A Scripted Film Starring Real People & Stories From Tribes of Ethiopia's Omo Valley (Fundraising)

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by Tambay A. Obenson
February 14, 2013 12:56 PM
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In anticipation of what I know some of you will say, yes, I know, it's yet another film about Africans made by a non-African, specifically a white filmmaker.

But this one intrigues me greatly, and I like the filmmaker's pitch/ideas for it and felt that it's worth a plug here.

It's a scripted feature narrative film (not a documentary by the way, which tends to be the common choice when white filmmakers make films about Africans), and it's titled People of the Delta.

The short story, courtesy of the project's Kickstarter page, reads:

People of the Delta is a cinematic narrative film collaborating with real people and stories from the tribes of Ethiopia's Omo Valley. 

The script was written with true events in mind, shaped from the collective wisdom of stories handed down from the elders of the Dassanach and Hamar tribes. These two tribes are historically known for competing against one another for the limited amount of fertile land found along the Omo River. This fragile way of life becomes the backbone of our film’s plot. 
Conflict over resources extends to every culture and country on the globe today, and is expressed with an entirely unique perspective in the film.

The story is told in two chapters from two unique perspectives. Kulcho- a young boy from the Hamar tribe who becomes a warrior, and Bona- an elder chief of the Daasanach. Although they are from rival tribes, their lives become connected.

The filmmaker's name is Joey L. - a Canadian commercial photographer/photojournalist director and published author based in Brooklyn, NYC, who considers himself a "sensitive observer of endangered cultures and traditions," and who travels and shoots the world, creating lush portraits like the one you see above.

Some of his clients are top corporations like Coca-Cola, National Geographic, Verizon, Nickelodeon, History channel, The Government of Abu Dhabi and others. And his work has been exhibited in print, digitally, and at museums.

Based on the work of his that I've seen online, and the ideas he presents in the pitch video below, at the very least, this should be a well-shot piece of cinema. Of note, he plans to use local men, women and children in casting the film. So this is very much their story. No white man in the picture; except for behind the camera.

But as I said, I'm curious enough.

Joey is trying to raise $150,000 for this; he's already raised a third of it (about $50,000) with 33 days to go left in his campaign. Obviously there's interest. I just don't know if he'll raise all the money he needs. As I've noted in previous posts, successful Kickstarter campaigns over $100,000 are extremely rare. The number of successfully-funded Kickstarter film/video projects campaigns asking for $100,000 or more are less than 1%. So he's got a steep climb ahead of him.

Watch the pitch below, and if you're interested in what he's selling, click HERE (or in the widget below) to head over to the project's Kickstarter page to make your contribution:

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