Funded! This project was successfully funded on March 23, 2012.

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We'll follow Jorgen Leth, director of A Sunday in Hell, during the 2012 Paris Roubaix. A grueling bike race his film helped popularize.

We are still accepting pledges in exchange for rewards. The money being raised on Kickstarter is just a portion of what is needed to produce this film, so we could really use your continued contributions. Thank you.

BONUS: all contributors over $30 will receive a Film Postcard in addition to selected reward. Thank you.

What is the project?

In 1976 Danish Filmmaker Jorgen Leth made the legendary sports and cycling film, A Sunday in Hell, about the Paris Roubaix cycling race. It defined a genre and helped put the Paris-Roubaix on the global sporting map. Leth now comments on the race for television.

We plan to follow Leth as he prepares for and comments on the race. We’ll be with him from his hotel in Paris until the end of the race at the Roubaix Velodrome. Along the way our team of photographers and filmmakers will shoot footage of the race, crowds and Leth himself caught up in the excitement of sport. We’ll capture the intense effort of contemporary pro racers, and will be sure to include stars from cycling’s past.

The Commentator will screen all over the world as part of the Bicycle Film Festival programming.

Why are we making this film?

We all have deep respect for Jorgen and are great fans of his work. We’ve had the idea for this film for a while, but have just this year decided to set things in motion to make it happen.

Everyone on the crew has their own connection to Jorgen, some have worked with him others are friends and still others are great admirers of his work.

A Sunday in Hell changed not just the way sports documentaries are filmed, but the very nature of sports coverage. It painstakingly documents the sometimes-brutal sport of cycling on one if its most historic and challenging courses.

Leth essentially created a blueprint for cycling coverage that lives on to this day.

We take inspiration from Leth’s work and hope to discover more about the grueling Paris-Roubaix.

What will the contribution be used for?

The $27,000 we’re asking for is going almost entirely to production. The funds will fly our team of filmmakers, photographers and technicians to France and cover their equipment, incidentals and accommodations while filming the race. Any extra funding will be used for post-production and prize materials associated with the kick-starter campaign.

Who are we? 

We are fortunate to have assembled an amazing and accomplished crew for this project.

Albert Maysles: Is an acclaimed, Oscar nominated documentary filmmaker, and one of the early creators of the “Direct Cinema” movement in documentary filmmaking.  Albert has directed over 40 films and worked as a cinematographer on countless others. His notable films include; Grey Gardens, Gimme Shelter and The Salesman.  Albert is our cinematographer and will follow and shoot Jorgen.

Stefan Ruiz: Is the former creative director for Colors Magazine. Ruiz is an accomplished commercial and fine art photographer and has photographed everything from presidents and rock stars to high profile ad campaigns.

Brian Vernor: Is a photographer and filmmaker who has defined the aesthetic of contemporary cycling with his films Where Are You Go? and Cyclocross Meeting. Vernor shoots for Outside Magazine, Bicycling Magazine, Rapha and his own Makers series.

Patrick Trefz: Is a filmmaker and photographer known for his commercial work and is considered one of the most influential photographers and filmmakers in the surfing world. 

Laura Coxson: Has produced numerous films with Albert Maysles including Muhammed and Larry and The Love We Make.

Blonde Redhead: Legendary New York rock band Blonde Redhead will score our film.

Director, Brendt Barbur began the Bicycle Film Festival 12 years ago after being hit by a bus while riding in New York City. Undeterred, he set out to turn a bad experience into a positive one and founded an event that celebrates the bicycle through art, music and film. Since then he's curated art shows, produced films and put on over 150 festivals worldwide. Barbur's efforts have been recognized in profiles and interviews by MTV, BBC, The Wall Street Journal, Interview, GQ, Nowness and more.

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    9 backers

    Film postcard 


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    236 backers

    Digital Download of the THE COMMENTATOR

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    THE COMMENTATOR BOOK Designed by Rebekah Maysles and Stefan Ruiz With photo and text contributions by the entire crew.

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    46 backers

    THE COMMENTATOR DVD with bonus A CONVERSATION WITH JORGEN LETH (interview of Leth at Sundance 2003 7min.).

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    6 backers Limited (194 left of 200)

    Mark Cavendish world champion jersey portrait by Stefan Ruiz 8X10 ink jet print

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    DVD and BOOK

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    DVD and BOOK signed by Albert Maysles, Rebekah Maysles. Brendt Barbur, Blonde Redhead, Stefan Ruiz and 
Laura Coxson, Nick Canfield. 50 limit.

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    Blonde Redhead designed Silk Screen Print Poster Limited Edition 200.

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    An amazing dinner for you and two of your friends made by and with Simone Pace (Blonde Redhead), Amedeo Pace (Blonde Redhead) and Brendt Barbur (BFF) at the BFF HQ in NYC. Accommodation and transportation additional if not in the NYC-area.

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    Invite Only Screening with Crew and Friends in New York City. DVD and BOOK 75 person limit. Date to be determined.

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    Incredible Handmade "Paris-Roubaix" quilt (numbered and dated) by textile artist Kaimi Niemann. Hand-stitched cobbles!

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    Dinner with the crew Blonde Redhead, Laura Coxson, Stefan Ruiz, Albert Maysles, Rebekah Maysles, and Brendt Barbur and 6 places available.

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    New York private screening at your home, office or other semi private venues (add equipment venue, rental costs if needed) in New York City. Introduction by director Brendt Barbur. Perfect for the office, cycling club or local bike shop.

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    Anywhere In the world private screening at your home, office or other venues (add equipment, venue, rental costs if needed), Introduction by director Brendt Barbur. Accommodation and transportation for Brendt Barbur are additional.

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Funding period

- (24 days)