Indie Spotlight: LIFE ITSELF – A Feature Documentary Based on Roger Ebert’s Memoir

     January 4, 2014


Even if you can’t make the trip to the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, you can get an early look at the first film documentary on acclaimed critic, Roger Ebert.  Based on Ebert’s on memoir, Life Itself, director Steve James (Hoop Dreams) and executive producer Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street) aim to take a look at the man behind the movie aficionado.  The doc needs a bit of crowd-funded help in post-production, providing an opportunity for fans to contribute in a meaningful way and to get some swag back in return (like the featured pre-theatrical stream of the Sundance screening for only $25).

We reported on this campaign a few weeks back, but now that Sundance is almost upon us, we thought we’d refresh your memories.  Hit the jump for more.

Watch a behind-the-scenes video for Life Itself featuring director Steve James and executive producer Martin Scorsese below, and head over to their IndieGoGo page to see how you can contribute:


LIFE ITSELF, the first ever feature-length documentary on the life of Roger Ebert, covers the prolific critic’s life journey from his days at the University of Illinois, to his move to Chicago where he became the first film critic ever to win the Pulitzer Prize, then to television where he and Gene Siskel became iconic stars, and finally to what Roger referred to as “his third act”; how he overcame disabilities wrought by cancer to became a major voice on the internet and through social media.

Director Steve James (HOOP DREAMS) has conducted interviews with over two dozen people, including lifelong friends, professional colleagues, the first ever interview with Gene Siskel’s wife, and filmmakers Errol Morris, Werner Herzog, Ramin Bahrani, Gregory Nava, Ava DuVernay, and Martin Scorsese, who is one of the executive producers.

“This movie is a love story really –– Roger’s love for movies, for Chaz, and even in his own way, his love for Gene. Ultimately, though, it’s a film about Roger’s love for life itself.”

– Steve James


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