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A professional American basketball player accepts an offer to play in one of the world's most feared countries: Iran.
744 backers pledged $100,466 to help bring this project to life.

Summary of a miracle...

Posted by Sara Nodjoumi & Till Schauder (Creator)

Hello everyone!

We know, we know ... the withdrawal... It's rough, right?

We started fighting it off it the night of the photo finish, taking our interns, and our Persian parents and a fantastic cousin out to a Persian restaurant (chaspeed!). The German parents were a bit too far to join us - at least physically - but we toasted to them with a few glasses of Shiraz, and we're told they returned the favor in Germany ... with a bottle of champagne...

The unavoidable mental drain was further postponed by our son Luca, who demonstrated impeccable timing by delaying a scary-high-fever to the morning just after the campaign ended. Perhaps he knew that it might be better for a damn good finish - and possibly world peace:-) - if he could just delay this fever by a day? Then of course, we had a school tour that same morning - scouting out a potential elementary school for Nika. It's one of the many things we love about the kids -- they have a way of grounding us:-)

And rushing a two-year old to the doctor at 8AM will get you off the high real quick. Luca is totally fine now! -- It was just enough of a quicky-fever to remind us that we need to take good care of them, spend time with them, make up for the past 50 days, which have been a bit crazy for them too...

That said, we wouldn't be surprised if someone came up with a 10-step program to wean people off Kickstarter...

One of our supporters, Oliver from Germany, put it this way:

"Damn, how am I going to start my days now - without checking your current kickstarter status?? ... Ahem... when do you guys start your next project?... please..."

Or in German;

"Verdammt: Wie beginne ich denn nun meine Tage - wo ich doch sonst immer in den vergangenen Wochen Euren aktuellen Kickstarter-Stand abgefragt habe... oh, Mann... ähm, wann startet Ihr ein neues Projekt?.... bitte...."

Truly, everyone - what a finish! We've run out of superlatives to express our gratitude to you all. For spreading the word about the film. For helping us reach this amazing goal. For making these 50 days one of the most special times of our lives.

We also want to thank all the new backers who flocked to our campaign in the last few days -- 78 in the last 16 hours alone! Welcome!

With 744 backers from over 40 countries and $100k raised The Iran Job is in Kickstarter's "Top 25 Funded Films" of all time - thanks to YOU ALL!!!  (we've attached the official press release, with more stats, at the bottom)

For us it was truly unbelievable to see people pledging from all over the world, and in such numbers. All of the encouraging comments, emails and messages we received made it clear that people did it because they see the importance and the timeliness and the value of this movie. We had always hoped that someone other than ourselves would see the merit of the film, but to have this actually confirmed by supporters from all across the world is frankly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

And then such a  photo finish! Literally a buzzer beater! We're attaching a picture of our fund raising graph to demonstrate just what happened during the last three days, and particularly during the last hours of the campaign. It will give you a sense of the frenzied pace towards the end.

It was incredible knowing that so many people from so many countries were glued to their computers or smart phones at the exact same time to witness the final hour of this campaign, and to contribute to the amazing finish. It kind of felt like a world wide new years party - one week after new year's... (which is cool because we spent the actual new year's night sick on the couch eating chicken soup...:-)

We've heard from a couple of people on the West Coast, who were driving during the last 45 minutes, that they had to pull their cars over for fear of getting into an accident -- they couldn't take their eyes off the countdown!

A supporter from Japan called during the final minutes trying to figure out issues with her Amazon account so that she could still contribute before the clock ticked down! Thank you again! We can't wait to bring the film to Tokyo!

Someone said "I feel like we're all family now"

Another person wrote: "The WHOLE WORLD is backing this movie"

We could literally feel the love pouring in from all corners of the planet!

In fact one supporter got so into it, she wrote "This is so exciting I feel like having SEX now!!!"

This reminded us of the soccer world cup in Germany a few years ago... 9 months after that world cup they had a wave of what they called "world cup babies."

You never know - there might just be a wave of The Iran Job babies in about 9 months...:-)

Another supporter, from Michigan, actually invited us to his farm! We'd like to share with you what he wrote, because we feel this kind of support coming from a farmer in Middle America demonstrates the potential reach of this movie:

Sara & Till,

As your last update suggested, Yes...take a break, relax and spend time together as a family. The goal was met by 200% because of your hard work! That will take a lot of pressure off both of you. I figured you would do well; it looks that good. Definitely going to be a blockbuster that will do very positive things. Not just for Iran but the whole world. You watch.

Keep in touch with new developments!

And if you are ever in the Detroit area, look us up. I feel like you are friends. Our farm is only about 1 1/2 hours N of downtown Detroit.

Norb

ps: my hat, which I wear all the time, needs one of those Iran Job buttons, don't you think? *smile*

Norb, thank you so much for this kind note! But careful what you wish for!! Did you see what the kids did to our office after we cracked 50K??? If we show up, we'll bring them and they'll take your farm apart!!

That said, we hope very much to have screenings in your neck of the wood at some point - and then we'd love to meet you and personally thank you for your support - as well as outfit you with one of those Iran Job buttons for your fashionable hat!

We've also gotten a lot of emails asking us if people can still contribute to the project. YES they can. In fact, we've just migrated our fundraising to our website www.theiranjob.com.

There's a "Back the Iran Job" button and it lets anyone make a contribution to the project -- and the good new is: All contributions are now 100% TAX DEDUCTIBLE (something that Kickstarter couldn't offer).

So if you know of anyone who might be interested please send them to the website, which we're currently expanding.

Before we go we'd like to once again express our deepest gratitude to you all who've made THE IRAN JOB campaign such a success. You are now part of this film and we hope to see and meet each and everyone of you at a screening soon!

Don't fear the withdrawal! This was just the beginning! We'll leave you alone for the next couple weeks - perhaps - but we can't wait to share more news with you and to have more celebrations! All of this will happen as soon as the film will finally have its world premiere! Keep your fingers crossed!

Also, two more pieces have been published since we cracked 100K on Monday:

On POV's blog about how we went about planning our campaign

http://www.pbs.org/pov/blog/2012/01/the-iran-job-tips-for-managing-a-viral-fundraising-campaign/

And a new blog on Deborah Stambler's betweenparents.http://betweenparents.org/2012/01/10/understanding-iran/

For those of you who haven't done it yet please "like" us on facebook https://www.facebook.com/TheIranJob?sk=info

Follow us on Twitter @theiranjob

And subscribe to our newsletter at www.theiranjob.com

We believe in miracles now. From the bottom of our hearts: Thank you!!!

Much love and gratitude,

Sara & Till

PS 1: here's a summary of some of the press generated during the campaign, roughly in order as it appeared:

HUFFINGTON POST: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deborah-stambler/kickstarter-case-study-th_b_1119387.html?

CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL PEACE NEWSLETTER:
http://carnegieendowment.org/events/forms/?fa=registration&event=3495

CNN (this article got 100,000 hits – so popular that CNN International now wants to put it on their “World Report”: http://edition.cnn.com/2011/12/23/sport/sport-basketball-america-iran/index.html

WASHINGTON POST: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/an-unlikely-us-diplomat-scores-with-iranian-fans/2011/12/21/gIQAPgVzDP_story.html 


CNN International 'World Sport' had a piece about the film on their broadcast:
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/sports/2012/01/04/ws-american-athlete-plays-in-iran.cnn

CNN International "World Report" did an actual feature with Kevin on their show to discuss the impact of the movie. http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/sports/2012/01/05/bpr-iran-basketball-kevin-sheppard.cnn

PBS FRONTLINE: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tehranbureau/2012/01/spotlight-the-iran-job-he-got-game-shiraz-style.html

http://www.filmmakermagazine.com/news/2012/01/kickstarter-sara-nodjoumi-and-till-schaudersthe iran-job/                              

German basketball site:
http://basketball-stream.de/2012/01/07/the-iran-job/        


German Radio Interview:
http://basketball-stream.de/2012/01/08/interview-the-iran-job/


BETWEEN PARENTS: http://betweenparents.org/2012/01/04/sara-nodjoumi-till-schauder-working-the-iran-job/

POV: http://www.pbs.org/pov/blog/2012/01/the-iran-job-tips-for-managing-a-viral-fundraising-campaign/

P.S.S.: Some of you have requested a re-run of the video of our kids partying it up in the office after we cracked 50K. Please enjoy it here: http://vimeo.com/34381518

And our panel following the screening at the Carnegie Endowment for Intl. Peace can be viewed here:
http://vimeo.com/34129781

P.S.S.S. - The official press release that went out on Tuesday - in case you'd like to forward it to interested parties:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 10, 2012                                                                                           

PARTNER PICTURES & FORK FILMS

ANNOUNCE 200% KICKSTARTER FUNDING FOR

THE IRAN JOB

New York, NY – Thanks to an overwhelming worldwide response THE IRAN JOB, produced by Sara Nodjoumi and Till Schauder (Partner Pictures), directed and photographed by Till Schauder, and executive produced by Abigail Disney (Fork Films) more than doubled its initial $50,000 Kickstarter funding goal.

The film's trailer had over 20,000 viewers online. A related CNN.com article had 100,000+ hits.

With donors from all over the world contributing, the film's Kickstarter campaign reached its initial goal 10 days before the deadline. After reaching a newly set goal of 75K just days later, the campaign proceeded to breaking yet another fundraising goal of 100K.  "After working on this film for over four years we are thrilled by the word wide interest and overjoyed by the outpouring of support," said Producer Nodjoumi.  "Our backers – most of them people we didn't know before – come from all corners of the world. It motivates us to work towards the widest possible release in the U.S. and internationally."

With 740+ backers from over 40 countries and $100+k raised The Iran Job is in Kickstarter's "Top 25 Funded Films" of all time.

Supporters of the film include Christiane Amanpour who co-hosted an earlier fundraiser, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Associate Karim Sadjadpour, Iranian-American comedian Maz Jobrani. And in the campaign's final days the film caught the attention of Hamed Haddadi of the Memphis Grizzlies, the NBA's first-ever Iranian player, who tweeted about it to his fans.

The film is in final stages of post-production and gearing up for a much anticipated 2012 World Premiere.

THE IRAN JOB tells the real-life story of Kevin Sheppard, a professional American basketball player who, when he doesn't make it to the NBA, takes a job playing professional ball in Iran.  With tensions running high between Iran and the West, Sheppard tries to separate sports from politics, only to find that politics is impossible to escape in Iran. Along the way he forms friendships with his teammates and several young Iranians turning his apartment into an oasis of free speech, where they discuss everything from politics to religion to gender roles. Sheppard's season in Iran culminates in something much bigger than basketball: the uprising and subsequent suppression of Iran's reformist Green Movement – a powerful prelude to the currently unfolding Arab Spring.

Schauder, a German citizen, filmed Sheppard in Iran over several visits as a one-man-crew using minimal equipment, each time entering with a tourist visa issued freely to Germans, until on his last trip - in the run-up to Iran's 2009 election - he was placed on a "black list" and put in detention at the Tehran airport. He was sent back to New York on the next plane -- a stroke of luck given the number of filmmakers and journalists recently arrested in Iran.

Abigail Disney, the film's executive producer, said "THE IRAN JOB is a great reminder of how woefully tiny and warped a view of Iran we have in the U.S... Stories are the currency of our hearts. They glue us all together. It is good stories--not good fences--that make good neighbors. As the saber-rattling grows--and it will continue to grow as we approach November--I'd like to push back with something true. That's what THE IRAN JOB is about."

To learn more about The Iran Job please visit www.theiranjob.com

 

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