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$1,655 pledged of $17,500 goal
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$1,655 pledged of $17,500 goal
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About this project

Emerging voices in film

The Sudan Film Factory (SFF) was established as a project of the Goethe-Institut Sudan in 2009. Since then, a series of workshops for aspiring filmmakers, spanning several weeks, guided students along their first-ever short films, from conception to completion.

The result was powerful--after a long absence, Sudanese films were suddenly making a regular presence at film festivals across several continents. Collaborations outside Sudan, in both nearby and faraway countries, added to the momentum, giving Sudanese worldwide a hope that the art of film might just be able to transcend the negative images of war and political strife that too often emerge from the country.

In 2014 the Sudan Film Factory will become an independent institution, continuing its pioneering work right now with a new collaboration, in which we'll be jointly organizing a new workshop as parallel activity to the Sudan Film Festival that SFF is launching from 21-28 January.

A new film traverses the desert

In the 2012 collaboration Faisal Goes West, over 30 artists from the US, Sudan, and elsewhere came together to tell the dramatic tale of a young man from Khartoum starting a new life at a chicken farm in Texas. CNN, the BBC, Al Jazeera, Alhurra and Ashurooq were all drawn toward the global "crowdfunding" story behind the film, in which 127 people from 16 countries gave over $16,000, right here on Kickstarter, so that the film could be made.

Fresh off the success of Faisal Goes West, we're taking it the next level: a new film project with an educational component meant to support a network of artists with a love for filmmaking across countries. This December, we're joining the Sudan Film Factory for a series of workshops in Khartoum that will lead up to the production of a new student short film.

We've designed the workshops for emerging filmmakers looking to build on their experience, with breakout sessions in 1) sound design, 2) screenwriting in translation 3) pitching, fundraising and marketing to audiences in and outside Sudan, and 4) international distribution and festival exposure.

We've spent almost a year preparing the film concept behind the workshops, Odysseus, with the help of artists from Chad, Sudan, Iran, UK, UAE, USA...the list goes on. The story is based on a novella by Houston poet David Feil, and speaks, in Arabic, to the poetry of life through the eyes of a woman journeying across Sudan's desert by bus. The film's concept will be re-designed and re-pitched by workshop participants, who will then shoot the film together.

This will be a shorter film than Faisal Goes West, designed to share with audiences at top-tier film festivals around the world. The collaboration of artists has the potential to be momentous--this is our dream--bolstering a movement in multicultural filmmaking and the production of high-quality films in Sudan that speak to both local and international audiences.

And if that's not enough--these workshops lead up to the first annual Sudan Film Festival, organized by the Sudan Film Factory and set to take place in January 2014!

A worldwide collaboration

Bentley Brown is a filmmaker and linguist. He grew up in Chad and the United States and has worked as an elections and operations specialist in Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, South Sudan, Sudan, and Tunisia.

Alyaa Sirelkhatim is a cinematographer and filmmaker with a portfolio of films from Sudan, the UK, and elsewhere. One of the first Sudan Film Factory participants, she studied filmmaking at the London Film School.

Justin Banta is the founder of non-profit community-based arts organization Refugee Writers, artistic director with Aboudigin Films, and currently serving as the interim COO of the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives. 

Talal Afifi is the founder and director of the Sudan Film Factory. A longtime voice in Sudanese cinema, Talal brings production and team-building experience to an exciting organization that will be celebrating the first-ever Sudan Film Festival in January 2014.

Ahmad Mahmoud is a recording musician and filmmaker. One of the original participants in the Sudan Film Factory, he has performed in Latin America and East Africa and has embarked on numerous photodocumentarian journeys across Sudan.

David A. Feil is an interdisciplinary writer, artist, and educator based in Houston, Texas. He holds an M.A. in English from New York University and is the author of the novella upon which the new short film is based.

Mike Walker is a sound engineer with Janimation Studios, based in Dallas, Texas. He led principal sound design for Faisal Goes West, in addition to several other films in the Dallas area.

Aboudigin Films 

We began in the early 2000's as a collective of theatre actors in the windswept town of Ati, Chad, on the Sahara desert's southern edge. We picked up a camcorder and suddenly had access to a new form of storytelling. Rainy season rains hit the dried Batha riverbed and as the river grew, so did the energy of a community driven by the power of the moving image to tell its stories, our stories. 

Aboudigin Films is dedicated to the spread of filmmaking in cities and regions of emerging talent. We pursue stories that deeply engage the particularities of place and time.

Sudan Film Factory

The Sudan Film Factory (SFF) was established as a project of the Goethe-Institut Sudan in 2009 that will be marking its start as an independent organization in January 2014. For four years, SFF has trained young Sudanese in theory and practice in the areas of screenwriting, directing, cinematography and editing--with productions highlighted in the "Made in Sudan" series. The cinema of the Sudan Film Factory depicts Sudan's daily lives and worlds, stories and thoughts, dreams, hopes, frustrations, and passions. 

سودان فيلم فاكتوري" هو تأسس في عام ٢٠٠٩ كمشروع معهد جوتة، يهدف لإتاحة الفرصة للشباب السوداني للتدريب على مهارات إنتاج الأفلام ورعاية المواهب في كيفية إنتاج الأفلام والتدريب عليها،حيث تتطرق الموضوعات لجوانب الحياة السودانية المختلفة من قصص وحكايات ومعاناة وايضا" في ظل الصعوبات التى تواجه السينما في السودان. الأحلام والإحباطات والطموحات. فمنذ ثلاثة أعوام يتدرب كثير من الشباب تدريب عملي ونظري في مجال كتابة السيناريو،الإخراج والتصوير والمونتاج. لتكون المحصلة أفلام تحمل علامة "صنع في السودان" لتكون شبكة مترابطة ومصنع حقيقي لإنتاج الأفلام .

Goethe-Institut Sudan

The Goethe-Institut Sudan is the Khartoum-based branch of the Federal Republic of Germany’s cultural institution operational worldwide.

We promote the study of German abroad and encourage international cultural exchange. We also foster knowledge about Germany by providing information on its culture, society and politics. Our educational and training products enable mobility in an international learning community. 

With our network of Goethe-Instituts, Goethe Centres, cultural societies, reading rooms and exam and language learning centres we have played a central role in the cultural and educational policies of Germany for over 60 years.

Risks and challenges

We know that filmmaking in Sudan isn't easy. With the support of the Sudan Film Factory and the Goethe-Institut, we've taken early steps to ensure that all of our team has the necessary visas and travel permissions. Our talented cast and crew brings together years of experience instructing and producing films in six countries.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Free download of Odysseus!

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    FAISAL ADD-ON: Free download of newly-released Faisal Goes West!

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    T-SHIRT ADD-ON: If you want to look fantastic in an artsy tee inspired by the film, ADD THIS!

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    ESPRESSO CUP ADD-ON: Your choice of an espresso demi-tasse with art from either "Aboudigin Films" or "Sudan Film Factory"

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    "Mover and Shaker": A Google Hangout with emerging filmmakers in Sudan, gain insight into the emerging film scene and make friends for the future! Plus a digital download of Odysseus.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    "Enabler": Bring the stories of Sudan's filmmakers to the world! You're a sponsor for a series of regular updates from students in the workshops. Plus we'll connect you with one or more of the filmmakers for the production of Odysseus and beyond! Communicate in Arabic or English, and enjoy the benefits of "Mover and Shaker" status.

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    "Editor's Circle": This is a little experiment we're running...private online access to cuts of Odysseus while it's being edited for submission to festivals in 2014. Offer feedback and reactions--your thoughts are vital to the final product. If you like this idea and want to see the project grow, please choose this reward.

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    "Associate Producer": As an Associate Producer on the project you are welcome to be involved in every aspect of the filmmaking process. We'll video-chat you into conversations. You get access to the rough cuts. You get a private screening for your friends. You get to know other leading filmmakers and artists from across countries and continents.

    This is it. You've made it. You are a film producer in one of the most exciting, interesting, and important film centers in the world. People spend restless nights dreaming of doing what you are doing.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    "Advisor": Become an Advisor for either Aboudigin Films or the Sudan Film Factory--your choice. We'll scour Omdurman markets for something crazy awesome, personalized, and unique as befitting a backer of your standing. AND THEN we'll work it into the film. AND THEN we'll hand-carry and mail it to you as a gift of thanks from us and the Khartoum film community. Plus you get a "Special Thanks" in the film's credits AND Associate Producer status.

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    "Executive Producer": As Executive Producer on the project you are as involved as you want to be: planning meetings, brainstorming sessions, hanging out, TRAVEL WITH US, give your thoughts on the rough-cuts, private screenings galore. Call us at 3:00am to talk about an idea? We would love it. Plus "Advisor" benefits.

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Funding period

- (12 days)