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Papou: A story about life, death, and a child's imagination's video poster

A feature film about a wildly imaginative boy searching for a way for him and his dying grandfather to escape the clutches of death. Read more

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This project was successfully funded on November 30, 2012.

A feature film about a wildly imaginative boy searching for a way for him and his dying grandfather to escape the clutches of death.

About this project


UPDATE #1: Thank you to all of you who have donated thus far to our film. Your generosity has been staggering and we simply would not be able to create a film without your help. If you haven't donated, there is still a little time left for you to do so. Even a small donation will go a long way!

We'd like to mention that we have started casting for this film and will continue the process until we find exactly the right talent for each of the 40 roles. Negotiations with our "name" leads are still underway and we will update all of you when we can. We can say we are very excited to work with some of the people we have been speaking with about these roles....

Again, thanks for your support and continue to spread the word about our film, Papou!

pa-pou [pa-poo]

noun, singular. papou

  1. Greek for grandfather or more commonly associated with the word, grandpa.

  2. A man who is old, has no hair, and smells like smoke.

The Project:

PAPOU is the tale of a wildly imaginative boy and his dying grandfather’s attempts to escape the clutches of death. Over the course of the story, Demetri, our young protagonist, discovers amazing things about his grandfather but remains ignorant to the fact that he is slowly dying. 

A film about death, family, and the bond between grandfather and grandson, Papou touches upon several universal themes in a way that other films of this kind have rarely done. It is at once humorous and saddening, blending genres together in a way that will appeal to a large audience without sacrificing the integrity of the film core.

Below are some production stills that feature some of the more fantastical elements of the upcoming film.

Demetri's fantastic imagination at work.
Demetri's fantastic imagination at work.
Demetri fights the "commonists"
Demetri fights the "commonists"

Who's Involved?

To be shot in the Metro-Detroit area in the summer of 2013, PAPOU will involve many of the finest and dedicated actors and actresses that we can acquire.

Below is a list of those currently attached:

Basile (Jimmy the Greek) - Emmy Nominated Comedian and Actor 

We are in talks with several other "name" actors interested in our story. Although we are not at liberty to mention their names because they haven't committed, we can certainly tell you that we are very excited at the opportunity to work with talent of this caliber.

We also have some of the best creative and administrative personnel in town involved:

Michael Angelo Zervos (Realizism) - Co-producer, Director, and Writer

Michael Sinanis (Motor City Motors) - Co-Producer

Christos Moisides (Minority Report, xXx) - Director of Photography

Michael Malis (Slash/Fiction) - Composer

Jess Kean (Realizism) - Production Coordinator

Kinetic Post - Post Production and Office Space

Productions Plus - Casting Services

Why We Need Your Help:

Making a film is a daunting, not to mention expensive, process. Cameras, lights, costumes, and talent are only the tip of the iceberg. What about payroll, lawyers, and accountants? And how about marketing, contracts, and insurance? These costs can add up to eye-opening amounts.

It is this reason that we decided to appeal to Kickstarter in order to raise some of the capital needed to create this film. And by appealing to Kickstarter, we are really appealing to YOU, the people who are reading this right now. YOU have a decision to make now. Right now. We have a story to tell. It's a heartfelt, personal story that has affected every single person that has read it up until this point. And if we could, we'd send the script to each and every one of YOU. But that isn't possible. Instead, we are asking YOU to donate just a little to our cause because we know you've had a father, mother, grandmother, grandfather, or other relative in your life that changed you as a child.

For the writer, Michael Angelo Zervos, it was his grandfather. His Papou. His relationship with his grandfather affected him so deeply that he felt the need to make a movie about it. 

Not only does a donation to us help this film directly, but due to our interest in hiring almost exclusively a cast and crew in Michigan, it helps our state as well. We know that there are still thousands of workers that are just waiting for the opportunity to work on a film set again. We hope that PAPOU will provide some of them this opportunity.

We ask that YOU consider a donation. Any amount will do. It's a donation that will realize a story that everyone will be able to relate to, YOU included.


If you can't help us monetarily, help us by spreading the word. Share this link on your favorite social media site, with friends and family. We need all the help we can get to see this film happen.

YOU can make this possible.

Thank you very much/Ευχαριστώ πάρα πολύ,

Michael Angelo Zervos

Notice: Every cent will go directly to Mother and Midwife Pictures to be used as a direct capital investment for the film PAPOU.

Risks and challenges

We have some of the best players in town working on this film with decades of collected experience in the industry. Our story is original, heartwarming, and meaningful. Our editing house has serviced some of the best features shot locally. And everyone that is currently attached to this project will be dedicating their fullest effort to making this film the best it can be.

One of our big challenges during production is our usage of non-actors within our film. We want to involve the community but we know that everyone isn't a Brando or Pacino. Our dedicated director will work with some of the casted non-actors so that they feel comfortable in front of the camera and we can get the best performance out of them as possible.

Another challenge is that we want to shoot this film in less than a month. The script is currently 107 pages long. For an amateur film crew, this may be next to impossible. However, the crew we are working with, both above-the-line and below it, are dedicated and experienced members of Michigan's film industry. They know how to get things done and quickly.

The final challenge is casting Demetri. Our story depends on a young actor to carry the weight of this fantastical story. Even in Hollywood, this is an immense task. Nevertheless, since we have started so early (almost a year away from filming), we have given ourselves the time we need to find, cast, and train a child actor to fit this role perfectly.

Even still, after PAPOU is shot and in the can, it's not a shoe-in. It is not a guarantee. We will only succeed with the strong support of the filmmaking, but more importantly, film-consuming community. We think that although we have many resources that spell out success, the real proof will be whether or not the film consumer will support a film that is different than the norm.

PAPOU is not your typical film. It isn't a sequel, it isn't ultra-gory, and it isn't highly sexified. Hollywood wouldn't touch this film because it doesn't immediately spell out BIG BUCKS like a multi-million dollar blockbuster. We need YOU to prove Hollywood is wrong. Supporting and spreading the word about this film is the single greatest boon we could receive. This boon must prevail until the film hits the theaters....and beyond.

As Michael says in the video above, "do us, and you, a favor. Help us. We promise we'll make it worth every penny."

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter



  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    5 backers

    We thank you for your donation.

    "Little by little does the trick."

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    11 backers

    Everyone will know how great you are! Receive a special thanks on the Mother and Midwife website.

    "Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone."
    -G.B. Stern

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    Pledge $25 or more

    5 backers

    Wear what the crew wears so you look kind of like them. Not exactly. You wouldn't want that. Get a Papou t-shirt but with a special "Donor" label on the back.

    You will also receive every other lower tier reward.

    "Gifts of gold and silver mean naught. I yearn for gifts of the heart."

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    Pledge $35 or more

    13 backers

    Once our project is ready for distribution, you'll receive a copy of the film on DVD to see the fruits of our labor!

    "You know how sad your life is when you know the release date of DVDs."
    - Heston Blumenthal

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    Pledge $45 or more

    0 backers

    Receive a copy of the original soundtrack composed by the intrepid Michael Malis!

    “Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.”
    - Victor Hugo

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    Pledge $50 or more

    22 backers

    Receive a special thanks credit on the film itself! (Not applicable if you receive an associate producer's credit)

    You will also receive every other lower tier reward.

    "One can pay back the loan of gold, but one dies forever in debt to those who are kind."
    - Malayan Proverb

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    Pledge $100 or more

    19 backers

    You get two tickets to a local Michigan showing of Papou! Watching a movie is better when you know you paid to make it!

    You will also receive every other lower tier reward.

    "When I was a kid, if a guy got killed in a western movie, I always wonder who got his horse."
    -George Carlin

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    Pledge $150 or more

    5 backers

    Holy macaroni! You will get a signed print of the cast as well as a signed copy of the script by the director.

    You will also receive every other lower tier reward.

    "I like autographs. Mine's got a little swoop and then a curl and then it comes back around the front and....well, you just gotta see it."
    -Jerry Seinfeld

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    Pledge $250 or more

    4 backers Limited (16 left of 20)

    A real treat! You'll get a bound book of the PAPOU hand drawn storyboards signed by the director and illustrator.

    "Life is the art of drawing without an eraser."
    - John W. Gardner

    Estimated delivery:
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    Pledge $500 or more

    3 backers Limited (10 left of 13)

    We love you so much that we want to name a character after you! That's right, either your first or last name (or a combination) will be used to name one of our currently unnamed characters. Limit of 13 currently.

    You will also receive every other lower tier reward.

    "I call everyone 'darling' because I can't remember their names"
    -Zsa Zsa Gabor

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    Pledge $750 or more

    0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)

    You will receive an Associate Producer's credit on Papou! Welcome to the biz!

    You will also receive every other lower tier reward.

    "An associate producer is the only guy in Hollywood who will associate with a producer."
    -Fred Allen

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    Pledge $1,000 or more

    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    Roll out the red carpet and hire an entourage, you're going to be in the movie! You will be given a extra role in Papou!

    You will also receive every other lower tier reward.

    "Remember that you are just an extra in everyone else's play."
    - Franklin D. Roosevelt

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    Pledge $2,500 or more

    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    Ever wanted to have dinner with a star? Now's your chance! We will fly you to our location (continental US only), house you for the day, and invite you to dinner with the lead talent, producers, and director.

    You will also receive every other lower tier reward.

    "Actors didn't use to be celebrities. A hundred years ago, they put the theaters next to the brothels."
    -Joseph Gordon-Levitt

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    1 backer Limited (1 left of 2)

    Earn a VIP package! You are the King of the Cut! Queen of the Camera! Prince of the Pictures! You will sit next to the director (with your OWN chair) one day on set. You will get all the insider information on the glamour of the industry. You will earn a title card at the front of the film credits as a co-producer.
    The director may even let you yell action....

    You will also receive every other lower tier reward.

    "Oh, I just can't wait to be King!"
    -Simba (The Lion King, 1994)

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Funding period

- (60 days)