Greetings, Kickstarter supporters of "El Sistema USA" film project!
We realize you haven't heard from us in a very long time, and we're sorry we've been so uncommunicative. But we've been very, very busy! And we have lots of news.
As we approach the one-year anniversary of the wonderfully successful conclusion of our Kickstarter campaign (thank you all again!), we felt it was a good moment to give you an update on our progress.
When we started following Stanford Thompson and his Play On, Philly! program, there were no more than a handful of Sistema-inspired programs in the US. A mere four years later, there are over 70, and counting. El Sistema is spreading at a similarly breathtaking rate all over the world. We have nothing less than a global movement on our hands!
As film makers, we felt strongly that we had to shift our focus somehow to acknowledge this dynamic new environment in which our story is taking place. We decided that the best way to reflect the ever-growing multiplicity of Sistema-inspired programs was to add a second program to our story.
Enter Anne Fitzgibbon and the Harmony Program in Harlem.
We’re very excited about our new footage. The Harmony Program has a markedly different character from Play On, Philly, and 10 year old trombone player Mohammed, whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from Guinea, has a unique story of his own that stands in sharp contrast to our young subjects in Philadelphia. The indefatigable and deceptively blond, blue-eyed Anne Fitzgibbon makes a fascinating counterpart to Play on, Philly!’s Stanford Thompson.
Even as we’re adding this giant new piece to our puzzle, we are also well along in our editing process, thanks to our award-winning editor, Jonathan Oppenheim. Jonathan has become an indispensable part of our team; we marvel at his ability to weave our stories together into a coherent, absorbing whole.
So when will our film be ready, we hear you asking?!
It is a very good question, and we think the answer is that around this time next year, our film will be in the world for you to see. Thank you again for your support – and for your patience! It is a simple fact that we could not have come this far without you.
With all best wishes for a happy autumn, The El Sistema USA Film Team