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$1,390
pledged of $10,000pledged of $10,000 goal
14
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Mon, January 2 2017 7:34 PM UTC +00:00
Last updated January 2, 2017

Ashley Bryan Film Outreach and Distribution

Ashley Bryan is a national treasure, an artist who has experienced racism and the carnage of war yet faces life with joy and gratitude.

Ashley Bryan Film Outreach and Distribution

Ashley Bryan is a national treasure, an artist who has experienced racism and the carnage of war yet faces life with joy and gratitude.

$1,390
pledged of $10,000pledged of $10,000 goal
14
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Mon, January 2 2017 7:34 PM UTC +00:00
Last updated January 2, 2017

About

            Film Outreach and Distribution

I Know a Man … Ashley Bryan (2016, 73 min) and Ashley Bryan’s World (2016, 32 min) are two important new films by Richard Kane and Robert Shetterly that can help spark needed conversations about race and racism in our country. In a media environment where Black males are often portrayed in a negative light, or only portrayed in connection with tragic news, I Know a Man … Ashley Bryan celebrates the life and works of an extraordinary Black artist whose life sends audiences across all races and ages a message of joy, kindness, peace and inclusion. We need your help to tell his story to the world   www.mainemasters.com

Ashley, now 93 years old, is a spiritually deep, creative wonder whose experience in an all-Black battalion in World War II exposed him to the  carnage of war and the reality of institutionalized racism. In response he dedicated his life to art -- creating beauty and joy, spreading love and peace.  During a recent radio interview Ashley spoke about how the smallest kindness offered to another acknowledges them as a valued human being and can begin to make the world a better place.

He does this every day with his person and, so powerfully, with his art -- magical puppets and sea glass windows made from found objects inspired by his African heritage -- and his paintings, poetry, stories and illustrations found in over fifty children’s books, many published by Atheneum Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. 

Performing Beautiful Blackbird
Performing Beautiful Blackbird

We made a good start promoting these films in Maine last summer when they were selected to premiere at the Camden International and Maine International Film Festivals. However, for the art and ideas of Ashley Bryan to get the audience they deserve, and to help create this new world, we need to reach much further.

Hometown Premiere in Bar Harbor's Criterion Theatre
Hometown Premiere in Bar Harbor's Criterion Theatre

A handful of very generous people dedicated to securing the legacy of Ashley’s life and art funded these two films.  But we haven’t yet raised the funds to get the film distributed.  So we now are seeking support for that next crucial step. 

I’ve learned that for a documentary to get attention and be effective it needs the focus of an expert publicist to launch it. We are excited to have found that person in Marga Varea who is so taken by Ashley's story and so enthusiastic about joining our team.  She is an experienced designer and implementer of successful outreach and audience engagement campaigns for social issue documentaries. Using creative strategies Varea has developed wide audiences for films that have appeared on PBS’s series POV and been Emmy-nominated.  She has secured hundreds of events that resulted in wide appreciation of the documentary films and the issues they explore.

Here is one testimonial from Katrina Browne producer/director of “Traces of the Trade (PBS 2008, Emmy-nominated, 2009, where Varea has been Outreach Director through 2015):    "...Marga has been an incredibly solid, reliable, thorough, conscientious, diplomatic, caring and savvy partner for five years now as she maneuvers a whole host of complex dynamics with our very public oriented work..."

Please join us in launching these films on Ashley Bryan.  All funds contributed are tax deductible as our sponsoring organization, the Union of Maine Visual Artists, is a 501(c)(3) not for profit educational organization.

Richard Kane, Melody Lewis-Kane, and Ashley Bryan
Richard Kane, Melody Lewis-Kane, and Ashley Bryan

 

Risks and challenges

SUCCEEDING IN THE BUSINESS OF DOCUMENTARIES

We intend to move very quickly and begin our publicist’s work January 1, 2017. This will give us the launch we need with a dedicated website, social media strategy and implementation, and a community engagement tour that will take us through Spring 2017. With these in place and with a score of film festivals that we have already submitted to, the film/s will get the attention needed to interest reviewers from a variety of publications. With the continued positive response, the film/s should then be sought after by distributors and broadcasters. FYI we already have the interest of American Public Television (APT) for them to market this film and nine others of ours to 365 public television affiliates.

Our previous film IMBER'S LEFT HAND had a very successful festival run winning four Best Film Audience Awards in festivals throughout the US. It has screened from the National Gallery of Art in DC to the National Gallery of Australia. It is now being distributed by one of the highest rated distributors of independent films, Film Movement. But I’ve learned that it takes more than a distribution company to get a film wide attention and subsequent appreciation of the issues the film explores. It takes persistence and a seriously good launch. Marga Varea and I will make this happen with your support.

This is our second Kickstarter. The first was for the support of our film J. FRED WOELL: AN AMERICAN VISION. That project is in the last stages of post-production and due to be released in the next few months. Although the Kickstarter was successful, the project had been delayed due to the difficulty of finding all the finishing funds. But in large part because of the support of 147 people who came behind that project, the Windgate Charitable Foundation came through with the final $10,000. needed.

Although Ashley says his film was 20 years in the making, I’m more apt to say its taken 93 years!! Ashley himself is the work of art that this film is about. In fact we started making this film when we received production funds three years ago, although we began following Ashley without funding before that. Documentaries are not an easy business and to make them successful they need the support of so many people. Please do what you can to to support this effort, send this link to all your friends, and please get out the word.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Credit in Film under SPECIAL THANKS

    You'll receive a Film Credit listed under "Special Thanks to our Kickstarter Supporters". If you don't wish a reward, ANY contribution would be met with gratitude.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    I Know a Man ... Ashley Bryan DVD

    You'll get the Video On Demand "I Know a Man ... Ashley Bryan"

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    I Know a Man ... Ashley Bryan DVD

    You'll get the DVD I Know a Man ... Ashley Bryan that also includes Ashley Bryan's World

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    I Know a Man … Ashley Bryan DVD + Credit

    Get both a DVD of I Know a Man ... Ashley Bryan (that includes Ashley Bryan's World) AND a credit in the film under "Special Thanks to our Kickstarter Supporters"

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Ashley's Autographed Book + Film Credit

    Choose one of these great Ashley's books: FREEDOM OVER ME; BEAUTIFUL BLACKBIRD; ASHLEY BRYAN'S PUPPETS; or SAIL AWAY and Ashley will autograph it for you, PLUS you'll get a "Special Thanks to our Kickstarter Supporters" in the film credits. (Choice of book may be limited).

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Signed Book, DVD, and Film Credit

    For your most appreciated contribution of $250 you'll get:
    1. YOUR CHOICE of a hardback copy of one of these great Ashley's books FREEDOM OVER ME, BEAUTIFUL BLACKBIRD, ASHLEY BRYAN'S PUPPETS, or SAIL AWAY and Ashley will autograph it for you;
    2. a "Special Thanks to our Kickstarter Supporters" in the film credits; and
    3. the DVD I Know a Man ... Ashley Bryan.
    (Choice of book may be limited).

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Signed Book, DVD + BIG Film Credit

    For your generous contribution of $500 you'll get:
    1. YOUR CHOICE of a hardback copy of one of these great Ashley's books FREEDOM OVER ME, BEAUTIFUL BLACKBIRD, ASHLEY BRYAN'S PUPPETS, or SAIL AWAY and Ashley will autograph it for you;
    2. Assistant Producer in the film credits; and
    3. the DVD I Know a Man ... Ashley Bryan.
    (Choice of book may be limited).

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Signed Book, DVD and BIGGER Credit

    For your very generous contribution of $1000 you'll get:
    1. YOUR CHOICE of a hardback copy of one of these great Ashley's books FREEDOM OVER ME, BEAUTIFUL BLACKBIRD, ASHLEY BRYAN'S PUPPETS, or SAIL AWAY and Ashley will autograph it for you;
    2. Associate Producer in the film credits; and
    3. the DVD I Know a Man ... Ashley Bryan.
    (Choice of book may be limited).

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  9. Select this reward

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

    Signed Book, DVD + BIGGEST Credit

    For your major support we'll reward you with:
    1. Co-Producer credit;
    2. YOUR CHOICE of a hardback copy of one of these great Ashley's books FREEDOM OVER ME, BEAUTIFUL BLACKBIRD, ASHLEY BRYAN'S PUPPETS, or SAIL AWAY and Ashley will autograph it for you; and
    3. our DVD I Know a Man ... Ashley Bryan
    (Choice of book may be limited).

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

    SUPER CHAMPION -- Credit or NO REWARD

    For the anonymous donor or one who prefers only the credit of Co-Producer, we are happy to make this available to you. Please contact us with your preferences and we will honor your wishes.

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Funding period

- (30 days)