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A young American man spends one last night with his deceased friend in rural Mexico. Read more

Los Angeles, CA Shorts
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$10,085
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on September 1, 2013.

A young American man spends one last night with his deceased friend in rural Mexico.

Los Angeles, CA Shorts
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Ben Berman
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Ben Berman

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About this project

About the film

I’m a Mitzvah is a short film that features a fish out of water American, David, who ends up in rural Mexico to claim his recently deceased best friends body to bring it back to the US for a proper funeral. It’s a dark and eccentric drama with comedic undercurrents (think “A Serious Man” meets “Lost in Translation”)

An unexpected cancellation of his flight leaves David and his deceased friend stranded in Mexico overnight. With one evening to kill, under these unique circumstances, David sets out on a night of reflection and revelry. While combating both a language barrier, as well as the bureaucratic red tape of rural Mexico, David attempts to deal with the loss of his close friend. Confusion and lack of emotion gives way to a bizarre celebration of life, as David enjoys a night of indulgence while commemorating his friend’s untimely death.

The deceased is portrayed as a casket shipping container, basically an oversized cardboard box
The deceased is portrayed as a casket shipping container, basically an oversized cardboard box

Look

To match the dark sincerity of our story our goal is to photograph the film in a beautiful fashion. The film will consist of well-crafted, at times bold photography and lighting (similar in tone to Coen Bros films) while mixed with a beautifully naturalist, handheld, and intimate style. 

How your pledge will be used 

- Alexa Camera Package Rental

- Location Fees (Airport, Small Mexican Town, Beach)

- Set Dressing and Props

- Cast Fees 

Director - Ben Berman (Jon Benjamin Has a Van, Comedy Bang! Bang!, Tim & Eric Nite Live, Ben & Andrew, Bonnie Prince Billy) is directing. He thanks you. 

Producer - Josh Cohen is a staff producer for Tim and Eric’s company Absolutely Productions having recently produced “The Eric Andre Show Season 2” for Adult Swim, as well “Jon Benjamin Has a Van” for Comedy Central. Josh also produced the 2012 Cannes-Lions winning viral campaign for Old Spice Body Spray featuring Terry Crews for Wieden+Kennedy. 

Director of Photography - Sing Howe Yam’s experience in the industry ranges from narrative film to music videos and commercials. He explored his craft through drawing, painting, and sculpting, which eventually led him to the camera. His comprehension of chiaroscuro, quality of light and color palette make his work truly stand apart. 

Production Designer, Katie Byron; Art Director, Alexi Gomez; and Set Decorator, Rachael Ferrara are an energetic artistic team with a background in art, music and travel. The three work internationally on features, television, commercials and music videos. Their feature work includes Sundance Grande Jury Prize winner (2011), LIKE CRAZY, directed by Drake Doremus; Sundance selection (2013), BREATHE IN, and DEALIN' WITH IDIOTS, directed by Jeff Garlin. Their other credits include Emmy winner, THE BEAUTY INSIDE, directed by Drake Doremus; Comedy Central's JON BENJAMIN HAS A VAN and IFC's COMEDY BANG! BANG!. Whatever the scale, genre or media, Katie, Alexi and Rachael find themselves having fun amidst original and adventurous creative projects.

Wardrobe Designer, Abigail has designed the costumes for Jon Benjamin has a Van, Check it out! with Dr. Steve Brule, The Eric Andre Show, and Nathan For You. She has participated in more than 30 civil war reenactments and she is great friends with Clark Baker of Bakers Dozen Prod.

Homestretch 

We have the vast majority of the financing in place and are seeking $10,000 to fulfill the film’s financial requirements. This is a very special project for us and feel it can be something significantly beautiful and unique. A pledge of any amount would be truly cherished and put to great use to make this film. 

What Great Things People are Saying about Mitzvah! 

David Berman (the Silver Jews)  – “I don't think the title works. It could get mistaken for the title of a kaballah kids empowerment tv show.” 

Adam Kimmel (DP of Capote, Lars and the Real Girl) – “hope I'll get to see it sometime.” 

Dave Kneebone (film/tv producer) – “Dicks and pictures of dicks complicate peoples thinking. Contextualize that dick for me, Ben.” 

Risks and challenges

Challenges will arise but we are all truly committed and excited to be a part of this project.

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FAQ

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    14 backers

    For a pledge of $10 you will receive a downloadable link to the finished film!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    19 backers

    For a pledge of $25 you will receive credit in the film as a Financial Backer (optional) and a downloadable link to the finished film!

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    17 backers

    For a pledge of $100 you will receive credit in the film as a Financial Backer (optional), a DVD copy of the film, and my respect. Donations accepted and encouraged by Clark Baker.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    2 backers

    For a pledge of $1,000 you will receive credit in the film as an Co-Executive Producer (optional) and a DVD copy of the film and more respect. Help me be the next Clark Baker!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $2,000 or more

    0 backers

    For a pledge of $2,000 you will receive credit in the film as an Executive Producer (optional), a DVD copy of the film, and a VIP dinner for those in the Los Angeles area (dessert possibly included).

    Clark Baker will be present at the dinner table.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (10 days)