I began working on Keep the Lights On with my co-writer Mauricio Zacharias because we were both frustrated by how few films exist that reflect life as we have known it as gay men living in New York City. I also wanted to make a very personal film, in the vein of some of the filmmakers that I have most loved, artists like Jean Eustache, Jacques Nolot, Chantal Akerman, and that great film-memoirist Ingmar Bergman. Inspired by the ten years of my last relationship, Keep the Lights On tells the story of two men torn apart by addiction and secrets, but bound together by love and hopefulness. It's a story fueled by shame that I intend to make shamelessly. My hope is that when completed Keep the Lights On will be an honest new work that can be added to the short list of dramatic films that have been made about the contemporary gay experience.
What's the story?
1997. Ben is another gay man in New York trying to make a connection through a phone sex line. He meets Nick - closeted, handsome and with a girlfriend attached. From the start, this casual encounter extends itself into a hopeful moment between potential lovers. As Ben negotiates life as a documentary filmmaker, his relationship with Nick, a precociously young lawyer in a prominent publishing house, becomes more than just a fling. Nick breaks up with his girlfriend and soon the two men move in together and start to build a home. But over the years, they discover that it’s easier to get out of the closet, than it is getting rid of its shadow. Nick’s drug use gets out of control, as Ben becomes increasingly sexual compulsive. After 10 years together, Ben realizes that it’s not the relationship he needs to save: it’s himself.
Hard as it is to believe, a film about gay life in contemporary America is rarer today than it’s ever been. Films like Brokeback Mountain and The Kids Are Alright were not, unfortunately, followed by a flood of new movies in our cinemas depicting queer relationships. From the start, we knew that to tell a story like this we would need the support of friends, families, gays, straights, filmmakers, film-lovers, the socially-committed, the generous-minded.... any one who would be interested in seeing a frankly explicit film about intimate relationships like this one get made. Thus, Kickstarter!
Keep the Lights On has recently received an Annenberg Grant from the Sundance Institute, as well as generous support from local vendors and institutions, and many, many individuals. But having successfully raised a good portion of our budget, we are now at the point we really need your help. If we can reach our $25,000 Kickstarter goal we will reach our funding needs, and can start shooting our movie this summer. With your help, we are confident you'll see the movie at a theater near you in the year 2012! And when you buy your popcorn, and the lights start to dim, you'll have the extra satisfaction of knowing that you were a real part of bringing this new work to the screen.
We thank you in advance for considering being a part of this project. All of us who are working on Keep the Lights On feel grateful for the community that we are a part of, and for the support that we continue to receive.
Ira Sachs, co-writer & director
The painting used for KEEP THE LIGHTS ON is by Boris Torres. To see more of his work, go to: boristorres.com
CAN I INCREASE MY PLEDGE ONCE IT'S BEEN MADE?
Yes! Once you donate to our campaign, you may want to change your incentive reward to a different one, or increase your pledge amount. To do so, go to Kickstarter and sign in. If you go to our campaign page, the green “Back This Project” button has been replaced with a blue “Manage Your Donation” button. Click it and you can enter a new amount, or choose a new incentive.
CAN WE EXCEED THE GOAL?
Yes! Exceeding the goal would help us pay for more of the costs to finish the film.
IS MY PLEDGE AMOUNT PUBLICLY DISPLAYED?
No. Only you and the project owner will be able to see your pledge amount.
I'M NOT IN THE US, CAN I STILL PLEDGE?
Yes, you can pledge from anywhere.
CAN I GIFT AN INCENTIVE?
Yes! To "gift" your reward to someone else, please follow the normal process with the pledge and payment in your name. Once we've reached the deadline, we'll send you an email requesting the information we need to fulfill the reward (address, etc.) At that time, please reply with the contact info for the person that is to receive the reward and we'll follow through!
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE MONEY ISN'T RAISED IN TIME?
If our goal isn’t met before the deadline, we don't receive any of the pledges. Your credit or debit card will not be charged.
HOW CAN I CONTACT YOU?
You can send us an email through this kickstarter website OR you can contact us directly at email@example.com.
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