About this project
“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.
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.
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.
ART BY CO-DIRECTOR ALEX MANKIEWICZ:
"... 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:
"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!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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