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A film about the life and work of Poet Laureate, two-time Pulitzer winner, and environmental activist W.S. Merwin.
A film about the life and work of Poet Laureate, two-time Pulitzer winner, and environmental activist W.S. Merwin.
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175 backers pledged $16,710 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

EVEN THOUGH THE WHOLE WORLD IS BURNING project video thumbnail
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$16,710

175

THE FILM: 

Poet Laureate W.S. Merwin has won almost every major poetry prize that exists, including two Pulitzers. His legacy is based not only upon his writings, however, but also the singular form of environmental activism and land stewardship he embodies. 

Now in his 85th year, Merwin has dedicated over three decades to preserving and regenerating native plants and palms on a 19-acre site on the north shore of Maui, Hawaii. Called the Merwin Conservancy, the preserve holds the most comprehensive private collection of palms in the world, with over 800 species. These tangible actions for the environment go hand-in-hand with his poetry, offering important insights for an era marked by environmental degradation, human disconnect with natural processes, and rapid climate change. 

Merwin is a vibrant, humorous and challenging subject, and has not been involved in a feature documentary before. EVEN THOUGH THE WHOLE WORLD IS BURNING is an intimate portrait of a man who is often called a “national treasure.” 

We need your help in realizing this film - if you haven't already, please watch the short video above. Many thanks. 

FOLLOW US ON: FACEBOOKOFFICIAL FILM WEBSITE + TWITTER

HOW KICKSTARTER WORKS:

Kickstarter is a new way to fund creative ideas and ambitious endeavors. Powered by a unique all-or-nothing approach, projects must be fully funded or no money changes hands. In other words, if we don’t raise our initial goal of $15,000, we lose everything. And, by the way, our goal of $15,000 is literally the bare minimum we need to travel with a crew of three to France and the mainland this summer.

HOW TO PLEDGE:

Just click the green “Back This Project” button in the upper right-hand corner. All pledges above $50 are tax deductible, thanks to our fiscal sponsor Media Collective, Inc. - a registered 501 (c) 3 in the State of New York. Because W.S Merwin fans are scattered around the world, we would like to remind you that anyone can donate. Please email us if you have any problems or questions.

WHAT IF WE DON'T REACH OUR GOAL?

If we don't reach our goal, all pledges are canceled and that's that. Your card is not charged. Of course we hope this doesn’t happen – those 45 days will fly by, so please donate today! And please also spread the word.

CAN WE EXCEED OUR GOAL?

Oh yes we can! The budget to complete the full film is $167,000. To date we’ve shot over 50 hours of interviews and footage “on spec” – meaning none of the hardworking crew has yet been paid anything more than a “plate lunch” and a hug of gratitude. The expenses ahead we can’t front, however, as they include airline tickets, hotel rooms, car rental, archival licensing, music scoring, graphics...the list is long. We’ve submitted applications to several foundations, and have numerous more in the works. Given the compelling subject, we’re confident some grants will come our way. That said, support from our audience - you - is much more meaningful, as we’re building an engaged and collaborative relationship that will serve the film well as we move toward festival premieres, theatrical distribution, and TV and internet broadcast.   

INTERESTED IN PLAYING AN EVEN LARGER ROLE?

There are full Executive Producer and Presenting Sponsor credits available at $50,000 and $75,000, respectively. They too are tax deductible. To find out more, please email us. 

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    • Much gratitude, expressed via an email from the director.

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    • Much gratitude, expressed via an email from the director
    • Link to finished documentary on Vimeo

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    • Much gratitude, expressed via an email from the director
    • Link to finished documentary on Vimeo
    • DVD of finished film
    • NOTE: Tax Deductible

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    • Much gratitude, expressed via an email from the director
    • Link to finished documentary on Vimeo
    • DVD of finished film
    • Signed DVD of director's prior film (either ARRANGED or CONTESTED STREETS)
    • NOTE: Tax Deductible

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    • Much gratitude, expressed via an email from the director
    • Link to finished documentary on Vimeo
    • DVD of finished film
    • Signed DVD of director's prior film (either ARRANGED or CONTESTED STREETS)
    • Signed copy of W.S. Merwin's THE SHADOW OF SIRIUS
    • NOTE: Tax Deductible

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    • Much gratitude, expressed via an email from the director
    • Link to finished documentary on Vimeo
    • DVD of finished film
    • Signed DVD of director's prior film (either ARRANGED or CONTESTED STREETS)
    • Signed copy of W.S. Merwin's THE SHADOW OF SIRIUS
    • "Special Thanks" in end credits of film
    • NOTE: Tax Deductible

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  7. Select this reward

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

    • Much gratitude, expressed via an email from the director
    • Link to finished documentary on Vimeo
    • DVD of finished film
    • Signed DVD of director's prior film (either ARRANGED or CONTESTED STREETS)
    • Signed copy of W.S. Merwin's THE SHADOW OF SIRIUS
    • "Very Special Thanks" in end credits of film
    • NOTE: Tax Deductible

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  8. Select this reward

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

    • Much gratitude, expressed via an email from the director
    • Link to finished documentary on Vimeo
    • DVD of finished film
    • Signed DVD of director's prior film (either ARRANGED or CONTESTED STREETS)
    • Signed copy of W.S. Merwin's THE SHADOW OF SIRIUS
    • "Very Special Thanks" in end credits of film
    • Two Tickets to film's festival premiere (travel not included)
    • NOTE: Tax Deductible

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    • Much gratitude, expressed via an email from the director
    • Link to finished documentary on Vimeo
    • DVD of finished film
    • Signed DVD of director's prior film (either ARRANGED or CONTESTED STREETS)
    • Signed copy of W.S. Merwin's THE SHADOW OF SIRIUS
    • "Very Special Thanks" in end credits of film
    • Two Tickets to film's festival premiere (travel not included)
    • Dinner with director Stefan Schaefer (in New York or on Maui)
    • NOTE: Tax Deductible

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $7,500 or more About $7,500

    • Much gratitude, expressed via an email from the director
    • Link to finished documentary on Vimeo
    • DVD of finished film
    • Signed DVD of director's prior film (either ARRANGED or CONTESTED STREETS)
    • Signed copy of W.S. Merwin's THE SHADOW OF SIRIUS
    • "Very Special Thanks" in end credits of film
    • Two Tickets to film's festival premiere (travel not included)
    • Dinner with director Stefan Schaefer (in New York or on Maui)
    • "Associate Producer" credit
    • NOTE: Tax Deductible

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    • Much gratitude, expressed via an email from the director
    • Link to finished documentary on Vimeo
    • DVD of finished film
    • Signed DVD of director's prior film (either ARRANGED or CONTESTED STREETS)
    • Signed copy of W.S. Merwin's THE SHADOW OF SIRIUS
    • "Very Special Thanks" in end credits of film
    • Two Tickets to film's festival premiere (travel not included)
    • Dinner with director Stefan Schaefer (in New York or on Maui)
    • "Co-Executive Producer" credit
    • NOTE: Tax Deductible

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Funding period

- (45 days)