About this project
This is a chance to make history! Shirley Clarke's groundbreaking documentary about a black, gay hustler is one of the first no-holds-barred LGBT films in existence. It is also a brilliant (and hilarious!) exploration of the failings of truth and reality told in a tongue-in-cheek verité film style. The film was so progressive and so different from the films of its era that it was misplaced and mishandled by history, and the original film elements were lost for over 45 years! After a protracted two-year search, Milestone is pleased to say that original master material has been discovered and we will be able to properly restore the film to its theatrical glory — but not without your help!
Portrait of Jason is being restored with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences' Academy Film Archive in Los Angeles. Milestone is working to raise over $50,000 to assist in the process. As an independent distribution company comprised of just two very dedicated employees (Dennis Doros and Amy Heller, husband and wife and the co-founders of the company) Milestone simply cannot afford to do this alone. If we raise the money now, this important, extremely well crafted, highly entertaining, and outrageously funny film will be preserved (on 35mm film and digital) for future generations.
So we've turned to you — film lovers, LGBT activists, historians, artists, and/or interested human beings — to show us that grassroots fundraising is a powerful force for change, and in return we promise to give the world access to a lost masterpiece. Every bit counts, and we thank you for your generosity!
Risks and challenges
Milestone founders (and staff!) Dennis Doros and Amy Heller have been working in film distribution for more than 25 years--the last 22 as a married couple dedicated to restoring and releasing great cinema, old and new. Since founding Milestone in 1990, the pair have worked to bring out such cinema treasures as F.W. Murnau's TABU, Charles Burnett's KILLER OF SHEEP, Luchino Visconti's ROCCO AND HIS BROTHERS and dozens more. Dennis has also become active in the lively world of film archiving and has served on the board of the Association of Moving Image Archivists for many years. Their company, Milestone Films, has received honors from the New York Film Critics Circle, Anthology Film Archive, the Fort Lee Film Commission, the National Society of Film Critics, the Flaherty Foundation and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.
With all that experience behind them, Doros and Heller can promise that a meticulous and glowing restoration of PORTRAIT OF JASON will be completed on time. We can also commit to creating and publicizing pristine DVDs and Blu-rays chock full of exciting bonus features. We can also promise that the film will show on the premiere movie channel in the USA, Turner Classic Movies. Milestone will open PORTRAIT OF JASON in theaters in major markets across the US and Canada, including major cities such as NY, LA, SF, Chicago, Boston, Seattle, Philadelphia, Toronto, and Washington, DC as well as smaller markets like Omaha; Nashville; Baltimore; Memphis; Portland (Maine and Oregon); Vancouver, BC; Cleveland; Columbus, OH; Bloomington, IN and many more. And after that, the DVD and Blu-Ray deluxe editions!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter