your support in front of the audience! AND you’ll receive a gift package with all of the above rewards. Not bad.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    For your incredible kindness and generosity, you’ll get 2 tickets to the festival premiere (travel not included) and your gift package will include a limited-edition photo book with a behind-the-scenes look at the making of J STREET, signed by the filmmakers. And of course, you’ll receive all of the above rewards too!

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    Ever wondered what it’s like to edit a feature-length documentary? At this level, you can watch J STREET take shape with a sneak peak at clips and scenes as we’re editing throughout the year. PLUS you’ll receive all of the above rewards - tickets to the premiere, a DVD, behind-the-scenes photo book, THE HEBREW REPUBLIC by project advisor Bernard Avishai and more. That’s an armload of prizes!

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    If you want to be even more involved in the filmmaking process, this is your chance. We’ll set up a private screening with the filmmakers so you can see a rough cut of J STREET before anyone else! Of course, we’ll also invite you to join us at the premiere and send you all of the above rewards.

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    Welcome to the Producer’s Circle. You'll be credited on screen as an "Associate Producer" in the credits of J STREET and on IMDb. We’ll take you out to dinner to meet the filmmakers and some of the film’s subjects. You’ll also get a private rough cut screening, tickets to the premiere, a behind-the-scenes photo book, signed copy of THE HEBREW REPUBLIC by Bernard Avishai, Kickstarter-edition DVD and digital download. Not to mention our endless gratitude for your generosity and faith in this film.

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Funding period

- (31 days)