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We know the question but what is the answer? An intimate and boundless exploration of love by a cross-section of humanity.
We know the question but what is the answer? An intimate and boundless exploration of love by a cross-section of humanity.
144 backers pledged $24,593 to help bring this project to life.

About

WHAT IS LOVE? A feature-length documentary project video thumbnail
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$24,593

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“When humanity recognizes the power of love it will be like discovering fire for the second time.”  (Stephan Rechtschaffen from Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.)

What is Love? is a feature-length documentary about love and its many meanings.

Love is a word we all use, but rarely stop and try to define. This film asks the question of over a hundred people from all walks of life, ages, sexualities and cultures. Do we need to love ourselves? Is love unconditional? How important is vulnerability, sex and fate? What are the challenges in relationships? Everyone brings their unique stories of love: love lost, love won – perspectives both personal and universal. They speak from the depths of years of experience, from the freshness of youth, from the battlegrounds and successes of love. 

The film offers something for all of us to relate to, to counter, to discuss, to pass on. Moments that can touch the very essence of our souls with humor, pathos, vulnerability, joy and occasional stunned silence.

An understanding of the power of love is more necessary than ever in a world that is plagued by negativity. The aim of What is Love? is to create a positive and dynamic dialogue for all of us.

PARTICIPANTS: Over a hundred people have generously agreed to be interviewed on camera, offering up both their time and innermost thoughts. Actors, writers, artists, musicians, spiritual teachers, the woman who inspired the overturn of DOMA, politicians, farmers, entrepreneurs, yogis, chefs and surfers, schoolchildren and elders, and so many more. What we do can make our lives feel so different from others, but as this film reveals, there is much we share and can learn from one another.

BACK STORY: After a lifetime of relationships, co-director Jane Martin thought she understood what love was. However after one more heartbreak she was left wondering if she really did. So in September of 2014 she began this feature-length documentary to find out if anyone had the answer. In 2015, Alex Mankiewicz joined the project as co-director, bringing another perspective. Together they continue to interview a broad range of participants. They are broadening the reach of the film by including Skype interviews from around the world.

Co-director Jane Martin & New York based Cinematographer Nate Best
Co-director Jane Martin & New York based Cinematographer Nate Best

SCHEDULE: As of October 2015, principal photography is nearing completion. With over 70 hours of moving, entertaining and insightful footage, the task ahead is to sift through the interviews, create graphics and assemble the edit. Delivery of a rough cut is slated for March 2016. Another three months will be required for music and the final cut.

OUR KICKSTARTER GOALS: We need to raise a minimum of $21,500 to fund the final production and post-production of WHAT IS LOVE?. We think it’s only fair to show you where the money is going – so here’s a general idea:

IS THIS TOPIC IMPORTANT?  Millions of people think so. Six months into production we found out that What is Love? was the most Googled question of 2011, 2012 and 2014. It's something that so many of us want to understand.

THE FILMMAKERS:

CO-DIRECTORS JANE MARTIN & ALEX MANKIEWICZ
CO-DIRECTORS JANE MARTIN & ALEX MANKIEWICZ

JANE MARTIN is an award-winning film director and multi-media artist. After film studies at New York University, she worked extensively in the film and television industry in New York and Paris. Her first documentary Silent Sentries, an ode to New York City, was broadcast on four PBS stations nationally, including numerous times on PBS Channel 13 New York City. It also premièred at festivals in France, Belgium, Spain, Germany, Portugal and the United States.

She has pursued the visual arts in many forms, including video stills and video installation, photography and painting. She is represented in museum, corporate and private collections worldwide, including The Parrish Art Museum, Islip Art Museum and Guild Hall Museum. Martin has exhibited widely in the U.S. and Europe, including two solo museum exhibitions.

ALEX MANKIEWICZ has worked in film and television in many different capacities - from Art Department to Assistant Director - on both studio and independent productions in Paris, Los Angeles and New York. She comes from a filmmaking family and grew up in London, Hollywood and New York and has subsequently lived in Paris, Japan and Australia. She has worked for entities as diverse as HBO and Merchant-Ivory, curated film festivals and taught storyboarding. Though raised to understand the power and rhythm of fiction, she has always found the truth of documentary (strange as it can be at times) to be more moving and compelling.

An award-winning illustrator and printmaker, her work ranges from graphic novels, to editorial pieces to political cartoons and is held in private collections in the UK, Europe, Japan and the United States.

**** The HD DIGITAL DOWNLOAD REWARD will be available after the film's festival premiere and before it is available to the public on VOD or streaming service.

T-SHIRTS & WRISTBAND (Different sizes.)
T-SHIRTS & WRISTBAND (Different sizes.)
SPARROWS LULLABY BAND DOWNLOAD & BOUND TRANSCRIPT OF FILM WITH PHOTOS
SPARROWS LULLABY BAND DOWNLOAD & BOUND TRANSCRIPT OF FILM WITH PHOTOS
ASTROLOGY READING & 'WHAT IS LOVE?' POSTER
ASTROLOGY READING & 'WHAT IS LOVE?' POSTER

                     ART BY CO-DIRECTOR ALEX MANKIEWICZ:

ART REWARD: 'LOVE INK,' Archival Giclee Print, 18 x 12." Edition of 20.
ART REWARD: 'LOVE INK,' Archival Giclee Print, 18 x 12." Edition of 20.

 "... looking again, there is always something more, some hidden detail that adds an unforeseen bit of humour or poignancy to the image." - M. Sayer-Jones, Art Director

                            ART BY CO-DIRECTOR JANE MARTIN:

ART REWARD: 'SHELTER-SKY,' Archival Pigment Print, 10 x 10," Edition of 11.
ART REWARD: 'SHELTER-SKY,' Archival Pigment Print, 10 x 10," Edition of 11.

"Of notable interest in the exhibition is Jane Martin's series of video stills, which are both profoundly cinematic and enigmatically mysterious." – Eric Ernst, The Southampton Press.

"...something about Ms. Martin’s gaze makes her female subjects stronger, even when the setting would make them appear more vulnerable." — Jennifer Landes, The East Hampton Star. 

TO ALL OF YOU WHO ANSWERED OUR QUESTIONS WITH HONESTY AND COURAGE AND TO ALL OF YOU WHO FIND IT IN YOUR HEARTS TO DONATE TO THE LOVE PROJECT.  SPREAD THE LOVE!

Risks and challenges

The color corrections may take longer than we can know at the moment and the music rights may be more complicated than expected to secure – but we feel confident that the film will be completed on or close to schedule. Should we exceed our financial goal by a significant amount there has been enthusiasm for creating a several part series in addition to the feature-length documentary. Each episode would focus on a particular aspect of love. The footage is so rich and therefore this feels like an exciting challenge and an opportunity to leave nothing of value on the cutting room floor!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    LOVE & KISSES:
    A huge THANK YOU and our eternal gratitude for your support of our LOVE project and independent filmmaking!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE:
    HD DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of ‘What is Love?' and exclusive backer updates on the film.

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    27 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    LOVE PACK: BONUS***
    Send us YOUR DEFINITION of LOVE: we will post it on our website. Join the dialogue!

    + LOVE WRISTBAND (3/4": youth & adult sizes)

    + HD DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of 'What is Love?' and exclusive backer updates on the film. (Wristband will ship earlier.)

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    LOVE COMES QUICKLY:
    TWO DIGITAL DOWNLOADS:
    - 'WHAT IS LOVE?'
    - 'SILENT SENTRIES': A love ode to the skyline of Manhattan, a 25 minute documentary by Jane Martin.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    I FEEL LOVE:
    YOUR NAME in the THANK YOU CREDITS
    + HD DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of “What is Love?”

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    22 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    IF MUSIC BE THE FOOD OF LOVE:
    Digital download of the SPARROWS LULLABY BAND CD (featured in the Kickstarter)
    + LOVE WRISTBAND
    + HD DIGITAL DOWNLOAD OF 'What is Love?'
    (Soundtrack and wristband ship earlier)

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    THE LOOK OF LOVE:
    ORGANIC T-SHIRT of 'What is Love?' artwork
    + LOVE WRISTBAND
    + HD DIGITAL DOWNLOAD OF 'What is Love?'
    + DIGITAL DOWNLOAD OF 'Silent Sentries'
    + YOUR NAME in the THANK YOU CREDITS
    (T-shirt and wristband ship earlier)

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $110 or more About $110

    THE ART OF LOVE:
    SIGNED LIMITED EDITION of 24 x 18” “WHAT IS LOVE?” POSTER
    + LOVE WRISTBAND
    + HD DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of 'What is Love?'
    + DIGITAL DOWNLOAD OF 'Silent Sentries'
    (Poster and wristband ship earlier)

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    THE GAME OF LOVE:
    12 ILLUSTRATED CARDS each with one question from the film. Explore the topic with your friends and loved ones. Illustrations by co-director Alex Mankiewicz. (Host an evening with your friends, screen the film and pass out the cards!)
    + LOVE WRISTBAND
    + HD DIGITAL DOWNLOAD OF 'What is Love?'
    + DIGITAL DOWNLOAD OF 'Silent Sentries'

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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    I WANT TO KNOW WHAT LOVE IS:
    SIGNED TRANSCRIPT OF THE FILM (bound book with photos of film images)
    + LOVE WRISTBAND
    + HD DIGITAL DOWNLOAD OF 'What is Love?'
    + DIGITAL DOWNLOAD OF 'Silent Sentries'
    + YOUR NAME in the THANK YOU CREDITS
    (Wristband ships earlier)

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    Pledge $225 or more About $225

    50 WAYS TO LEAVE YOUR LOVER:
    HD DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of EXTENDED MATERIAL (30 minutes of additional footage). Choice of two topics: self-love, vulnerability, relationship challenges, unconditional love, fate, or lust and sex.
    + HD DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of 'What is Love?' (October 2016).

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  12. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    STAR-CROSSED LOVER PACK:
    A one hour ASTROLOGICAL READING by phone of the relationship points in your natal chart by our fabulous astrologer. Your birth date, exact time and place are necessary.
    + HD DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of 'What is Love?' (October 2016).

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    Reward no longer available 2 backers
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    Pledge $275 or more About $275

    'LOVE INK':
    A signed 18 x12” MUSEUM QUALITY ARCHIVAL GICLEE PRINT (Edition of 20) by illustrator and co-director Alex Mankiewicz (see image).
    + HD DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of 'What is Love?' (October 2016).

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    Limited 4 backers
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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    HELLO, I LOVE YOU:
    A ONE HOUR Skype or FaceTime CALL with the directors who will answer any of your questions (almost)!
    + HD DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of 'What is Love?' (October 2016).

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    Pledge $450 or more About $450

    YOU CAN'T HURRY LOVE:
    Spend a half day with the directors during the edit to see the process and share your opinions.
    (Travel and additional expenses not included)
    + HD DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of 'What is Love?' (October 2016)

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    Pledge $550 or more About $550

    LOVE STORY:
    An original signed 10 x 10” MUSEUM QUALITY ARCHIVAL PIGMENT PRINT of award-winning image “SHELTER-SKY” (Limited Edition of 11) by multi-media artist and co-director Jane Martin (see image).

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    Pledge $950 or more About $950

    TELL THE WORLD WHAT YOU THINK LOVE IS:
    A CAMEO in the film via Skype or Facetime. See yourself on the silver screen. You will be listed in the cast in our rolling credits. (Online interview will take place by March 2016).
    + HD DIGITAL DOWNLOAD OF 'What is Love?'

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    Pledge $1,300 or more About $1,300

    LOVE MAKES THE WORLD GO ROUND:
    A SPECIAL THANK YOU IN THE CREDITS: shared with a maximum of four others (depending on how many choose this reward). A static card not a rolling credit!
    + HD DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of 'What is Love?'
    + Invitation to a private screening in New York City.
    (Travel and additional expenses not included.)

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    Pledge $3,500 or more About $3,500

    HOW DEEP IS YOUR LOVE?:
    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER CREDIT:
    Have you name emblazoned in the credits (you share a credit with up to two other Associate Producers).
    + DVD of 'What is Love?' SIGNED BY THE DIRECTORS.
    + Invitation to a private screening in New York City.
    (Travel and additional expenses not included.)

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

    BEST OF MY LOVE:
    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER CREDIT on the film:
    Your name will have SOLO screen time in the film’s opening credits. You will be involved with the progress of the film post-editing, and invited to all screenings and premieres.
    + DVD of 'What is Love?' SIGNED BY THE DIRECTORS.
    (Travel and additional expenses not included.)

    You will be our love angels!

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Funding period

- (32 days)