The Tenor from Abidjan

As I’ve have said before here on this site, we get approached by a lot of people who want us to mention something about their crowd funding campaign for projects that they’re currently working on.

Some of them are interesting. and others…well… like I said, some of them interesting. But when I was approached recently by filmmaker Taneisha Berg regarding her new Kickstarter campaign for a new documentary titled, The Tenor from Abidjan, I was immediately interested for a couple of reasons, aside from the possibility of being a really fascinating film.

Her doc is about a young man, Landry Assokoly, from Abidjan, Ivory Coast, who Berg originally met in a small fishing village just outside Accra, Ghana, who loves and dreams about being an opera singer and chronicles “his journey to the Netherlands where he will begin applying to various conservatories around Europe in the hopes of being accepted."

Needless to say, Landry is not classically trained, nor has he even ever been to the opera, but he is determined to pursue his dreams, despite the very real challenges he will face.

Hearing him in the film clip below, Assokoly definitely has some potential, but seriously needs a lot of training and endless hard work to achieve his dream; but anything is possible

Berg said that the reason why she wanted to do the film, was because, primarily, she’s “a lover of stories, especially real-life stories that trump anything you could make up. What's better than meeting a young opera aficionado on the main road of a fishing village outside Accra? I was immediately drawn to Landry and his story, and the seeming contradictions that it encompassed."

She also added that:

“I feel very strongly that it's time we started speaking about people as people, and not the sum of their "problems". People are weird, dynamic, and curious; we have fears, we have good days and bad days, we fall and get back up. And I think that the majority of western discourse around Africa/Africans is problematic and superficial, often ignoring these human elements of the story. So by offering a deeply personal look at one African's story -- instead of focusing on the "plight of Africa" and all related subtopics -- the film has the opportunity to create bridges, empathy, understanding, and interest, ultimately leading to a deeper willingness to openly dialogue.”.

And UCLA Film School graduate, and a former assistant director, Berg describes herself as “the eldest daughter of a Black Christian mom and White Jewish dad, born and raised in Northern California but local in NYC and Rome,” and in addition to filmmaking, is also involved in poetry, photography, and writing.

Here’s the link to her Kickstarter campaign (HERE); the Facebook page for the film (HERE); and below is the aforementioned film clip from her work-in-progress.