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Sebastian Junger Raises Distribution Funds via Kickstarter For 'Restrepo' Follow-Up 'Korengal'

Photo of Shipra Gupta By Shipra Gupta | Indiewire April 24, 2014 at 9:5AM

Sebastian Junger has joined the ranks of Hollywood crowdfunders Zach Braff and Rob Thomas with his recently launched Kickstarter campaign for the "Restrepo" follow-up film, "Korengal."
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Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger

Sebastian Junger has joined the ranks of Hollywood crowdfunders Zach Braff and Rob Thomas with his recently launched Kickstarter campaign for "Korengal," the follow-up to the Academy-Award nominated "Restrepo."

While embedded with the Second Platoon, Battle Company, 173rd Airborne back in 2007 and 2008, Junger and his co-director, the late photographer Tim Hetherington, shot over 150 hours of footage. In "Korengal," Junger returns to his archive of footage except this time from a psychological angle.

"'Restrepo' was meant to be completely experiential," said Junger in the Kickstarter video, "like you feel like you're in the Korengal with these guys. We want[ed] you to jump out of your seat in that film. 'Korengal' is a little different. We're trying to understand the experience. The soldiers are talking about fear, about courage."

According to the film's Kickstarter page, Junger financed the editing of the film himself, but turned to crowdfunding for the distribution costs. Junger's decision to crowdfund rather than seek out a distributor is perhaps an effort to specifically reach out to veteran communities across the country, who will need the film most as the war in Afghanistan comes to an end and troops return home.

Launched on the April 16, the Kickstarter campaign managed to raise $30,000 toward distribution in the first 24 hours. With a little over a month left until the end of the campaign, Junger has already exceeded his goal of $75,000 by more than $15,000. Since reaching the initial goal, Junger is now using the remainder of the campaign to pre-sell tickets for the theatrical dates that have already been booked in New York, Los Angeles and additional cities.

"I financed the editing of this film myself, and now I need to pay for the bookings, advertising, posters, newspaper ads, a theatrical booker, a publicist, and the distribution coordinator.  It turns out, releasing a film theatrically is both a logistical nightmare and an enormous economic burden," said Junger on Kickstarter.

Per the Kickstarter page, the purchase price of each ticket includes a digital download of the film -- a surefire way for the film to solidify its place in cinema, but more importantly, enable it to serve as a form of healing for its target demographic of veterans by allowing them to return to it time and time again.

Watch the campaign video below:



This article is related to: Sebastian Junger, Restrepo, Tim Hetherington, Kickstarter , Korengal, Filmmaker Toolkit: Crowdfunding, Filmmaker Toolkit: Documentaries, Crowdfunding