At its core, AVoice4Peace is about the music that we create.
This short documentary will give voice to the stories and songs of several musicians participating in the first-ever AVoice4Peace Concert held in Nairobi, Kenya on September 21, 2016.
Through the eyes of our characters, we'll learn about the importance of international and inter-cultural musical collaboration, as well as the powerful effect that music has on listeners (and performers) when used as a catalyst for peace.
The United Nations General Assembly established September 21st as the International Day of Peace. We're celebrating this day of non-violence and cease-fire with a world-wide peace concert, in Nairobi, Kenya. In addition, anyone with a smartphone or camcorder can record and submit a video of themselves singing the repertoire. The end result will be a 'virtual choir' and a bold statement to anyone who will listen that moments of peace can be achieved through unity and song.
In an effort to document the legacy of AVoice4Peace, we're creating a short documentary film.
All donations made to this Kickstarter campaign will help fund production costs associated with creating the film.
Ken Wakia is the director of the Nairobi Chamber Chorus and is the Cultural and Educational Affairs Specialist at the U.S. Embassy in Kenya. Ken is spearheading AVoice4Peace and was the first to suggest a we create a film documenting the legacy of the AV4P project. Ken and Kevin Fenton (below) are colleagues and have hosted each other's choirs on their international tours.
Kevin Fenton is an American choral educator and is the conductor of several choirs including the Florida State University Singers and the Festival Singers of Florida. During the Fall of 2016, he will be engaging in a Fulbright Specialist Grant teaching choral music curriculum at the Kenya Conservatoire of Music in Nairobi.
Maureen Obadha was born in Nairobi, Kenya. She is a versatile singer/songwriter and vocal trainer. She started singing at the tender age of four in church and in school performances. A former Bachelor of Arts (music) student in Kenyatta University and Master of Arts in Drama from San Francisco State University, she enjoys teaching beginner piano and vocal performance. Maureen is an active member of the Nairobi Chamber Chorus and has recently shared the stage with the Kenyan Boys Choir, performed at Classics at the Go Down, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert in the United Kingdom and most recently with Stephen Schwartz and Rob Fischer.
The Maasai are a tribe native to Kenya and Tanzania. The Sentinel Mara Camp will host our crew to film a segment on "Music and the Maasai Mara." The Maasai have many traditions involving music and dance. This documentary will explore some of those traditions.
Far too often, we hear about another shooting, another bombing, another person - who driven by fear or hatred - caused harm to themselves and others. And time after time, we’re left feeling helpless, hopeless, and more vulnerable to an invisible hate.
AVoice4Peace is our collective response - your response - to these repeated acts of violence all over the world, and in our own communities.
We believe that a peace concert, a film, or even a single piece of music, is a moment wherein we can de-escalate violence and conflict.
"Any piece of music that talks about unity is really needed right now," says Kevin Fenton. "I think that when you bring a group, a choir, or a community together and you have a moment where you sing and think about the importance of unity, you have a better chance to make a difference in the world. That's what choirs are."
AVoice4Peace is a grass-roots project. And we’ve made the decision to produce this important film at-cost, meaning that 100% of your donation will go towards producing this film. Helping us to fund this film is a great way to show your support for this ambitious project.
We’ve received a groundswell of support from the American Choral Directors Association, the International Conductors Exchange Program, the U.S. Embassy in Kenya, the Sentinel Mara Camp, as well as many other interested parties.
But despite the immense support we’ve received for this project, we’re still short of the funds we need to cover production costs for the documentary; things like equipment rentals, music licensing, contractor fees, insurance, visas, ground transportation in Kenya, and so much more.
It’s been an incredible experience to see all the people and organizations from all over the world supporting the project so far.
But we’ve still got a long way to go to get this film out into the world.
We need $20K in order to finish the entire film and to tell the story in our ultimate vision. But because Kickstarter is all-or-nothing, we’ve set our campaign goal at $9K, an amount that we believe we can attain with crowdfuning with all of you amazing folks helping us!
Best Case Sceanrio: we hit our ultimate goal of $20K (which would be incredible!)
Still Awesome Scenario: we reach our fundraising goal of $9K and keep searching for the rest.
Either way, the film will be made. Many of us here at AVoice4Peace have poured many hours into the project for reduced or no pay - which is fine, because we believe in the project and its mission.
If we hit our goal of $9K with this Kickstarter, it’ll cover the cost of principal filming, including crew hire, post-production sound, and our most basic editing costs.
We're shooting the documentary with two Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras, the DJI Inspire Pro aerial camera, a host of Olympus primes, Tokinas, and Lumix, a few Sennheiser mics, a shoulder rig, some sticks, and hopefully (fingers crossed) a Lily Cam (we pre-ordered one in April of last year).
In Kenya, we'll need to be able to travel light and fast. The Blackmagic Pockets are an excellent choice for durability and unobtrusiveness; we've such a short time with our characters and we'll want them to get comfortable being in front of the cameras as soon as possible. Plus, the Pockets are such a sweet little camera, and color grading the footage in DaVinci Resolve awards beautiful skin tones, natural colors, and in my opinion a very desirable grade.
And that's that!
Subscribe to the AV4P mailing list to get a nice, pretty blog post each week filling you in on the status of the project, new partners, our screening event in Tallahassee, and bios on our characters.
You can also follow us on Twitter and Instagram @avoice4peace, and on Facebook!
If you have any questions about the film or the AV4P project reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You're awesome, Kickstarter!
Project video recording of Ukuthula courtesy of Kurt Richter via his YouTube Channel TampaKurt.
Risks and challenges
AVoice4Peace is an ambitious project, and we’ve only a few months to produce, shoot, and edit the film on top of organizing the event. But in the service of the project’s mission we’ve decided to put all else on hold to get this film out into the world, to the people who need to see it.
Our production schedule is tight, but our team is lean and fit for a quick-turnaround on the film.
We’re planning on premiering a teaser of the film in Nairobi during the peace concert on September 21st and are releasing the film in late October.
Our current funding needs are keeping us from ordering equipment packages, securing our production crew and 'battle-testing’ our equipment kits for filming.
When this film is made, it will be entirely because of people like you, who are dedicated to the ideals of mutual respect, unity, and inter-cultural collaboration. If throughout recent strife and conflict, you've felt the need to take action - to respond to violence - supporting this project is a powerful way to do so.
I, along with the entire AVoice4Peace team, thank you for your pledge, your generosity, and your support.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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