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Acclaimed filmmaker fails to reach fundraising goal for Jackson Heights documentary, but still will complete it


Aug. 7, 2015 By Michael Florio

An acclaimed director who was looking to raise funds to cover the costs of a documentary on Jackson Heights failed to raise the $75,000 he sought on Kickstarter to fund the project.

Frederick Wiseman, who has won the Peabody Award, has completed a 3 hour documentary that showcases Jackson Heights as the quintessential melting pot–by filming ethnic parades, the annual Queens Pride Parade and various community and religious meetings.

Wiseman raised $20,516 on Kickstarter. However, with Kickstarter the fundraising goal must meet —in this case $75,000—by a certain date for the expected recipient to get any of the funds.

Nevertheless, Wiseman is moving ahead with the project and it is not likely to cause any delays, according to a spokeswoman for his film company.

Alternative donors have been found. The Ford Foundation, PBS, Sundance Documentary Fund, Pershing Square Foundation and ITVS have provided grants to help him cover the cost.

Wiseman is also considering launching another crowd funding campaign, but has yet to finalize the details.

Despite failing to reach the $75,000 goal, his film company was still pleased with the support and did not appear disappointed.

“We all felt that a goal of $75,000 was possible,” a spokeswoman said. “We most certainly do not feel let down by anyone and are grateful for the response we received from donors and people who have contacted us about the release of the film.”

The company is now lining up screenings around the world. The film will premier in Venice.

The documentary will be released in the U.S. at the Film Forum in New York City on November 4th. It will air on PBS in 2016.

IN JACKSON HEIGHTS Rough cut sneak peek from Zipporah Films on Vimeo.

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