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A SXSW autobiographical documentary about how a 16 year old evolves into a bank robber. Bring it to a theater near you!
493 backers pledged $61,721 to help bring this project to life.

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$61,721

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UPDATE: WE DID IT! 

Thank you so much everyone for your support.We can't wait to bring Evolution of a Criminal all over the world! 

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We’re thrilled that Evolution of a Criminal is getting such wonderful responses from audiences and reviewers. In the course of a few short months, we got a BUZZ screening at SXSW, won Best Documentary and Best Director at Full Frame, screened to packed houses at Dallas International Film Festival, and screened at BAM, Maryland and Los Angeles Film Festival!

“The Documentary is incredibly cinematic...it's almost as if we're watching a narrative fiction film”- Indiewire (A-)

“Powerful and affecting...an unflinchingly honest exploration" – Film School Rejects

"dramatically powerful and moving...its images, its shape, its tone and its implications make it a terrific movie" – The New Yorker

WHY KICKSTARTER?

I'm looking for funding for DIY distribution so that we can connect the masses to make sure that my story and the stories of countless others who've gone through the United States Criminal Justice system (the largest in the world) are heard. The distribution space is a very crowded one. I quickly realized that if we wanted this film to get the attention it needs, we would have to release it ourselves. Many people believe there is not an audience for documentaries by and about the lives of African Americans. With your help, we are prepared to prove them completely wrong!

While a single week in NY can cost as much as $50k, we are building up grassroots support in preparation for a hybrid theatrical distribution model. The Film Collaborative and David Magdael and Associates have already agreed to help me in this effort. This will enable us to keep costs low and audience engagement high. In addition, I will be traveling across the country, engaging audiences, as well as speaking at schools, prisons, and various community institutions. Nonetheless, there are expenses to incur such as booking theaters, printing posters, PR, creating film prints, advertising, etc.

All the money raised will go directly into the release of the film. For those outside North America, we would love your support too. We want the film to reach the world and our Kickstarter DVDs and Digital Streaming will be accessible to all backers. Seven years in the making, this film has been about taking a one of a kind path to tell a story that is truly one of a kind. With the help of great partners and resources like Tribeca All Access, Austin Film Society, Warner Bros. Film Award, Cinereach, Charles and Lucille King Finishing Award, Spike Lee Fellowship, Tribeca On-Track Grant, IFP Documentary Lab, Rooftop Filmmaker's/DCTV Grant, and IDFA Forum, we hope to reach beyond the traditional arthouse crowd and across North America.

How does a 16 year-old evolve into a bank robber? 

In EVOLUTION OF A CRIMINAL, filmmaker Darius Clark Monroe asks this very question—about himself. After seeing his mother and stepfather struggle to make ends meet while living outside of Houston, Texas, Monroe decided to help them by robbing a bank with two friends. In the film, Monroe interviews his family members, close friends and mentors who recount the stages of his transformation, going from a joyous childhood to the moment he realized the severity of his family’s financial problems, and how their struggles changed his outlook on society and his life as a whole.

Returning to his neighborhood several years after the crime, Monroe creates an incredibly intimate and personal journey of reflection and forgiveness while beautifully examining lower class struggles, the desperation of a teen under pressure, and the emotional impact that rippled in the aftermath of that day.

For updates, LIKE us on Facebook and FOLLOW us on Twitter!

Risks and challenges

There's no guarantee that our theatrical distribution will recoup the costs. Since theaters have final say in what they program, it’s very possible we will not be able to play theatrically in your hometown. However, we will have the film available on TUGG and are confident that with your support this will bring this story to people everywhere.

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Support

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    CLEAN RECORD - A Thank you (by name) on our website

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    VERBAL WARNING - Award winning composer, T. Griffin's (E-Team, Overnighters) downloadable Kickstarter Bonus soundtrack of Evolution of a Criminal (with extra tracks not included in the film).

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    WRITTEN WARNING - A Digital streaming link of the film
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    COMMUNITY SERVICE - Streaming links to a # of my earlier award winning shorts + all of the above

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    ELECTRONIC MONITORING - Exclusive access to deleted scenes
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    PROBATION - DVD signed by the director
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    DEFERRED ADJUDICATION - A Thank you on IMDB + All of the above

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    MINIMUM SECURTY - A Signed limited edition Evolution of a Criminal Theatrical Poster + All $100 Rewards

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    MEDIUM SECURITY - A skype session with the filmmaker + all $250 level rewards

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

    SOLITARY CONFINEMENT - 2 tickets to our premiere in NY, LA or Houston and drinks with the filmmaker afterwards. + All of the above

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    CLOSED CUSTODY - Attend a one day documentary workshop (held early/mid 2015 in NYC). Go in depth with Darius Clark Monroe, Cinematographer Daniel Patterson, and Editor Doug Lenox (along with some of the other crew) from Evolution of a Criminal. Walk away with new knowledge and skills to create some of your own documentary films. We encourage participants to also bring ideas and works in progress with you to discuss in this intimate workshop. You will be responsible for your own travel/accommodations if needed. Lunch will be provided. We will discuss all aspects of documentary filmaking and distrubition

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    MAXIMUM SECURITY - Come visit the set of my upcoming fiction film YEAR OF OUR LORD (shooting 2015). Airfare and accommodations are not included. An exclusive signed copy of the shooting script and a signed copy of the Evolution of a Criminal Blu-Ray DVD included.

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    ADMINISTRATIVE SEGREGATION - Your own private screening of the film at your house with the filmmaker in attendance + Signed poster, DVD, Streaming link, and IMDB thank you

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

    ELIGIBLE FOR PAROLE - Host a screening of Evolution of a Criminal at your University with the filmmaker in attendance! Signed poster, DVD, Streaming link, and IMDB thank you included.

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    PAROLE - Associate Producer credit + Signed poster, DVD, Streaming link

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    RELEASED - Producing credit and we will bow at your feet. A life long sentence of gratitude + Signed poster, DVD, Streaming link, and IMDB thank you. And you will be our idol

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Funding period

- (30 days)