A woman with a dream. A village without water. Thousands of lives changed because giving up was never an option. An inspiring story..
Nothing Great Was Ever Achieved Without Enthusiasm! (Emerson)
The first time I heard my Kenyan friend Anne Okelo speak to a group of University students in my home town of West Chester PA, a prominent professor stood up when she finished and in a commanding voice he thanked her and then he said this: "I believe that one day you will win a Nobel Peace Prize." In that moment I felt chills and in my heart I said to myself "you are in the presence of greatness."
I have only known Anne for a short time but in that time I have been wowed by her. She has endured more suffering and abuse at the hands of a male dominated Kenyan culture then most of us in America can even fathom. But she's never verbalized that to me nor would she. I've discovered it in bits and pieces and I observed it first hand when I took a small film crew to Kenya in mid July 2011 to see where she lived and endeavor to capture her story on film. Anne always has something to give thanks for, no matter what she faces or how dark life has been for her - somehow she always brings the conversation around to her gratitude and her abiding faith. Rarely have I ever met one so great, yet so humble and so unimpressed with herself.
We believe Anne's story is worthy of a film and our hope is that our small crew can do it justice. As we have logged and reviewed the footage from our recent shoot in Africa we are all very excited as the footage is just amazing - so rich and vivid.
When we decided to tell this story, I had to develop a plan to try to make it work financially. Traveling to Kenya is not cheap and neither is all of the equipment that we have added to our inventory. So, as a business owner and marketing consultant I conceived of a potential profit model to finance the film with corporate sponsorships but also to include a call to action at the end of the film to generate donations to meet some of the overwhelming needs in Anne's village. If we are successful then I believe we will have a sustainable model that will allow us to help other causes in the future.
As a marketer I tell my clients all the time that every brand has the responsibility to contribute to the community and back good causes. People want to do business with those that care and make positive contributions. So our game plan is to fund the film at least in part by providing businesses with the opportunity to purchase a quantity of the DVD's of the finished film with custom branding that says "presented by" and then their business name. I believe this film has so many positive messages that it can provide great value to a brand that wants to leverage it and use it as a gift to give to their clients/customers and prospects.
Here is a glimpse of the branding package using Dove as the example:
Corporate sponsorship for small businesses is an emerging trend and we are very hopeful that we will be able to come close to covering the costs of our film in this manner.
Sponsorship, correctly conceived and creatively executed, has unparalleled power to build brands, and engage clients/customers/prospects. Social evolution has impacted business in such a way that building a strong brand requires some significant level of contribution to valid causes of some sort. The technological revolution has given us both sensory and data overload so that more than anything "attention" is in short supply. Brands are finding that the best way to get our attention is to identify the passions of new communities and align with them through sponsorship.
We thank you so much for taking the time to review our project. We will keep you posted and updated as we go.
A friend of mine, Warren Callaway, shared Anne's story with us at a Bible Study that we both attend. Warren had been mentoring Anne and together they were just beginning the journey towards raising money to build a well in Anne's village. I was immediately inspired by the story and offered to donate my services to do some social media marketing and online video for the cause.
I think the first hurdle in that answer is - do we have the heart and passion to shepherd Anne's story. That answer is a resounding yes. Everything else is secondary to that in my opinion. But, I have a masters degree in TV and Film production and directed my first documentary in the prisons of Guatemala. My co-director is a graduate of film school and a very talented young man. We also have a young Spielberg on our team and I truly mean that. Our youngest team member is just 17 but he is already winning festivals and wowing people with his directing and producing skills. My right hand man is a guy that just gets it done whatever it takes and between the 4 of us I know we will get this done and we will drive it with our passion and our heartfelt belief in Anne and our desire to tell her story.
As my good friend Tony Robbins says - mindset accounts for 85% of most success stories. We've definitely got the mindset to believe we will take this film all the way.
My young Spielberg has a Mom that is a long time friend of the president of the film company that is in charge of the OWN networks documentary club. Because of the personal connection, Sue (the company president) contacted me by phone the night before we left for Africa. When I shared the story she told me that it is definitely "on brand" for them and that she is interested in it for Oprah's documentary club. She asked me to keep in touch, send her a sizzle reel and rough cut as soon as possible and try to get into Sundance and Tribeca, because the festivals are extremely important in the process of selling a film.
We plan to put a call to action on the end of the film that will allow people to pull out their cell phones and send a text to receive instructions as to how they can "Donate Now." We are currently looking into setting up the Anne Okelo Fund through a local non profit foundation that will administer the fund.
These packages will be offered to a limited number of businesses. In essence you can place an order for 500 to 2500 DVD's that our graphics team will custom brand for your company. This allows your business to leverage a positive film and help enhance their reputation in the community. We believe that this film will especially connect with women and so for any company that has a significant female audience, we believe your sponsorship of the film will elevate your credibility and reputation with this audience. The film is also likely to connect with an African American audience. Being associated with powerful causes is a very smart decision for brands.
http://www.huruinternational.org/huru-heroes/ When we were preparing to go to Kenya, Anne asked us if we could try to find a business that would donate sanitary napkins. She said that they don't have these and that most of the teenage girls miss 4-5 days of school each month when they have their period. We were shocked. We started a facebook causes page and raised enough money to purchase 526 HURU kits to distribute. Each kit will last a girl for a year. Anne organized distribution and got them to 8 schools and 2 communities. They were enormously well received. Anne had the girls chanting "Free at Last!"
The Pickering Valley first grade class donated 50 soccer balls to the students in Kenya. The story was picked up by NBC. http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/on-air/as-seen-on/Local_Student_Sends_Soccer_Balls_to_Underprivileged_Philadelphia-124520709.html.
pledged of $10,000 goal
seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful This project reached the deadline without achieving its funding goal on August 28, 2011.
Jul 29, 2011 - Aug 28, 2011 (30 days)
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Webinar with the film's producers to talk about their vision for the project and how they brought it to fruition on a shoestring budget.
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Well of Dreams movie poster signed by the film crew and access to a webinar with the film's producers to talk about their vision for the project and how they brought it to fruition on a shoestring budget.
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DVD of the film including special features and interviews with the film crew.
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10 DVD's of the film including special features and interviews with the film crew. Great holiday gift for family members and friends!
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30 DVD's of the film including special features and interviews with the film crew. Resale license to sell DVD's online or at retail outlets for $19.95 each.
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The small business package. 50 DVD's of the film. 50 Well of Dreams water bottles and wristbands. Webinar with your team to talk about the power of a dream. Presented by marketing expert and film producer Cindy Speaker. http://www.cindyspeaker.com.
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Supporter Sponsorship package - 500 Custom branded DVD's of the film. Packaging will say Presented by Your Brand. Back panel of DVD can be set up as a self mailer or fully customized to reflect your branding and a personal message.
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Featured Sponsorship package - 1000 Custom branded DVD's of the film. Packaging will say Presented by Your Brand. Back panel of DVD can be set up as a self mailer or fully customized to reflect your branding and a personal message. We will also set up a facebook campaign noting your sponsorship of the film. A press release will be written and sent out in your local media market and you will be given the targeted press list for future use. This is worth $1000 alone! We will also give you a film credit as a Featured Sponsor.
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Film credit as a Producer plus the Featured Sponsorship package.