"The Miseducation of Simon Kraus" follows the story of Simon, a recently graduated artist who is forced to move back to his hometown of Melbourne, Florida to find work. Simon's adjustment to life in the sleepy beach town is difficult, and so he decides to apply for an apprenticeship with one of the world's most famous up-and-coming artists, Chen Lusheng. As Simon delves into his past by reuniting with old high school friends, he kindles a relationship with a beautiful young designer named Katrina. Before long, Simon is introduced to a local drug supplier named "Taliban" Mike, a mysterious man who fancies himself an art photographer. Before long, Mike takes a special interest in Simon's art, and commissions him to paint a portrait of his ex-girlfriend. When Simon discovers that the subject of his newest painting happens to be Katrina, his situation goes from desperate to worse. Simon clings to the prospect of the apprenticeship in Beijing as his only salvation, hoping to leave town before "Taliban" Mike discovers the truth.
I began writing "The Miseducation of Simon Kraus" in December of 2008, just as the US began feeling the effects of the economic recession. All of my friends were working their way through college and close to graduating, and we soon realized that our careers were in jeopardy. We had all majored in the arts, and as such, already had our "work" cut out for us in finding jobs. A migration began soon thereafter, in which a lot of my peers moved home from college because of the shoddy job prospects on the market. The move home brought a sense of failure and hopelessness to us; we could hardly fend for ourselves, were up to our noses in college debt, and found it difficult adapting to our hometowns. I took a lot from that period of my life, and began writing the script for "Simon Kraus" as a way to preserve those thoughts and events that I later found to be common amongst my peers.
And so, this film became my attempt at a portrait of this generation. I wanted to capture American culture on the microcosm, through Simon Kraus' experience on his journey to success.
This film has been a grassroots project from day one. Funded entirely by donations, we finished principal photography on the film in December of 2009 on a shoestring budget. We've called on dozens of professionals, who've kindly donated their talent, time, and energy to getting the film 75% of the way to completion.
Unfortunately, we're in dire need of several thousand dollars to complete the film. We need money for sound design, music licensing, and festival submission. We have just 8 weeks to complete our film in order to get it out to festivals. Every penny counts, and it's our goal to stay in touch with everybody who has helped us along the way.
Please consider donating to our project. If you're interested in more information on the film, and some of the parties involved, check out our website: http://www.themiseducationofsimonkraus.com/
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