Filmmaker and journalist Sebastian Junger has announced a Kickstarter campaign to fund a theatrical release for Korengal, his new documentary that's a sequel to Restrepo, the Academy Award-nominated film he made with the late photojournalist Tim Hetherington back in 2010.
Hetherington was killed while covering the Libyan civil war in 2011 and Junger subsequently made the HBO documentary Which Way is the Front Line from Here? as a tribute to his fallen colleague. Junger and Hetherington shot over 150 hours of footage during the year they spent with a U.S. Army platoon in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley and used that as the basis for Restrepo.
Junger returned to the unused footage and decided to pick up the story after the time period covered in the story and use it to make a very different kind of film. Restrepo focuses on the experience of serving in a war zone but Korengal reveals a lot more about the men who serve, illuminating their backgrounds, thoughts and motivations. It's a much different take on the same material and watching the two films back-to-back offers a perspective that we haven't really seen before. Military.com editor Ward Carroll says, "It’s definitive. If you want to know the war and who fought it, there you go."
Junger is distributing the movie himself. It's booked to open in New York City on May 30th and in Los Angeles on June 13th. He's aiming for a national rollout to between 30 and 50 cities. The Kickstarter campaign, which has already passed its $75,000 goal, will help pay for screen rental and advertising during the theatrical run. Contributors can choose from a large number of premiums in exchange for their pledge, starting with a thank you on the web site at the lower levels and progressing up through digital downloads, DVD copies, t-shirts, signed movie posters and all the way up to private screenings and dinner with the director or a private sailing trip with Junger and Brendan O'Byrne of the 173rd Airborne at the highest levels. The campaign continues through May 30th.