Black Canaries Finishing Drive I Mining Family History: An Interview with Jesse Kreitzer
Nearing the light at the end of the tunnel, this coal-dusted miner emerges with one last plea before my MFA thesis film Black Canaries makes its way in the world. 

Here's the deal: it cost $47,000 to produce the film--just two thousand over our projected budget.  Film stock, processing, scanning, equipment, insurance, gas, food, lodging.  Yup, filmmaking is expensive and it all adds up.  After launching a grassroots film tour and online Kickstarter campaign, we raised $29,000 from over 270 donors and moved into production without our full budget.  So we're in the hole, sure, but we've got something very special on our hands. 

As we prep the film for festivals by putting final touches on the sound mix, original score and visual effects, we've been hit with another stack of fees.  On average, each festival charges a $30 submission fee to be considered by its screening committee.  I've identified 70 top-tier festivals worldwide, which will require at least $2,000 just to submit the film for consideration.  That's not including duplication costs, shipping, travel, marketing, etc. 

To help submit the film to festivals, I'm launching a Black Canaries Finishing Drive to add a few more names to the closing credits and throwing in some perks while we're at it.  Make a donation, get the advance digital download, a free poster, BluRay, DVD or e-book, and sponsor a festival submission for your chance to snag two seats at the screening.

Here's how it works:
Cover a film festival submission fee and come along for the ride on the circuit.  Choose which festival submission you'd like to sponsor and if Black Canaries is accepted, you'll get two tickets to the screening.  Simple as that.  Make note: once a festival has been sponsored, it will no longer be available.  You're not the only one who wants to go to Cannes, y'know.   Here are just some of the festivals we'll be submitting to:
Make a donation, get the Black Canaries digital download before it hits festivals and choose a limited-edition perk while you're at it.  Free shipping, too!
For better or worse, this is how American independent films get made these days.  I wouldn't ask for your help if I didn't need it.

If you prefer, make your contribution tax-deductible via Fractured Atlas.
Use your mode of choice to bring this campaign for finishing funds to the right people.  Click, like, share, tweet, or send carrier pigeons from your rooftop.  Help me get Black Canaries out to the world!

The Finishing Drive will run until the last closing credit is added and the film is primed for its big screen debut.
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Questions?  Contact me at
Mining Family History: An Interview with Jesse Kreitzer
Little Village, July 2015 - Issue 180

"Black Canaries
offers a haunting meditation on hope and suffering told through a series of striking images. Set in the early 20th Century and focusing on a small family whose lives are exhausted by the daily need to survive, the film uses darkness and light to beautifully contextualize the struggle to thrive in difficult times."  Download PDF
Kodak Motion Picture Film
July 20, 2015

Today, Kodak acknowledged Black Canaries across social media platforms as part of their #filmworthy campaign.  We woudldn't have made a 1900s coal mining folktale any other way.   View the post.
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