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Support our life-affirming, climate-changing, bee-saving film about mushrooms, featuring Paul Stamets and produced by Lyn Lear.
Thank you for supporting our life-affirming, climate-changing, bee-saving film about mushrooms, featuring Paul Stamets and produced by Lyn Lear. For more information about the upcoming film, visit us at Fantastic Fungi.
Thank you for supporting our life-affirming, climate-changing, bee-saving film about mushrooms, featuring Paul Stamets and produced by Lyn Lear. For more information about the upcoming film, visit us at Fantastic Fungi.
1,692 backers pledged $133,684 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Fantastic Fungi - a film by Louie Schwartzberg

$133,684

1,692

Help us reach our stretch goal of $125,000. The additional funding will give us the budget we need to film time-lapse of mycelium, giving the perspective of lifting up the forest floor to reveal the mysteries of this underground network. 

An all-star team of artists, scientists, doctors and explorers are joining forces to create a life-affirming, mind-bending film about the mushroom and its mysterious root-like structure: mycelium. What they reveal will blow your mind, and possibly save the planet. Join us in this Year of Soils (as declared by the United Nations) to learn more about this critical solution for climate change.

Here's Louie Schwartzberg and Paul Stamets discussing the film:

Fantastic Fungi is an important scientific exploration and visual journey through the exotic, little-known realm of fungi, directed by Louie Schwartzberg, an award-winning master of nature imagery, special-effects cinematography and storytelling that is both informative and inspiring.

We begin with our cameras exploring a vast and startling realm. We discover fungi’s enormity; the largest organism on the planet is a 2,200+ acre mycelium fungal mat more than two thousand years old! We experience their beauty; our cameras capture jewel-like mushrooms in countless shapes and in brilliant colors, from pink and yellow to turquoise. And, ultimately, we realize fungi’s potential; the film takes us on a journey that reveals mycelium as the key to the regeneration of our living planet.

Mesmerizing time-lapse imagery reveals their remarkable toughness, as mushrooms power up through dead wood and stone-hard asphalt. As we watch fungi turn solid rock into soil, we grasp a key mechanism of life on Earth: fungi are not just decomposers, but composers continually producing the ingredients of new life, sustaining our ecosystem.

But these small, mighty miracles don’t stop there. The complex chemistry of mycelium produces antibiotics powerful enough to prevent many diseases and to stop pandemics, even an E.coli or smallpox attack by terrorists. Legendary researcher Paul Stamets explains, “Our strongest existing antibiotics come from fungi. They fight off the same microbes we do with defenses we can use.”

Paul goes on to explain that expanding fungi-generated soils around the world could absorb vast amounts of carbon dioxide and help control climate change. These organisms can be fantastic allies in our efforts to protect ourselves and to rejuvenate our entire ecosphere.

YES! An artistically-shot, scientifically-sound, life-affirming film about mycelium: the incredible, intelligent network under our feet that has the proven ability to restore our ecosystem, repair our health, and resurrect our symbiotic relationship to nature. Fantastic Fungi aspires to be an educational, inspirational, and ultimately critical film that explores the uses and benefits of fungi in three critical areas.

First, we uncover the research that shows mycelium as a viable alternative to western pharmacology, including treatment for breast cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and PTSD. Second, we reveal studies that point to mycelium as a solution to our gravest environmental challenges, such as toxic oil spills and colony collapse disorder. Finally, we marvel at mycelium's proven benefit on shifting consciousness and aiding in deep personal transformation. The research, discoveries, and anecdotal evidence we've gathered is astounding, particularly when shared through Louie’s visual storytelling.

Here's a sneak peak of our movie poster. Special thank you to Marianna Armata's photography. (Ooohhhh and aaaaahs are totally appropriate):

You’re a filmmaker and you have a Hollywood producer? Why are you doing a Kickstarter campaign?

Simply put, big studios won’t make the film that needs to be made, can’t tell the story that needs to be told and aren't bold enough to create the change necessary to shift our climate and consciousness. Through Kickstarter, we can reach engaged citizens like you who are motivated to create meaningful change and who want to be a part of this revolution. When you vote with your dollar, you send a message about what you value. This is how we ignite meaningful change.

Mushrooms are mighty miracles that deserve a mighty film - a film that can only be told from the front lines, from the doctors, scientists, and artists who have learned the language of nature. Together we can create the shift in consciousness needed to restore our planet.

Louie Schwartzberg (Director, Cinematographer), brought you Wings of Life, a Disneynature film about pollination narrated by Meryl Streep, the 3D IMAX Mysteries of the Unseen World currently playing worldwide in collaboration with National Geographic and narrated by Forest Whitaker, and the ground-breaking Ultra HD nature series, Moving Art, on Netflix. Louie is a master at making the invisible visible, unveiling the mysteries that are beyond human vision. He’s the recipient of two Clio Awards for Environmental PSA, an Emmy Nomination for Best Cinematography, The NAACP Pollinator Protector Award, the Jackson Hole Media Science Award for Best Immersive Cinema for Mysteries of the Unseen World, Best Theatrical Film for Wings of Life at the Jackson Hole Science Media Awards, Best Moving Picture Award from the Heartland Film Festival for America’s Heart & Soul, and Best Film Inspiration at the Ocean Film Festival for Gratitude. He was recognized as one of the "Top 70 Cinematographers" for the Kodak On Film Salute Series. He has wowed audiences on stages across the globe including TED, Bioneers, NASA and Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. Louie directed and Lyn Lear produced What’s Possible to open the UN Climate Summit in New York, and A World of Solutions for the UN climate Summit in Lima. His three TED talks have been viewed over 45MM times worldwide.

Paul Stamets (Authority), the leading mycologist in his field, has discovered and coauthored several new species of mushrooms and pioneered countless techniques in the field of mushroom cultivation. Recipient of the Bioneers Award, the Founder of a New Northwest Award and National Geographic Adventure Magazine's Green-Novator and the Argosy Foundation's E-chievement Awards. He was also named one of Utne Reader's "50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World”. In 2014, Paul was chosen to be an "Invention Ambassador" by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the largest and most prestigious scientific organization in the world.

Here's Paul talking about his hat, made 100% from mushrooms:

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Lyn Davis Lear (Producer) is an activist, philanthropist and president of L&L Media.

Ms. Lear co-founded the Environmental Media Association (EMA) in 1989 to bring awareness to the public about global environmental issues through multimedia platforms. She is on the board of The Sundance Institute, the Los Angeles County Museum of the Arts and The Norman Lear Center at USC, among others. Ms. Lear has been given many awards, most recently, along with the honorable Al Gore, the UCLA IoES recognition for Environmental Excellence.

Ms. Lear has produced and executive produced several documentaries, including Cesar's Last Fast, which was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Working with director Louie Schwartzberg, she produced What's Possible, the opening film for the 2014 UN Climate Summit in NYC for Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. Together they created a second film, A World of Solutions, shown at the Lima, Peru climate summit in December. Both were simulcast around the world in six languages. Ms. Lear has a Ph.D in Clinical Psychology, is married to producer Norman Lear and has three children.

Dr. Andrew Weil (Contributor) is a doctor, teacher, best selling author and pioneer in alternative medicine. He is founder, professor, and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona and is widely credited for establishing the field of integrative medicine.

Our Tribe also includes best-selling author and activist Michael Pollan, food author Eugenia Bone, permaculturist Michael Judd, educator Christine Fischer, Philosoforager Alan Muskat, Professor of Ecology Suzanne Simard, and others.

We are asking for $100K to push us towards the finish line for this film. $100K is only a fraction of what it takes to make a film, but we have incredible angel investors who have committed to matching our Kickstarter fundraiser up to $1MM! Your investment will be doubled by committed eco-warriors who believe in this film as much as you do.

Kickstarter is all or nothing. If we raise our minimum amount of $100K, we promise to make an incredible film that will change the way we view nature.

*We’re offering a special reward for the first 100 backers of $100 or more. Help us spread this message and build awareness about the power of nature to restore our planet.

Every penny (minus the fees paid to Kickstarter) will go directly to the “Fantastic Fungi”movie budget - i.e. your money goes directly to the making of this film.

Want to read more about our cast or simply learn more about the mighty miracle that is the mushroom? Visit fantasticfungi.com or visit us on social media:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FungiFilm

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/FantasticFungi

Twitter: http://twitter.com/FantasticFungi

Tumblr: http://fantastic-fungi.tumblr.com

Steller: http://steller.co/fantasticfungi

When will the movie be made?

We’ve begun filming Fantastic Fungi, but have paused in order to raise more funds. As soon as we successfully raise the next round of funding through generous eco-warriors like you, we will proceed and complete the filming in the fall of 2015.

When will it be released?

Fingers crossed, we’d like to release the film in January 2016 at Sundance.

Fine Print

If you have a non-speaking walk on role or receive a cast credit, you must be a US citizen or have a US work visa, and not be a member of SAG/AFTRA. Extras must also be over 18. Location to be determined.

You must be over 18 or accompanied by a parent or legal guardian (who will count as your plus one) to attend the premiere or visit the set.

If you are appearing in the film, you will have to sign a release.

Risks and challenges

As seasoned filmmakers and movie producers, we have collectively created dozens of successful films, so there’s little risk involved once we procure the funds to finish this film. We have great relationships with the heads of major distribution companies, the technical know-how, understand the ins-and-outs of the film industry and most importantly, are driven by a purposeful passion to bring this life-affirming story to the masses. Any other challenges we face are par for the course, like coordinating shoot schedules and locations with our very busy cast and crew, for example.

The risk lies in NOT creating this film. We believe (and have scientific backup to support this belief) that a shift in awareness about our environment and health is absolutely critical. The time is now. If we wait for big business and government to take initiative, it will be too late. We must come together as conscious citizens and support the initiatives that will make positive, lasting change for our planet for generations to come. The research on mycelium is astounding, and we must make it common knowledge and give more power back to the people to make better decisions.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Our sincere THANK YOU for helping us make this film a reality and spreading the word! You'll be subscribed to hear updates about the film and to show our gratitude, we're sending you:

    +An Official Fantastic Fungi Wallpaper Download.
    +A Copy of the Fantastic Fungi E-book "50 Fungi Facts" by Eugenia Bone

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    We'll send you a digital download of Fantastic Fungi!

    You'll also receive an official Fantastic Fungi Wallpaper Download & be subscribed to updates about the film.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    We'll send you a copy of Fantastic Fungi on DVD!

    You'll also receive an official Fantastic Fungi Wallpaper Download & be subscribed to updates about the film.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    We'll send you a copy of Fantastic Fungi on Blu-ray!

    You'll also receive an official Fantastic Fungi Wallpaper Download & be subscribed to updates about the film.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    We'll send you a copy of Fantastic Fungi on DVD OR Blu-ray, a digital download of Fantastic Fungi, AND we'll send you 5 unique official Fantastic Fungi collector postcards!

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Moving Art by Louie Schwartzberg Fan Package!
    You'll receive:

    +An Autographed DVD of "Majestic Nature" by Louie Schwartzberg
    +An Official Fantastic Fungi Film Poster
    +Fantastic Fungi on DVD OR Blu-Ray
    +A Digital Download of Fantastic Fungi

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Paul Stamets Fan Package!
    You'll receive:

    +A copy of "Mycelium Running" by Paul Stamets
    +An Official Fantastic Fungi Film Poster
    +Fantastic Fungi on DVD OR Blu-Ray
    +A Digital Download of Fantastic Fungi

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Fantastic Foodie Fan Package!
    You'll receive:

    +A copy of Eugenia Bone's "The Kitchen Ecosystem: Integrating Recipes to Create Delicious Meals"
    +An Official Fantastic Fungi Film Poster
    +Fantastic Fungi on DVD OR Blu-Ray
    +A Digital Download of Fantastic Fungi

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    You'll Receive:

    +Virtual Admittance to a Private Q&A with Louie Schwartzberg & Paul Stamets! Attend a live online 1 hour Q&A where Louie & Paul will answer your questions about all things fungi.
    +YOUR NAME listed on the Fantastic Fungi website homepage thanking you for your contribution
    +An Official Fantastic Fungi Film Poster
    +A Copy of Fantastic Fungi on Blu-ray OR DVD
    +A Digital Download of Fantastic Fungi

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    For the 1st 100 $100-level backers, Louie Schwartzberg will record a video messaging thanking YOU by name for supporting the creation of this groundbreaking film!

    You'll Also Receive:

    +Virtual Admittance to a Private Q&A with Louie Schwartzberg & Paul Stamets! Attend a live online 1 hour Q&A where Louie & Paul will answer your questions about all things fungi.
    +YOUR NAME listed on the Fantastic Fungi website homepage thanking you for your contribution
    +An Official Fantastic Fungi Film Poster
    +A Copy of Fantastic Fungi on Blu-ray OR DVD
    +A Digital Download of Fantastic Fungi

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    Reward no longer available 100 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    You'll Receive:

    +Virtual Admittance to a Private Q&A with Louie Schwartzberg & Paul Stamets! Attend a live online 1 hour Q&A where Louie and Paul will answer your questions about all things fungi.
    +YOUR NAME listed on the Fantastic Fungi website homepage thanking you for your contribution
    +An Autographed DVD of "Majestic Nature" by Louie Schwartzberg
    +A copy of "Mycelium Running" by Paul Stamets
    +A copy of Eugenia Bone's "The Kitchen Ecosystem: Integrating Recipes to Create Delicious Meals”
    +A Copy of Fantastic Fungi on Blu-ray OR DVD
    +An Official Fantastic Fungi Film Poster
    +A Digital Download of Fantastic Fungi

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    23 backers
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    You'll Receive:

    +Virtual Admittance to a *special* $500-level & above Backer's Only Private Q&A with Louie Schwartzberg & Paul Stamets! Attend a live online 1 hour Q&A where Louie & Paul will answer your questions about all things fungi!

    You'll Also Receive:

    +YOUR NAME listed on the Fantastic Fungi website homepage thanking you for your contribution
    +An Autographed DVD of "Majestic Nature" by Louie Schwartzberg
    +A copy of "Mycelium Running" by Paul Stamets
    +A copy of Eugenia Bone's "The Kitchen Ecosystem: Integrating Recipes to Create Delicious Meals"
    +A Copy of Fantastic Fungi on Blu-ray OR DVD
    +An *Autographed* Official Fantastic Fungi Film Poster
    +A Digital Download of Fantastic Fungi

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    In addition to everything at the regular $500 reward-level, one lucky supporter will receive:

    Two (2) tickets to Plant Consciousness event in London (September 2015; Transportation & lodging not included)

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  14. Select this reward

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

    You'll Receive:

    +An Official Thank You with YOUR NAME listed in the Fantastic Fungi Film Credits
    +An Invitation to the Fantastic Fungi wrap party in Los Angeles (transportation & lodging not provided)

    You'll also receive everything at the $500-level:

    +Virtual Admittance to a *special* $500 level & above Backer's Only Private Q&A with Louie Schwartzberg & Paul Stamets! Attend a live online 1 hour Q&A where Louie & Paul will answer your questions about all things fungi!
    +YOUR NAME listed on the Fantastic Fungi website homepage thanking you for your contribution
    +An Autographed DVD of "Majestic Nature" by Louie Schwartzberg
    +A copy of "Mycelium Running" by Paul Stamets
    +A copy of Eugenia Bone's "The Kitchen Ecosystem: Integrating Recipes to Create Delicious Meals"
    +A Copy of Fantastic Fungi on Blu-ray OR DVD
    +An *Autographed* Official Fantastic Fungi Film Poster
    +A Digital Download of Fantastic Fungi

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    22 backers
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  15. Select this reward

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

    You'll Receive:

    +A One-on-One Skype Phone Call with Louie Schwartzberg
    +A Non-Speaking Walk on Role in the Film (Transportation & lodging not provided.)

    You'll also receive everything at the $1,000-level:

    +An Official Thank You with YOUR NAME listed in the Fantastic Fungi Film Credits
    +An Invitation to the Fantastic Fungi wrap party in Los Angeles (transportation & lodging not provided)
    +Virtual Admittance to a *special* $500 level & above Backer's Only Private Q&A with Louie Schwartzberg & Paul Stamets! Attend a live online 1 hour Q&A where Louie & Paul will answer your questions about all things fungi!
    +YOUR NAME listed on the Fantastic Fungi website homepage thanking you for your contribution
    +An Autographed DVD of "Majestic Nature" by Louie Schwartzberg
    +A copy of "Mycelium Running" by Paul Stamets
    +A copy of Eugenia Bone's "The Kitchen Ecosystem: Integrating Recipes to Create Delicious Meals"
    +A Copy of Fantastic Fungi on Blu-ray OR DVD
    +An *Autographed* Official Fantastic Fungi Film Poster
    +A Digital Download of Fantastic Fungi

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    2 backers
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  16. Select this reward

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

    You and a guest are invited to attend a dinner with Louie Schwartzberg & Eugenia Bone in New York City! (Transportation & lodging not provided.)

    You'll Also Receive:

    +A Non-Speaking Walk on Role in the Film (Transportation & lodging not provided.)
    +An Official Thank You with YOUR NAME listed in the Fantastic Fungi Film Credits
    +An Invitation to the Fantastic Fungi wrap party in Los Angeles (transportation & lodging not provided)
    +Virtual Admittance to a *special* $500 level & above Backer's Only Private Q&A with Louie Schwartzberg & Paul Stamets! Attend a live online 1 hour Q&A where Louie & Paul will answer your questions about all things fungi!
    +YOUR NAME listed on the Fantastic Fungi website homepage thanking you for your contribution
    +An Autographed DVD of “Majestic Nature” by Louie Schwartzberg
    +A copy of "Mycelium Running" by Paul Stamets
    +A copy of Eugenia Bone's "The Kitchen Ecosystem: Integrating Recipes to Create Delicious Meals"
    +A Copy of Fantastic Fungi on Blu-ray OR DVD
    +An *Autographed* Official Fantastic Fungi Film Poster
    +A Digital Download of Fantastic Fungi

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 2 backers
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  17. Select this reward

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

    You and a guest are invited to attend a dinner with Louie Schwartzberg in Los Angeles! (Transportation & lodging not provided.)

    You'll Also Receive:

    +A Non-Speaking Walk on Role in the Film (Transportation & lodging not provided.)
    +An Official Thank You with YOUR NAME listed in the Fantastic Fungi Film Credits
    +An Invitation to the Fantastic Fungi wrap party in Los Angeles (transportation & lodging not provided)
    +Virtual Admittance to a *special* $500 level & above Backer's Only Private Q&A with Louie Schwartzberg & Paul Stamets! Attend a live online 1 hour Q&A where Louie & Paul will answer your questions about all things fungi!
    +YOUR NAME listed on the Fantastic Fungi website homepage thanking you for your contribution
    +An Autographed DVD of “Majestic Nature” by Louie Schwartzberg
    +A copy of "Mycelium Running" by Paul Stamets
    +A copy of Eugenia Bone's "The Kitchen Ecosystem: Integrating Recipes to Create Delicious Meals"
    +A Copy of Fantastic Fungi on Blu-ray OR DVD
    +An *Autographed* Official Fantastic Fungi Film Poster
    +A Digital Download of Fantastic Fungi

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
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  18. Select this reward

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

    You are invited to dine with Louie Schwartzberg & Eugenia Bone at Eugenia's home in New York City where she will cook dinner for you and a guest! (Transportation & lodging not provided.)

    You'll Also Receive:

    +A Non-Speaking Walk on Role in the Film (Transportation & lodging not provided.)
    +An Official Thank You with YOUR NAME listed in the Fantastic Fungi Film Credits
    +An Invitation to the Fantastic Fungi wrap party in Los Angeles (transportation & lodging not provided)
    +Virtual Admittance to a *special* $500 level & above Backer's Only Private Q&A with Louie Schwartzberg & Paul Stamets! Attend a live online 1 hour Q&A where Louie & Paul will answer your questions about all things fungi!
    +YOUR NAME listed on the Fantastic Fungi website homepage thanking you for your contribution
    +An Autographed DVD of “Majestic Nature” by Louie Schwartzberg
    +A copy of "Mycelium Running" by Paul Stamets
    +A copy of Eugenia Bone's "The Kitchen Ecosystem: Integrating Recipes to Create Delicious Meals"
    +A Copy of Fantastic Fungi on Blu-ray OR DVD
    +An *Autographed* Official Fantastic Fungi Film Poster
    +A Digital Download of Fantastic Fungi

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
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  19. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Louie Schwartzberg will come to your hometown and host a private screening of Fantastic Fungi for you and your group of friends! (Limited to United States only.)

    You'll Also Receive:

    +A Non-Speaking Walk on Role in the Film (Transportation & lodging not provided.)
    +An Official Thank You with YOUR NAME listed in the Fantastic Fungi Film Credits
    +An Invitation to the Fantastic Fungi wrap party in Los Angeles (transportation & lodging not provided)
    +Virtual Admittance to a *special* $500 level & above Backer's Only Private Q&A with Louie Schwartzberg & Paul Stamets! Attend a live online 1 hour Q&A where Louie & Paul will answer your questions about all things fungi!
    +YOUR NAME listed on the Fantastic Fungi website homepage thanking you for your contribution
    +An Autographed DVD of "Majestic Nature" by Louie Schwartzberg
    +A copy of "Mycelium Running" by Paul Stamets
    +A copy of Eugenia Bone's "The Kitchen Ecosystem: Integrating Recipes to Create Delicious Meals"
    +A Copy of Fantastic Fungi on Blu-ray OR DVD
    +An *Autographed* Official Fantastic Fungi Film Poster
    +A Digital Download of Fantastic Fungi

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
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  20. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    One lucky backer of $10,000 will receive an iconic, one-of-a kind Mushroom Hat as worn by Paul Stamets & a private dinner with Louie Schwartzberg and Producer Lyn Lear at the Los Angeles home of Norman and Lyn Lear. (Transportation & lodging not provided.)

    You'll Also Receive:

    +A Non-Speaking Walk on Role in the Film (Transportation & lodging not provided.)
    +An Official Thank You with YOUR NAME listed in the Fantastic Fungi Film Credits
    +An Invitation to the Fantastic Fungi wrap party in Los Angeles (transportation & lodging not provided)
    +Virtual Admittance to a *special* $500 level & above Backer's Only Private Q&A with Louie Schwartzberg & Paul Stamets! Attend a live online 1 hour Q&A where Louie & Paul will answer your questions about all things fungi!
    +YOUR NAME listed on the Fantastic Fungi website homepage thanking you for your contribution
    +An Autographed DVD of "Majestic Nature" by Louie Schwartzberg
    +A copy of "Mycelium Running" by Paul Stamets
    +A copy of Eugenia Bone's "The Kitchen Ecosystem: Integrating Recipes to Create Delicious Meals"
    +A Copy of Fantastic Fungi on Blu-ray OR DVD
    +An *Autographed* Official Fantastic Fungi Film Poster
    +A Digital Download of Fantastic Fungi

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
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Funding period

- (30 days)