Funded! This project was successfully funded on July 25, 2012.

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A documentary about a youth orchestra in Northern Ireland that uses music to overcome religious intolerance

It all began in Northern Ireland. Among the sounds of gunfire and bombs, one could hear the faint sound of gentle music changing the tenor of the air. And if one were to follow the sound, one would find the enemy - a group of Protestant and Catholic children sitting side by side, their music smoldering the fiery hatred ignited by the generations that came before them. 

Since its inception in 1995, the Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland has been instrumental in fostering peace through the power of music.

I want to see exactly how they are succeeding. I believe that people can learn from what the orchestra is doing.

Through interviews with members and alumni as well as academics who specialize in The Troubles and its aftermath, my film will show how the two opposing groups really aren't much different from each other and how the country is trying to mend itself. 

Some may consider the interviewed alumni to be revolutionary - they were children/teens at the tail end of The Troubles and yet they didn't give in to the hatred, stereotypes, and violence. They were fearless beacons of hope during that time. I want to see to what extent the orchestra has changed their relationships with others, opinions about the conflict, and their daily lives. 

The film will premiere in NYC in the fall of 2013 when the orchestra comes to New York to play at Carnegie Hall, will be submitted to festivals, and will be screened at libraries around Long Island. In addition, the film will be screened in Northern Ireland. I am currently working out the details of this screening and will post updates as they occur.

I will mainly be shooting at the Dundalk Institute of Technology, where the orchestra rehearses. Additionally, I will shoot b roll and conduct interviews around Belfast and Dublin.

I need funding to hire a two person crew - a DP and sound recordist - as well as funds for traveling around Ireland/Northern Ireland (petrol is very expensive), some living expenses, and some equipment (mainly a tripod and a lens or two - my school has agreed to let me borrow a camera and Zoom H4N, etc)

I believe this orchestra's story needs to be told. Their journey could perhaps give hope and guidance to people attempting to overcome issues that appear insurmountable. 

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- (30 days)