Funded! This project was successfully funded on November 22, 2011.

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Independent comedy/drama about a Sudanese man at a Texas chicken farm.

To watch the English version of the video, click on the film logo above. The Arabic version can be watched below:

WHAT IS FAISAL GOES WEST?

Faisal Goes West is a narrative (fiction) film using comedy and drama to depict a Sudanese family's adjustment to life in America.

FROM THE CITY OF KHARTOUM TO THE TEXAS COUNTRYSIDE

Faisal and his family arrive in Texas with ambitious expectations. Things turn sour when Faisal's father receives bad news from Sudan. The family must make money fast, a difficult task considering they are still adjusting to a new environment, language, and lifestyle.

Feeling a need to share the burden, Faisal abandons his dreams of American university to work on a chicken farm. Only through humility and hardship can he learn the tough lessons necessary to gain ground in his new home.

HOW THINGS HATCH

The project consists of the production and post-production of the film.

A quick timeline:

Pre-production through December 31, 2011

Production January 2-9, 2012

Post-production January 15 through March 31, 2012

WHO'S INVOLVED?

A Dallas-based production team will be joined by local and nationwide actors for the January production. I will also bring in some filmmaker friends of mine who have themselves made the journey from East to West.

Some of our team:

Abakar Chene Massar (Assistant Director) is a Chadian filmmaker based in Montréal, Canada, who wrote and co-directed Addabache Djay Wara and Le Pèlerin de Camp Nou with Bentley in Ati, Chad.

Alyaa Musa (Director of Photography) is a Sudanese filmmaker based in London, England.

Bentley Brown (Writer/Director) is a filmmaker based somewhere between Sudan and Texas.

Justin Banta (Producer) is the founder of Dallas-based Refugee Writers

Kathryn Weber (Film Art) is a Dallas-based artist and graduate of the University of North Texas. Check her work out here.

Mustafa Al-Sunni (Soundtrack) is a Sudanese recording artist based in Cairo, Egypt. Check him out on last.fm.

Rani Birchfield (Producer) is a Dallas-based writer and entrepreneur with extensive experience in business start-up and ownership. She also works with the International Rescue Committee.

Zenobia Azeem (Producer) is an experienced program coordinator with the Carter Center in Sudan and South Sudan.

WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO?

Every single dollar contributed to the film will go toward production costs in the form of equipment, people, and transportation. I've always said a film's beauty lies not in how much money it was made with but how much that money accomplished.

PAST WORK

I shot my last film, the feature Le Pèlerin de Camp Nou (written by, co-directed by, and starring Abakar), in Chad with the collaboration of around 100 volunteer cast and crew, longtime neighbors and friends.

We took a $1500 budget and made a film that was selected at festivals in Cannes, Montreal, London, Rotterdam, and premiered this year on international TV in 25 countries.

We're confident that Faisal will reach an even larger audience.

WHAT'S NEXT?

It doesn't stop here--Faisal will market a potential feature film to reach nationwide audience of films like The Visitor, Goodbye Solo, and Amreeka.

We're excited to have you on board at the genesis of the project!

FAQ

  • The song in the Arabic video, "Shamal Watani," is by Hanaan Al-Nil. The song in the English video, "Ommi Salam," is from Mustafa al-Sunni's album Ommi Salam (Lyrics by Abdalsalam Satti, music by Nadir Ramzi, intro composed by Waleed Abdulhamid. Lead vocals and oud by Mustafa al-Sunni. Additional vocals, tambour and percussion by Waleed Abdulhamid.).

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  • Well, Faisal Goes West will be a medium-length film, clocking in at less than half an hour. This allows us to condense our entire shooting schedule into the course of little more than a week, which means one-time equipment rentals, travel costs, etc.

    We will also benefit tremendously from the "DSLR revolution," using recent technology and relatively inexpensive digital equipment to produce a cinema-like feel.

    The film's quality is important to us all. In our quest to make the highest-quality work possible, we're going to take the "crowd-funded" $15,000 and present it for matching by organizations in Dallas and elsewhere.

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  • So many people around the world have contacted me with this question. The most important thing you can do right now is to spread the word about the Kickstarter fundraiser. We need to hit the $15k in order for the film to become a reality.

    My production team and I also love hearing about what the film means to you. We are eager to hear all advice and words of encouragement.

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  • We are always considering new art and music for the film's promotion and soundtrack. If you have something you think fits the theme of the film, send it our way, and perhaps it will be a chance for us to promote your work as well.

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  • عندما اقول ان الفيلم (اول فيلم سوداني في امريكا) قصدي انه اول عمل سنمائي في امريكا اغلبية ممثليه سودانيون وموضوعه موضوع خاص للمجتمع السوداني داخل وخارج السودان. اضافة الى ذالك، جزء كبير من فريق الانتاج والمتعاونين سودانين.

    الاهم من كل ذالك ان الفيلم يعالج قضية الهوية وخاصة في سياق الهجرة ودنيانا المعولمة التي فيها ناس لهم مجموعات غير محدودة للعادات والجذور واللغات والمعتقدات والمخاوف والعواطف. وحتى كلمتا (سوداني) او (امريكي) لا تعني لغة معينة ولا شكل معين ولا حتى جواز سفر معين..وهذه من اكبر نقاط التغير لشخصية فيصل خلال قصة الفيلم

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  • The vast majority of projects exceed their Kickstarter goals, some of them by as much as 200% or 300%!

    All of the pledges from backers will go towards making an even better film that we can all be proud of. More money means better equipment and better quality, so keep pledging!

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  • Potential backers in Sudan have been blocked from using Amazon Payments due to economic sanctions and government restrictions. It is worth trying http://www.freeproxy.ru/en/free_proxy/cgi-proxy.htm, not all of which are blocked by the Sudanese government, and which give the user a non-Sudanese I.P. address acceptable for transactions via Amazon.

    It has also been suggested that potential backers in Sudan and elsewhere without credit card capabilities simply contact someone who does, whom they can pay back separately.

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- (33 days)