Tuesday, April 9, 2013

"J Street"--Watch The Trailer, Help Us Finish

Watch the trailer on Kickstarter
Three years ago, film-makers Ben Avishai and Ken Winikur began to track J Street's insurgency. They've had extraordinary access to J Street internal meetings, national conventions, and local community debates, many fraught with controversy. In all, they’ve filmed over 200 hours: unique interviews with J Street founder Jeremy Ben-Ami, as well as with such players and observers as Ehud Olmert, Amy Ayalon, Tom Friedman, Lawrence Wilkerson, and Alan Dershowitz.

Ben and Ken have been making documentary films for fifteen years, producing nationally televised documentaries on subjects as diverse as “The Spear of Christ” and crime boss Whitey Bulger, all broadcast on Investigation Discovery and The History Channel. They also collaborated on producing all of the films for the Holocaust Museum in Skokie, Illinois. (Yes, Ben is my son.)

To be clear, this is an independent production, which I have had the privilege of advising closely. The intention is to air the film as a national television broadcast, in the US and abroad. Ben and Ken presented J Street: The Documentary to the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam. Israel’s YES docu cable service has provisionally committed to running the final result, while other public television networks, from Norway to Japan, have expressed strong interest in the finished product. In the US and Canada, too, public television series and cable networks have asked to see a rough cut--hence this post.

This project is now at its most critical stage. Ben and Ken have raised all they could from foundations and private philanthropy to complete their filming. Now they need to raise $35,000 to complete editing--and raise whatever they can over and above this amount for archival footage acquisition, audio mixing, color-correction, animations, music and title graphics. This morning, they began a Kickstarter campaign to do just this.

Readers of this blog have honored me with your attention over the past six years.  Now I ask for more tangible evidence of your good opinion. This is a film we need.

Watch the trailer, contribute what you can.