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A man’s quest for a final resting place that will benefit the earth leads him to the burgeoning green burial movement.
259 backers pledged $41,225 to help bring this project to life.

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A WILL FOR THE WOODS — Finishing, Outreach & Distribution project video thumbnail
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$41,225

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Reaching our stretch goals will enable us to launch a strong distribution campaign that could advance this movement into the mainstream consciousness.


STRETCH GOAL UPDATE:
 

We have reached our base goal -- huge thanks to everyone who has contributed so far! 

We want to humbly ask for your support to help move us forward as far as possible -- and we will of course continue to offer the same rewards to anyone who contributes to the film. From now on, every dollar contributed will go directly towards implementing an extensive grassroots campaign centered around the film to advance this environmental and social movement. With all four filmmakers working for free, you know that your donation is going directly towards these efforts.

Our dream is to put a beautiful, meaningful film out into the world, and we can't thank you enough for believing in the value of this project and helping to bring it to life!

-- Amy, Jeremy, Tony, and Brian
The A Will for the Woods team

A “must-see documentary” which “has the potential to affect not just individual viewers but the American way of death.”
- TED Blog


VIDEO UPDATE:

As we approach our August 10th deadline, we have a video update to share, complete with a clip from the film! Check it out below, and help A Will for the Woods meet (and surpass!) our goal.

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WELCOME!

We are an independent feature documentary film in the final stages of post-production and looking towards an extensive grassroots distribution campaign. If you’re new to Kickstarter or crowdfunding in general, this is a way to help build a community of support for independent film – and in this case the green burial movement! We are launching this campaign to help kick off our summer/fall film festival tour, having recently returned from our screenings at the American Film Institute Documentary Festival (AFI Docs) in DC.

(As with all projects on Kickstarter, we only get funded if the minimum goal is met. Every contribution counts! There are more detailed instructions on how to use Kickstarter at the bottom of this page.)

ABOUT THE FILM:

Folk dancer, musician, and psychiatrist Clark advocates for natural burial – and plans his own – while battling lymphoma. Capturing the genesis of a revolutionary social and environmental movement, this film is a life-affirming portrait of people coming to terms with death by embracing its essential role in nature.

WHAT IS GREEN BURIAL?

It is an environmental and social movement to return to a simple, natural, and traditional end-of-life ritual that embraces the cycle of decay and regeneration. As an alternative to resource-intensive contemporary burial or cremation, green burial calls for the deceased to be laid in the earth in a biodegradable coffin or shroud, without a vault or grave liner, in a woodland or other natural setting, and with a fieldstone or indigenous plant marking the grave. Green burial can be used as a conservation tool, enabling the acquisition, restoration, and stewardship of natural areas. It is also a way of reshaping cultural attitudes around death, providing profound opportunities for healing and contemplation.

WHERE WE ARE NOW:

It's been four years since we started making this film, and over that time, we’ve had the privilege of witnessing the green burial movement grow and profoundly affect people’s lives. On the road filming, we met the most courageous and inspiring people, many of whom we’re delighted to now call friends – Clark and Jane, the film’s indelible duo; Joe Sehee, head of the Green Burial Council; Dyanne Matzkevich, green cemetarian; and many of the other pioneers of this growing movement. We were thrilled to have our premiere in the film’s ‘hometown’ of Durham, North Carolina at Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, where we were touched by the audience’s response and honored with both the Nicholas School Environmental Award and the Audience Award. To top the whole experience off, the TED blog named us one of “9 documentaries that you need to see this year,” calling it a “must-see documentary” which “has the potential to affect not just individual viewers but the American way of death,” and Discovery News wrote that the success at Full Frame "suggests that the film has hit a cultural nerve." 

After that auspicious beginning at Full Frame, we were very excited and proud to have our next major screenings at AFI Docs, a festival known for stimulating national public discourse on the greatest issues of today. We were extremely pleased that environmentally-friendly funeral practices were a part of this year’s focus.

WHERE WE STILL NEED TO GO . . . WITH YOUR HELP:

We hope that our film will help to advance this profound social and environmental movement into mainstream consciousness. Having followed the movement for all this time, shooting and editing over 300 hours of footage into a 93 minute feature, we are excited to have very nearly completed the final post-production process. We’ve had gifted post-production artists and technicians working to make the color and sound even more beautiful, and their contributions have been incredibly beneficial. And of course, we have to cover legal and insurance fees – obvious necessities as we screen this film around the globe. 

Beyond finishing the film, we’re really excited to launch A Will for the Woods into the world through a festival run and our own theatrical and grassroots screening campaign! We are delighted to have already received many requests to screen the film, which we envision exhibiting in all available settings: festivals, cinema bookings, community screenings, classrooms, professional events, parks and green burial sites, and through television, DVD, and digital download. To distribute the film effectively will require significant coordination and resources.

In order to accomplish these goals, we've set the following funding benchmarks:

• Our minimum goal of $25,000 will keep us going by providing us with finishing funds for the final film! (This includes color work, sound mixing, music composition, titles/graphics, and legal services, and enables us to create the official festival screener.)

• Our next goal would be to reach a total of $40,000, to give us the extra push needed for a festival and theatrical run (printing our theatrical screeners, our commercial DVDs + bonus features, postage costs, posters, minimum website upkeep, travel costs, distribution consultation, advertising, and outreach). 

• Finally, if we reach our top goal of $50,000, we will be able to put together an extensive road show and nationwide screening plan. We will also be able to invest in materials (including equipment for outdoor screenings) and services needed to launch and carry us through a strong grassroots distribution that could really spark a national and international dialogue.

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

The main way you can support the film and help us achieve our goals is by contributing to this Kickstarter campaign. These donation levels really run the gamut, so hopefully everybody can participate at some level. Please also share this Kickstarter page with friends and communities, on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. And when the time for screenings comes, please consider hosting, promoting, or attending one. It is our intent – and was Clark’s wish – to spread the word about green burial by having his story seen as widely as possible, advancing the movement and furthering its momentous environmental and social impact. But we really cannot afford to do it without you, and we wouldn’t want to either!

HOW TO USE KICKSTARTER:

Along the right side of this page, you will see a list of pledge levels. Enjoy browsing through all the rewards (by the way, there’s a super awesome level at $2,500 where you can see many of the magnificent green burial sites). When you find a level that you wish to pledge, simply click on that level and proceed to Amazon Checkout. Unless we reach our funding goal, no payments go through and A Will for the Woods will not receive anything whatsoever, so please dig deep, support a great cause, and join this growing revolutionary movement. 

We can’t express how much your support will mean to us, the people in the film, and the movement as a whole. From all of us at A Will for the Woods, a HUGE thank you!!!! 

For more information about the film (and to sign up for periodic updates, if you’d like), please visit www.awillforthewoods.com

Risks and challenges

Reaching our minimum Kickstarter goal will mean having the funds to realize our work of over four years — a fully finished film! With that funding, the production of the film will be complete. We will feel enormous gratitude, and heave a big sigh of relief.

We have huge dreams for this film, though — we want to share it with audiences near and far, engaging as wide a range of people and communities as possible on the meaning and value of green burial. Distribution and outreach are just as much hard work as making the film, and to run the deeply impactful campaign we envision, we'll need to reach our top goal of $50,000, and to be prepared for certain risks and challenges.

Each screening model we envision will in many ways be its own project with its own risks. And while we have already had an extremely exciting start to our festival run, much remains to be seen: whether the themes of the film will resonate with a wide range of filmgoers, whether green burial will continue to grow, whether international audiences will connect with the American-based story, even whether the weather will be suitable for outdoor screenings! We’ve already seen a lot of strong support from diverse quarters, and are optimistic that people will continue to embrace the film, but these are the real risks that we will be navigating.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    We'll thank you for joining the green burial movement with a credit on our website and a shout out on our Facebook page (and an outpouring of love and gratitude as we enter your name!).

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    We'll thank you with a digital download of the completed "A Will for the Woods" film (delivered upon its commercial release, estimated July 2014) + a credit on our website and Facebook.

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    36 backers
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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    We'll thank you with a copy of the definitive book on green burial, "Grave Matters" by Mark Harris (Mark was one of our very first participants in the filming and will be featured in the special features of our DVD!) + the digital download + a credit on our website and Facebook.

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    Reward no longer available 10 backers
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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    We'll thank you with a limited edition Green Burial Council "Regeneration" t-shirt (For image, see campaign update #1.) + the digital download + a credit on our website and Facebook.

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    Reward no longer available 15 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    We'll thank you with the official "A Will for the Woods" DVD, complete with DVD extras (delivered upon its commercial release, estimated July 2014) + the digital download + a credit on our website and Facebook.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    We'll thank you with a tree planted in your honor (overseen by our resident Citizen Pruner, native plant nut, and co-director, Brian) + the official DVD + the digital download + a credit on our website and Facebook.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    We’ll thank you with a 45-minute Google Hangout (or Skype) conversation with GBC founder Joe Sehee about how to create a private green burial ground for you and your family or about any other home funeral or green burial matters (deliverable beginning late summer 2013) + a tree planted in your honor + the official DVD + the digital download + a credit on our website and Facebook.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    We'll thank you with an "A Will for the Woods" poster signed by the filmmakers + a tree planted in your honor + the official DVD + the digital download + a credit on our website and Facebook.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    We'll thank you with one limited edition 40'x57' theatrical-size "A Will for the Woods" poster, signed by the filmmakers, which will be well loved having been created and used for our very first festival screenings + a tree planted in your honor + the official dvd + the digital download + a credit on our website and Facebook.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    We'll thank you with a very special reward: a green burial plot for a pet at either Prairie Creek Conservation Cemetery or Ramsey Creek Preserve (available beginning late summer 2013, see update #2 for more info) + a signed poster + a tree planted in your honor + the official DVD + the digital download + a credit on our website and Facebook.

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    Reward no longer available 3 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    We'll thank you with the public screening rights to the film, which will allow you to host your own local screenings of “A Will for the Woods” using our Public Screening Kit, complete with DVD or Blu-ray public screener, educational/discussion guidelines, film postcards, and an "A Will for the Woods" poster signed by the filmmakers + a tree planted in your honor + the digital download (upon commercial release) + a credit on our website and Facebook.

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    We'll thank you with two tickets to a screening of your choice (travel not included, but be sure to check with us if we’re attending because if so then we'd love to thank you for being an important member of the film's community with a celebratory toast) (deliverable beginning late summer 2013) + the film's soundtrack (including Clark’s music) + a signed poster + a tree planted in your honor + the official DVD + the digital download + a special thank you onscreen in the film's credits (and, of course, on the website and Facebook)!

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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    We’ll thank you with a Skype Q&A with the filmmakers after a screening of the film + the public screening rights and kit + the film's soundtrack + a tree planted in your honor + the digital download (upon commercial release) + a special thank you in the film's credits (and on the website and Facebook)!

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  14. Select this reward

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

    We'll thank you with a very special reward: a green burial plot at one of many participating Green Burial Council certified cemeteries (you don't need to have made any funeral plans to make this meaningful gift to the environment that will last through your lifetime and far beyond) + the film's soundtrack + the official DVD (upon commercial release) + a special thank you in the film’s credits (and on the website and Facebook)!
    Check out all the participating sites here: www.awillforthewoods.com/sites

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  15. Select this reward

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

    We'll thank you with a private screening followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers. We’ll share some drinks, cook you dinner, and have a grand old time! (Travel not included.) + the public screening rights and kit + the film's soundtrack + a tree planted in your honor + the digital download (upon commercial release) + a special thank you in the film's credits (and on the website and Facebook)!

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Funding period

- (30 days)