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A first-of-its-kind documentary about taking back the fate of our defining characteristic.
A first-of-its-kind documentary about taking back the fate of our defining characteristic.
A first-of-its-kind documentary about taking back the fate of our defining characteristic.
1,748 backers pledged $130,880 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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BREAD HEAD: Can we prevent America's most feared disease?

$130,880

1,748

We are so appreciative, thankful and moved by the thousands of people all over the world that supported us in our mission of bringing BREAD HEAD to life.

While our Kickstarter campaign may be over, it's not too late to join us and be a part of the film that will explore the intersection of diet, lifestyle and brain health.

Please visit our website at www.breadheadmovie.com for the latest updates and to find out how you can still get involved. 

Because of you, BREAD HEAD will live—a film about taking back the fate of our defining characteristic. It seems we are indeed the ones we've been waiting for.

Once again, THANK YOU.

Max Lugavere and kNow Productions

Dementia is, without question, horrible. There’s no way around it. It robs us of the essence of who we are. Currently, there are over 5 million people in the US who have Alzheimer’s, the most common form of the disease, and it costs the nation $200 billion per year. Those numbers are expected to triple by the year 2050. Worldwide, there are 45 million with the disease, and a new case is diagnosed every 4 seconds. 

But for me, dementia transcends statistics. It’s personal. Three years ago, at age 59, my mom began having serious difficulty with her cognition. Scratching our heads in bewilderment, we did what anyone would do, and decided to see a neurologist. Because her symptoms were atypical, the diagnosis was unclear, and it sent us around the country to some of our nation's top neurology departments to figure out what she had.

Me and mom, circa 2012, at NYU Langone Medical Center
Me and mom, circa 2012, at NYU Langone Medical Center

The process was gutting, and left me with more questions than answers. To say I was in shock is an understatement. My frustration with the limited capacity for treatment I saw, and my intuition that something could and needed to be done, compelled me to action. My focus from that point on was two-fold: What, if anything, can be done to address the disease (rather than just the symptoms) of somebody who is already showing early symptoms of cognitive impairment, and what, if anything, can be done to prevent it in the first place? It was around that time that I encountered a groundswell of cutting edge thinking that stood in stark contrast to the vacuum of standard medical care as I had experienced it with my mom.

Shooting on C300s with Suzanne de la Monte, MD. Brown University, 2014
Shooting on C300s with Suzanne de la Monte, MD. Brown University, 2014

This is not another documentary exposing the hardships of dementia. There are plenty of those. BREAD HEAD (working title) will be the first documentary to investigate the empowering science that is happening in labs and clinics today to help us beat it. Because changes in the brain begin decades before Alzheimer's symptoms, the absolute best way we can move the needle on this disease is through minimizing risk when it matters most.

I am an optimist. I believe in the ability of science to be utterly illuminating. While there is no cure for Alzheimer's yet, understanding of the disease has advanced exponentially over the past decade. And yet, JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, recently printed that it takes on average 17 years for just 14% of what is discovered in science to be put into day-to-day clinical practice. We can do so much better. BREAD HEAD will be a soaring homage to the awe and wonder of brain science, liberate what insight is out there, and spotlight the luminaries in the field today.

The film will follow my journey to uncover ways of optimizing brain health and cognition, applicable to anyone and everyone, starting today. Lastly, BREAD HEAD will move past the present science to explore what the future may look like for both the prevention and treatment of these diseases.

This is a film about the future of us.

We will look at the impact of diet on brain health and explore with leading experts how "low fat" nutritional guidelines may have affected the wellbeing of America across generations, both generally, and from the perspective of brain health. Additionally, we’ll cut through the noise to hear from leading voices at the front lines of medicine about the role that gluten, a source of much confusion lately, plays in our health. We’re explore the gut-brain axis and "microbiome", an emerging new field of interest, which has stunning implications for our health. Lastly, we’ll cover our "always on" lifestyles and its effect on our brains.

Other topics covered:

  • How to minimize dementia risk factors, starting today
  • How you can control your gene expression, even if you have Alzheimer’s in your family
  • The science behind why a common supermarket food may provide an alternate fuel source for ailing brain cells
  • How to protect and grow new brain cells at any age, and optimize memory and cognition
  • The newly discovered self cleaning mechanism in the brain and how to maximize it
  • Board-certified neurologists who are taking drug-free integrative approaches to dementia patients, and seeing stunning results
  • The future – What will brain disease look like 5, 10, 20 years from now? What are the most exciting developments underway today? Who is leading the charge?

Interviewees:

...and more.

BREAD HEAD will be a journey to the cutting edge of neuroscience.

Shooting with globally-renowned gluten expert Dr. Alessio Fasano. Harvard, 2014
Shooting with globally-renowned gluten expert Dr. Alessio Fasano. Harvard, 2014

“Let food be thy medicine.” – Hippocrates

Contrary to popular belief, dementia is not a normal part of aging. Also, it is not hereditary, although there are genetic risk factors, the influence of which can either be exacerbated or mitigated by lifestyle choices. Inflammation plays a role, and there is evidence pointing to an auto-immune aspect of the disease. Additionally, metabolic health is a chief concern for brain health as the brain at rest utilizes 20% of our energy needs.

Because changes in the brain begin decades before symptoms, the chance to really move the needle on this disease lies with making a big, empowering film to catalyze a movement around minimizing risk through diet and lifestyle, using the latest, safest, evidence-based science, aimed at a demographic not typically tuned in to dementia-related content. All movements begin with a good story, and this film will be that story. And as a millennial, I know that if there’s one thing my generation doesn’t like to do, it’s wait.

“New brain science has revealed remarkable ways in which our diet and genes interact to affect almost every aspect of our cognitive functions and our risk for future brain disease.  Few people are better suited to chronicle these findings than Max Lugavere, one of Gen Y’s leading voices, and the dream team of scientists he has lined up.  I don’t agree with all of Max’s views, but my conversations with him have always made me think twice about facts I took for granted.  Controversial and deeply personal, this film aspires to do for brain health what An Inconvenient Truth did for climate science.  The debate is timely and much needed.” - Murali Doraiswamy MD, Duke Institute for Brain Sciences

"I worked with Max on a series that we co-created, Acting Disruptive, which received a stunning 26 million views. Max has a captivating yet instantly relatable storytelling style and a very personal commitment to making this film. Combining Max's journey with fascinating science, this is a timely and important story for anyone with a brain." - Jane Rosenthal, Co-Founder, Tribeca Film Festival

"Max is a rare breed of young, passionate storytellers—dedicated to bridging the worlds of media and social good.  This film crosses media & health, a combination I fully support.  Max's passion for communicating science can really help move the needle on this pressing global issue, at a time when it matters most."  - Marc Hodosh, Co-Creator, TEDMED 

 All of our rewards are meant to support our contributors' brain-healthy lifestyle!

Kickstarter seed funding is incredibly important because it keeps the project moving at an early stage where little other funding is available. We are then able to use the amount raised here to leverage other funding sources. Additionally, your support proves to studio execs that an audience for this film exists. But we know you're more than just an audience. You're now part of a community of stakeholders and partners that share in the BREAD HEAD movement. The sky is truly the limit for how much we can accomplish together if this campaign succeeds.

Please also note that up to 30% of the funds raised go for fees, outreach cost, reward costs, etc.

Tax-deductible rewards of over $500 are accepted. For details contact breadhead@knowproductions.net.

A word about music: I can't wait to score my film with original music from some of my very talented friends. Because of my time spent making music, I personally know many incredible and internationally-recognized artists, so the music on this film will surely be noteworthy.

The teaser above closes with the inimitable Ryan Star ("Losing Your Memory"), and also features Ancient Lasers ("Sunday Dinner"). The video opens with my own track, "Weather Advisory".

“What is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?” – David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

Your contribution will help, however small. But if making a financial contribution isn’t an option for you, we understand. Getting the word out about this campaign by emailing it to everyone you know REALLY HELPS. Post the campaign to Facebook. Tweet it. Use the hashtag #breadhead so that we can get it trending. 

Max Lugavere (Director, Producer) - Max Lugavere is a multi-hyphenate content creator, filmmaker and media personality. Featured recently on NBC Nightly News and in a widely-circulated Wall Street Journal article titled "Alzheimer's Prevention for 30-Somethings With No Symptoms", Max, 32, has quickly become a leading voice for brain health among millennials. He has given talks on the topic, most recently at the Evolution of Brain Health Summit in NYC, and Media Rise in Washington, DC. He has written about science, technology, and health innovation for The Daily Beast, Fast Company, Huffington Post, Psychology Today, and many more, and his work has been covered by USA Today, Details, Forbes, Variety, and RYOT, among others.

Max is one of GOOD Magazine’s 2014 GOOD 100, their annual list highlighting visionaries each of whom is tackling present-day problems and issues, offering up his or her own creative, tangible solutions to push our world forward.

Prior to BREAD HEAD, Max created and hosted AOL’s top viewed web series ever, Acting Disruptive, which he produced with Tribeca Digital Studios. Dubbed “two parts big ideas, one part late night talk show” by Forbes and “one of the best streaming shows of 2013” by Entertainment Weekly, the series earned upwards of 26 million views. Before that, Max was a prominent host and producer of Al Gore’s Emmy-winning Current TV during its most ambitious years, landing him a featured appearance in Gap’s “Icons” campaign worldwide.

Know Productions is a creative media firm with offices in New York and Tel Aviv, and has produced a variety of feature films, television shows, and commercials. Our projects have garnered critical acclaim, earning us three Emmy nominations and a Peabody award. Among our range of titles include 'To Die in Jerusalem' 2007, 'After the Storm' 2009, 'Numbered' 2012, 'Dancing in Jaffa' 2013 (Tribeca, Sundance selects), 'Web Junkie' 2013 (Sundance) and 'The Go Go Boys' 2014 (Cannes). Our latest film, 'Censored Voices' 2015, has premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and Berlinale Film Festival.

Risks and challenges

Making a documentary film is an inherently risky business but we are confident that we can meet any of the potential obstacles head on.

There is always the potential challenge that more funding will be needed to complete the film. This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as: editing takes longer than anticipated or unforseen events require more filming days. This would hold up our completion date but would not keep us from completing the project. No matter what, with the money we raise here we will have a strong rough-cut version to show investors and distributors which will help us secure any additional necessary funds.

We promise to keep our backers up to date on any new risks and challenges and to be straight-forward and transparent about our brilliant plans to tackle them!

DVDs will be available when ready for distribution and release in respective territory. But we promise to send to our backers first in any circumstances.

Also some fine print on the prizes. For our nutritionist award: one consultation + dietary suggestions upon scheduling separately within 4 months as of the end of the campaign. Traveling and accommodation not included in any awards.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    The coffee shop sacrifice. For little more than the price of a medium cold brew (Max's favorite) you are helping move the needle on one of the most pressing health issues of our time. THANK YOU!

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    Secure public proof of your benevolent badassness with a public declaration of love and gratitude from Max Lugavere via Twitter. Thank you!!!

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    *EARLY BIRD VALUE DEAL* All previous perks plus digital version of the film BEFORE ANYONE ELSE!

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    All previous perks plus a digital version of the film! Watch the entire movie from any device, on demand. You can even watch it on a watch these days, we hear.

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    All previous perks plus receive a signed copy of Max's debut musical effort, "One Year Later", recorded in the winter of 2009. "Impressively accurate as it goes through the motions of an emotional roller coaster," said Indie Shuffle of the 5-song EP. LIMITED TO THIS REWARD.

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    Your name will be listed for the whole world to see under our website's Kickstarter Supporters section, as well as the Twitter shout-out and digital download PLUS early peeks at scenes as they're being edited. Witness the filmmaking process in action AND join an epic community of change-makers.

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    *EARLY BIRD VALUE DEAL* All previous perks plus a *signed* DVD copy of the film BEFORE ANYONE ELSE with the addition of a personal video thank you message from Max!

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    Receive a DVD copy of the film and all previous perks with the addition of a personal video thank you message from Max!

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    All previous perks with the addition of access to a private, password-protected research blog with production and science notes from the film.

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    All previous perks, plus receive a signed copy of Dr. Richard Isaacson's "The Alzheimer's Diet: A Step-by-Step Nutritional Approach for Memory Loss Prevention and Treatment". Max is a patient of Dr. Isaacson's, as seen on NBC Nightly News. LIMITED TO THIS REWARD.

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    *NEW* All previous perks plus receive a custom, hand-stamped bracelet from MyIntent.org. Pick your word of intent and then we will make it in Los Angeles with love just for you. LIMITED TO THIS REWARD.

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    All previous perks, with the addition of your name being listed IN THE FILM. In the credits, we will create a separate card for a select group of our Kickstarter supporters. This perk guarantees seeing your name up there in lights. Additionally receive a limited edition T-shirt signifying your involvement in the project. T-SHIRT LIMITED TO THIS REWARD.

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    All previous perks, plus receive a signed copy of Dr. Alessio Fasano's "Gluten Freedom". Dr. Fasano is a world-renowned leader in gluten research, and founder/director of MassGeneral's Center for Celiac Research. He discovered zonulin, regulator of permeability in gut and blood-brain barrier. LIMITED TO THIS REWARD.

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    *NEW* All previous perks, plus receive a signed copy of Nina Teicholz's "The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat & Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet". This book is a NY Times Best-Seller and The Economist called it a "best book of 2014". It seems everything we thought we knew about dietary fats is wrong. LIMITED TO THIS REWARD.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    All previous perks, plus receive a signed copy of Dr. David Perlmutter's NEW book, "Brain Maker". Dr. Perlmutter is a world-renowned leader in functional medicine and neurology, editor of Brain & Gut Journal, and the author of the #1 New York Times Best Seller "Grain Brain". LIMITED TO THIS REWARD.

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    *NEW* All previous perks, but with an on-screen shared closing credit to commemorate loved ones struggling with neurodegenerative diseases. A tiny tribute of respect and positive energy inspired by Kim Steppe. This will be a different credit than the "Kickstarter Supporters" credit on screen.

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    Did someone say SWAG? You'll get all of the previous perks, plus a poster of the movie SIGNED BY MAX with a special note thanking you personally, an eco-friendly TOTE BAG to go shopping for brain healthy foods with, and 2 DVDs to give to friends.

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    You'll get all of the previous perks plus a special custom diet plan from one of our trusted certified nutritionists for optimal cognitive performance.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    You'll get all of the previous perks, but your on-screen credit will be on a separate card, before the Kickstarter support card, titled "With the Support Of." This is a limited perk, and only available to 15 contributors.

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    *NEW* Skype with Neta or Hilla, founders of NYC and Tel Aviv-based kNow Productions, producers of BREAD HEAD. The dynamic duo have been 3x Emmy nominated and have won a Peabody award for journalism. They have premiered their critically-acclaimed documentary films at Sundance 2x, Cannes, and Tribeca. Are you an aspiring independent filmmaker looking for advice, guidance, feedback? This reward is perfect for you.

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    All previous perks plus a one hour Skype with Max. You can ask anything about the filmmaking process, his personal experience, his insights into nutrition and health optimization, his passion for technology, his favorite color, his love of music, or anything really.

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

    All previous perks plus tickets for you and a companion (date night? bro-date? ladies night?) to the premier in NYC or LA (whichever's more convenient for you) as well as a public shout-out during the opening welcome speech. Hob-knob with Hollywood types and neuroscientists alike and know that you helped make a BIG difference. Take pictures on the red carpet. Travel/accommodations not included.

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

    All previous perks plus choose between joining Max and the film's composer (TBD but sure to be somebody noteworthy) for a scoring session during the film's production process OR a day spent shooting with Max. Perfect for aspiring filmmakers. Travel not included.

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    Max will take you on a lunch tour of all of his favorite eating spots and health food markets in NYC or LA and show you that brain-healthy eating is easy AND delicious.

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    All previous perks (500 and below) plus an intimate, "paleo"-style dinner with Max and the film producers somewhere in LA or NYC. Travel/accommodations not included.

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    All previous perks and receive an Associate Producer credit for the film! Be listed on IMDB. You'll be there at the premier of the film and walk the red carpet where you'll be photographed as a production team member. You'll also receive 5 signed DVDs to give to friends and family.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    All previous perks, and additionally Max will come and give a talk at your school or organization (travel/accommodations not included) about the filmmaking process and how to optimize brain health to minimize risk.

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Funding period

- (36 days)