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NYC play, now short film for our dad after he beat cancer. 100% FUNDED IN 4 DAYS! REACH GOAL $15K for orchestra to record the score!
Short film adaptation of our Samuel French OOB one-act play that premiered at Playwrights Horizons NYC, starring our father while he battled cancer. 100% FUNDED IN 4 DAYS! Thank you to all our supporters!
Short film adaptation of our Samuel French OOB one-act play that premiered at Playwrights Horizons NYC, starring our father while he battled cancer. 100% FUNDED IN 4 DAYS! Thank you to all our supporters!
110 backers pledged $11,855 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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ATTILA - Powerful Civil War Short About Our World Today

$11,855

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ATTILA is a powerful, poignant short film about finding hope in the face of violently opposing convictions — a theme suddenly more topical than ever. 

The majority of the film is one epic scene between Major General William T. Sherman on the eve of his brutal March to the Sea and an escaped slave-turned-contraband soldier who tests his morality.

THE CAST

Our father, SAG-AFTRA Philly Board Member Neil Samuels, stars as Sherman opposite Vladimir Versailles, winner of the American Black Film Festival Star Project Award. 

Neil and Vlad are two powerhouse actors who crushed it in each long, fierce take. Watching their uninterrupted emotional journey was breathtaking.

Vladimir Versailles as ABRAHAM
Vladimir Versailles as ABRAHAM

LOCATIONS

We shot the film at incredible locations, including the Cedar Creek Battle Reenactment in Virginia and in Pennsylvania at: Widener University, Valley Forge Military Academy & College, and New Hope's Parry Mansion and Erwin Stover Historic Home, both on the Delaware River.

2nd Unit Filming at Cedar Creek Battlefield, Virginia
2nd Unit Filming at Cedar Creek Battlefield, Virginia

FROM THE WRITER

While caring for our dad during his fight with cancer, I found myself thinking about mortality, legacy and what we leave behind. Oliver and I are both history buffs, and I was drawn to the story of Sherman's March to the Sea. Sherman loved the South, had lived in the South, and didn't care about freeing slaves. He did, however, believe deeply in a united America, in the Union. His March was the brutal "total war" that destroyed the Southern cause. He saved the country, but divided America to this day.

Neil Samuels as SHERMAN
Neil Samuels as SHERMAN

The play I wrote was for my dad. He starred in and won the Samuel French Short Play Festival in 1981, before retiring from acting to raise us. He's the man who put a camera in our hands and I wanted to give him an equally powerful gift. I wanted him to have something to aim for during chemo. Well, we got into the festival and premiered at Playwrights Horizons in NYC. Dad gave one heck of a show.

WE NEED YOU!

We put up our own money to shoot this important passion project and now we need your help to finish post! The edit is done, the music is almost done, and here's what we have left:

  • Sound Design
  • Color Grading at Light Iron NY, a Panasonic Company (THE WALKING DEAD, ALLIED, GOLD, UNDERWORLD, etc.) http://lightiron.com/projects/credits/
  • 4K Conforming and Mastering
  • Festival Submissions Around the World!

 MEET THE TEAM

BEN & OLIVER SAMUELS - Producer/Directors

We grew up making VHS movies in our backyard. Ben attended Tufts University and Oliver went to the University of Vermont. After graduation, we started out making genre films, including the asylum scarer WATCH ME, one-shot POV zombie film 6:15, and Ben directed Robert Englund in a supernatural thriller.

Oliver's directorial debut, the dramatic short HUNTERS, won Best Emerging Narrative at the Bucks Fever Film Fest and is coming soon to Comcast OnDemand. Ben was Unit Production Manager on the cop thriller BENEATH THE LEAVES starring Mira and Paul Sorvino, Chris Masterson, and Doug Jones, in addition to editing the children's sci-fi film A WORLD AWAY starring GIRL MEETS WORLD's Rowan Blanchard, David DeLuise, Landry Bender, and Mary Lynn Rajskub. Ben wrote ATTILA.

We're dual citizens of USA/Canada and love films that make a difference, tell a significant story, and change the world.

DP Jamal Solomon (l) and Vladimir Versailles
DP Jamal Solomon (l) and Vladimir Versailles

JAMAL SOLOMON - Director of Photography

Jamal has been working in the industry for 5 years in New York City and internationally shooting shorts, features, and artistic videos for brands and artists. In 2014, he won the ZEISS PRECISION IMAGE AWRD and his recent contibution behind the camera on the short FLOWERS garnered the film Best Short at the American Black Film Festival. It is now slated to screen on HBO in Summer 2017. blackborne.co

Composer Michael Brennan
Composer Michael Brennan

MICHAEL BRENNAN - Composer

Michael is a composer and arranger for theatre and film. He scored the animated shorts NIETA, which screened at Cannes in May 2014, and PASTEURIZED, which screened at festivals around the world, including: Chicago, Warsaw, and Cannes. He is also the resident composer for Helpful Bear productions, an animation production house with clients that include: Disney Animation, Titan Books, and Stephen King.

His musical CITIZEN RUTH, with lyricist Mark Leydorf, won Best Musical at the NY International Fringe Festival and is based on the film by Oscar-winner Alexander Payne.

Michael is currently the Music Director for Franco Dragone’s LE REVE at Wynn Las Vegas, and has been Music Director for MAMMA MIA!, AVENUE Q, and Associate Music Director for Disney’s THE LION KING. http://michaelbrennanmusic.com 

MICHELLE WILSON - Hair and Makeup Design

Michelle is freelance HMU Artist in the Tri-State area with a Masters in Art History from Boston University and her BA from Tufts University, where she applied copious amounts of fake blood to ATTILA co-director Ben Samuels in a production of Martin McDonagh's THE PILLOWMAN. http://michellewilsondesign.wixsite.com/portfolio

SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR RENTAL SUPPORT FROM:

VISUAL CINEMA LLC, Williamsburg, NY

http://www.visualcinema.com

EXPRESSWAY GRIP, Philadelphia, PA

https://www.expresswaygrip.com

Risks and challenges

We put our money where our mouth is. We believe deeply in this project and now we just need your help to finish post. Thank you for joining our team!

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    "Thank you, Cadet!"

    Everyone deserves a PERSONALIZED THANK YOU email and you'll got one from us. Thank you for supporting indie film.

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    "I'm gon' report in."

    SECRET E-TELEGRAMS from ATTILA that will keep you updated every step of the way with exciting BTS content and breaking news + Personalized Thank You.

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    Rocky Road to Dublin

    AUTOGRAPHED REPRODUCTION SHEET MUSIC! Civil War classics signed by the co-directors with a note of appreciation + all previous incentives included.

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    "That's some of the dainty, that is!"

    A PREVIEW DIGITAL SCREENER of the film! When we're done, you'll see it before anyone else + E-Telegram and Personalized Thank You.

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    "We're in the Real South now, Abraham."

    SAMUELS BROTHERS T-SHIRT! + Preview Digital Screener, E-Telegram, and Personalized Thank You.

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    "Telegram from Grant, sir!"

    A HANDWRITTEN WESTERN UNION TELEGRAM THANK YOU from the co-directors, written on period appropriate paper with a steel nib pen and wax seal! T-SHIRT INCLUDED! + E-Telegram and Preview Digital Screener.

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    "Make A Good Ready"

    20-MINUTE CALL/SKYPE with co-director Ben Samuels. Ask about indie filmmaking, working with Robert "Freddy Krueger" Englund, or just shoot the breeze! + E-Telegram and Preview Digital Screener.

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    "A Noble Patriotism"

    SPECIAL THANKS in the film's closing credits for all the world to see! + E-Telegram and Preview Digital Screener.

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    "We'll go the whole hog."

    FRAMED IMAGE SIGNED BY CO-DIRECTORS + SPECIAL THANKS in the film's credits, E-Telegram and Preview Digital Screener.

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    "You ain't no political general, sir."

    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER credit! You've rolled up your sleeves and joined the cause. We'll announce it on Social Media and you'll receive the E-Telegrams and Preview Digital Screener.

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    "I love this country."

    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER credit and a SET VISIT on our next project, travel and lodging not provided (but we'll do our best to set you up!). We'll announce it on Social Media + E-Telegram and Preview Digital Screener.

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    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER credit! TWO TICKETS to the World Premiere and any other festival screenings you wish to attend, travel and lodging not included. Your name will be big and bold at every festival and on project packaging and artwork. We'll announce it on Social Media + E-Telegrams and Preview Digital Screener.

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Funding period

- (28 days)