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35 out of every 100,000 young black men between the ages of 18 – 24 years old are killed in homicides.

Who are the Peacekeepers

The Peacekeepers is a Global Initiative founded by Captain Dennis Muhammad. The mission of the organization is to plant seeds of peace in the lives of young men. The Peacekeepers are volunteers from all walks of life who are committed to saving these at-risk youths. Volunteers remove young black men from high crime environments and establish a foundation to become providers and maintainers of their families. Without Peacekeepers, these young men would be another dropout, jail and/or murder statistic.

The Peacekeepers are a window with a view to current issues of black masculinity in America. This organization is transforming the images of the black men they assist, while reconstructing their environment, to eliminate the duplication of "the violent black male".

WHY I'M MAKING THIS FILM:

Growing up in the “Hood”, I was one of those young men that was constantly surrounded by violence, and while a young boy, my oldest sister Barbara Walker, was shot in her neck. As I got older, I knew I wanted to make a difference in the world one day. The time has come! As you heard from the testimonies in the above trailer, these are real life issues that some people face every day. With this documentary, and the Peacekeepers organization, we can help force change and break the cycle of violence.

As a black man from a broken home, I am able to identify with the many lives that the peacekeepers reach out to and attempt to save every day. This documentary will be used as a catalyst to heighten awareness of effective processes being used by the Peacekeepers to change the mind, hearts, and streets of the youth they are helping. My hope is that this documentary will help spread the mission, and expand the reach of possibilities for the re-birth of these young men and women after becoming “present for peace”.

SYNOPSIS

The film will document the travel and work of the main character; Captain Dennis Mohammad, as he goes from chapter to chapter across the country. You will get a behind the scenes sense of what these men and women are doing within the Peacekeepers organization. There are 21 chapters of Peacekeepers all over the country including a chapter in the UK. We plan to focus on 7 chapters located in Queens, Brooklyn, Mt. Vernon, NY; Springfield, Ohio; Atlantic City, NJ and Delaware. 

The film will also spotlight the birth of a new chapter in my hometown of West Palm Beach, FL. The organization itself will be the main character, and the film will be an advocacy documentary.

We will not stop there but will also take an in-depth look at the Peacekeepers chapter in Springfield Ohio, and will highlight the lives of three young men who were gang members and are now the faces of the youth in the organization.

We are at the beginning stage of this film. Looking to start a 3 month film shoot commencing June 2013, through early August 2013 

What is Kickstarter and how does it work? 

Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects. I am using Kickstarter to assist with my fundraising efforts. The group provides an all or nothing model of funding – if we don’t meet our goal, then you won’t be charged for your pledge, and we won’t receive any money. 

Because of the high pressure all-or-nothing funding model, we would greatly appreciate it if you could also take time to share this page in any way that you can – Facebook, Twitter, by blogging about it, or sending an e-mail to a friend - or all of your friends. Shout it from the rooftops! The more people who hear about the project, the greater the opportunity that people will contribute and assist us in reaching our goal. 

What will Kickstarter funds be used for? 

As a young documentarian, this is my first feature length film to start off my career. In my previous short films, I never needed to ask friends, family, and colleagues for financial support in making a film. I’ve been fortunate to have received enough grants to help pay for my previous films while an undergrad, and I am extremely grateful for any funds I receive. I have cut every corner possible to keep costs down, but the most expensive phase of filmmaking—post production—is both crucial and pricey. 

Your support will enable me to start and finish my thesis film by helping to fund: sound mixing, color correcting, crew travel expenses, hiring a composer, hiring an editor, and for music licenses. Like so many other independent filmmakers, I have turned to the Kickstarter community to ask for your help. Every pledge, whether small or large, is truly appreciated from the bottom of my heart.

OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP:  

The biggest gift you can give right now – maybe even beyond the value of your donation – is to spread the word about The Peacekeepers.

Please help me expand the film’s reach by introducing other people to this project. Tell your friends, co-workers, family, anyone you think might be interested in this unique and untold story about an organization trying to change the image of black men in America.

To insure that everyone gets the award they are due, kindly e-mail your contact information to me: awalker@mfasocdoc.com. Thanks very much for your support. 

The Film Crew 

Alcee H. Walker- Director and Producer 

Attended St. Lawrence University where I graduated with a B.A in Communications and a minor in Film studies and Education. I am currently a graduate student at the School of Visual Arts in NYC, working toward a MFA Degree in Social Documentary. While a young college student, I became a motivational speaker with a passion for writing and film. This passion led me to write my first book in 2009: Hope I Make It Before Ya’ll Take It. In 2012, my second book was published; The Substitute #8, which highlights my experiences as a substitute teacher, helping the younger generation by bringing positive light, influence and hope for all kids. The work of John Singleton has provided me with much of my inspiration, and I plan to aim all of my future film work towards younger teens.

You can check out my latest film work here: https://vimeo.com/62855168 and a film that is in the making https://vimeo.com/51726193 

Jim Powers- Cinematography 

Attended St Lawrence University where he graduated with a B.A degree in Performance and Communication Arts and a minor in Film. Jim also obtained an MFA degree in Motion Picture from Academy of Art University In San Francisco, California. Jim has won a number of awards and is the founder of West Field Films http://westfieldfilms.com

Jahcobie Cosom- Cinematography 

An intuitive Writer, Director, Producer, Filmmaker (DP/ Cinematography) and Educator. A native of Boston, MA and raised in Dorchester, Jahcobie holds a BFA from California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, CA. 

Cara Marie Taylor -Producer/Interviewer  

Graduated from the University of Florida where she majored in English with a focus on Business writing and Black literature. Black literature in particular allowed Cara-Marie to explore the definition of "Black" since the time of the slave narratives and see how that definition changes cross-culturally. Founded Hyphenate Communications, a communications firm and continues to write.

Guillermo Fernandez Florez - Sound 

Guillermo is from Madrid, Spain, and has undergraduate and graduate degrees in Spanish and French Law. Currently a graduate student at the School of Visual Arts working on a MFA Degree in Social Documentary, he plans to continue directing and producing documentaries.

For more information regarding the Peacekeeper visit: http://thepeacekeepers.org

Captain Dennis Muhammad http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIkLK8D4w2I

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The biggest challenge in this project is being able to stay on budget. While we’re in our developmental pre-production stage, many factors can delay and/or cause setbacks to a production.

We will be traveling to many cities, so to keep the equipment such as the camera, lights, and sound equipment safe so it doesn’t get broken on the flights, we have to pay for all of the equipment to get checked on the airplane and that can get expensive.

Other factors are weather, permits, safety, and staying on schedule.

We will be filming outside because the peacekeepers do a lot of their work outside and in the streets. If the weather doesn’t allow filming on the scheduled day, this can really throw us off schedule. We don't want to have to cancel due to weather issues.

We hope to get all permit approvals from all of the cities we plan to travel to.

We will be following a few former gang members in Springfield, OH so the crew’s safety is a priority during our travels.

It’s a priority to raise the full amount of money to make this important social documentary film. This is a huge undertaking, and in order for us to really give the world a view and an idea of the community work that the Peacekeepers organization is doing, this film must be as professional as possible in pre-production and post-production.

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