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"Heroes of the Sun" finds passion, poetry, and hope in Cité Soleil, a gigantic slum in Haiti plagued by gang violence and squalor.

HOW "HEROES OF THE SUN" BEGAN



It all began in Washington, DC, at the US Institute for Peace, during a conference about reconstruction in Haiti. A woman sitting in the first row, was asked to talk about her work. She stood  wrapped all in blue and started to sing: “Resistance…”  Silence. The audience in that cold and academic auditorium was mesmerized.  I wanted to meet with her.  I did. Her name: Barbara Guillaume, she was an activist and an artist. She wanted to run for mayor in Cité Soleil. “Cité Soleil? Really?” I could not believe it. A few years ago, the slum was labeled as a no-law zone, one of the most dangerous places on the planet claimed the UN. She said to me: “Come to Haiti… come!” A year later, with the support of a French Broadcaster (Group Canal +),  I was interviewing her on camera.

First day of shooting at Warf Jeremy, Cité Soleil



 THE HEART OF “HEROES OF THE SUN” IS THE ART OF SURVIVING



We know about the devastation of Haiti: earthquake, floods, hurricanes, Brazilian insect infestations … you wonder, What’s next? Furthermore, I was intrigued.  Who are these people who brave death and destruction to survive and transcend tragedies with such inspiring songs? 

In Cité Soleil in the heart of Haiti, with a history of violence like very few places on Earth, I found people with dreams and passion. The context is dark, but light can be discovered shining from under the tarps and the tin roofs. 



Cité Soleil is vast. Nearly half million people live in this slum by the Caribbean sea. The surrounding shores serve as garbage dumps and communal toilets. By day, the UN forces patrol. Long before sunset, fear of gangs forces outsiders to leave, while the inhabitants  lock themselves inside their shacks and street kids to hide in their secret shelters.    

Waiting for the return of the fishermen in Cité Soleil

Yet I uncovered a constellation of dreams, wisdom, poetry, hope, pride and dignity. I witnessed unshakable faith and passion for life.  The scenes I was lucky enough to capture on film are unforgettable, some are dark and poignant, others beam with grace and humanity. 



 FILMING “HEROES OF THE SUN”



Dark and light shape the soul of the film: dark like the black dirt which litters the alleys and sunny like the morning light on the faces of the children. It is dispiriting like a river of garbage, yet bright like the joyful solidarity of the street kids. 

The cinematographer Kohl Trelkeld and his fans

The further I ventured into such darkness, the more I would heard music and saw poetry every where. One of my favorite moment is  a young boy's kite tinkered out of a Styrofoam plate and raising above an open garbage dump.



This film is  like a roller coaster ride. Emotions swing from sadness to anger, from anger to joy, a joy provoked by art created through resilience, pride and solidarity in such a heart wrenching environment. 

Every kid dreams to attend school in Cité Soleil, where illiteracy is rampant

There are people worth meeting, with lessons to teach. This film reflects a struggling humanity, yet a humanity that survives against all odds. It inspires an uplifting desire to dance and connect with the human beings capable of such creative survival. You will be proud to accompany their voices. The pride they share, will become yours. The hope they share, will become yours. 



THE PRODUCER OF “HEROES OF THE SUN”



My name is Fabienne Lips-Dumas, my work has won international film awards, been selected for festivals, and shown by broadcasters around the world.  My film  “Children of Armageddon” on the legacy of the nuclear arsenals, won the International Human Rights Federation Award in 2009.  Please check out the trailer.  You will see my method of treating complex issues through human stories and compelling characters.  The documentary “I Clown for Yoohoo!”  on clowns working with gravely sick children, seniors,  delinquents and refugee camps was broadcast many times by Canadian TV. 



By the shore of Cité Soleil, our fixer Jean, Jr. Joseph, updates me

THE CREW BEHIND “HEROES OF THE SUN”



After more than a year of work, I have organized the footage and put together a talented team to help me edit and distribute the film.  

I scheduled the post production to start by September.  I am raising funds to cover editing, writing, transcriptions, translations, narration, sound editing, mix, color matching, website, promotion, extensive distribution and financial and legal services. With adequate funding I expect to be finished by the end of the year in time to exhibit the film at the major film festivals in 2014. 

Interviewing the band Veye Yo Rara

My goal is to raise at least $78,000 on Kickstarter to transform raw footage into a compelling film and to showcase it all over America and the world. I will be paying myself a minimal amount and the post production facility has reduced its rates in order to ensure this wonderful film gets made.

      The work of metal by artists in Cité Soleil

 THE REWARDS FROM CITE SOLEIL

As excited as I am to make this film, I am especially proud to offer the art and crafts from artists living in Cité Soleil as gifts in acknowledgement of your pledges.

Through your pledge you will bond with the community of Cité Soleil and thereby the film making process becomes truly inclusive.  All the paintings and the figures are made out recycled tin.  The Angels, a Red Taptap Truck --  like the transport we used -- to the Warrior Mask, Rasta Mask or Sun Mask are each a limited edition made especially for the Heroes of the Sun project . 

Kids have many ways to interact when Haitian Creole is not available

Each time you will pledge to download a song of the documentary, the group or their community will be rewarded too!

The people of Cité Soleil need to have their story told.  They were eager to humanized the image of their community and they participated with enthusiasm . But for the team involved in this documentary, keeping them collaborating in the process of the production is important. We thank every one for helping us tell this story and at the same time helping the community in Haiti that was so open and generous with their time and talents during the filming process.

Fabien, Voodoo drummer

SCHEDULE

September: Translations, transcription, writing

October-November-December: Editing-Website

January-February: Sound, mix, color matching, copies…

January: Promotion starts and preparation for the launch in February. With adequate resources, we will be able to offer our friends a PREVIEW timed to the remembrance of the 2010 EARTHQUAKE.

We will mail your Heroes of the Sun rewards gradually over those months, and by February 2014, everyone should have received their Angel, Sun, Taptap, Mask or Tree of Life.

                          A painted drum oil by artists of Cité Soleil

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

There is minimal risk involved in this project. The shooting in Cité Soleil is done! I am very familiar with the footage and I know there is a strong film within it. Editing is a challenging time in any feature length documentary, but I look forward to the challenge of documentary film making, establishing a structure, selecting the best material, and fine tuning the final product. The budget has been carefully established. The financial goal I have set will ensure the completion of a strong feature documentary with extensive distribution.

I like the all-or-nothing nature of Kickstarter. Inadequate support would disappoint those who had backed the project, causing distraction and delay. By reaching our Kickstarter goal, I will move forward with confidence and keep to the time-frame outlined above.

Film distribution can be a daunting task, but I believe in the documentary and I am confident that it will be able to recruit distribution partners along the way. I have negotiated a good deal with the post-production company to ensure there will be significant resources to devote to wide distribution. I am an experienced producer and will leave no stone unturned to ensue that this film is seen by a large audience, including submissions to key film festivals, through social media, and through traditional broadcasts and screenings.

The rewards are manufactured in a difficult environment. They are hand made and having seen the living condition of the people, it is possible there may be delays in the delivery. I am working with artists and others who fully embrace the project. My experience in Haiti certainly showed me that Haitian people are talented and hard working.

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    1 backer

    In Haitian Creole, you say: “Mèsi en pile” (Thank you very much). We are sincerely touched by your interest and support. Heroes of Sun needs to know that many others want to see this film made. Look forward to a nice THANK YOU note and key updates by email.

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    7 backers

    “Mèsi en pile”! Every gift lets us know we have friends who also want to see these wonderful stories become the film ”Heroes of the Sun”. We are proud to count you as our primary audience. You will be among the FIRST TO WATCH THE FILM. With a heartfelt thank you note, you will receive a password to watch the online PREMIERE of "Heroes of the Sun".

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    14 backers

    Your generosity will be acknowledged by an exclusive musical DOWNLOAD from the sound track of HEROES OF THE SUN. Sure to get you dancing, the cut is from the band Veye yo Rara, featured in the film, a clip of which is featured at the end of the Kickstarter video. You will also join the exclusive audience for the online PREMIERE. You will receive a sincere THANK YOU note and regular updates by email. "Mèsi en pile'!

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    6 backers

    Haitians say: “Mèsi en pile” (Thank you very much). Your gift is truly wonderful and we are very happy to share with you TWO ORIGINAL SONG DOWNLOADS of music from the soundtrack of "Heroes of the Sun". The first is from the group Veye Yo Rara (described above). The other is the song: "Ayiti pa Perir" by the rapper Black Sun, also sampled in the Kickstarter video. These voices from Cité Soleil will accompany you while we complete the film. You will receive a PASSWORD to preview the music video based on "Ayiti pa Perir " when it is ready. And when the feature documentary is finished, you will also be the FIRST TO WATCH as part of the online PREMIERE.

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    1 backer

    You have brightened our day! So your gift will be a handcrafted metal Sun that will brighten yours. The SUN is a magnet by ARTISTS from CITE SOLEIL (Sun City) and carries the Heroes of the Sun (HS) imprint. It is exclusive to this project. It comes with the TWO DOWNLOADS from the soundtrack of "Heroes of the Sun", the music of Veye Yo Rara and "Ayiti pa Perir". You will receive a PASSWORD to see the music video based on "Ayiti pa Perir " when it is ready. Upon completion of the film, you receive a password to attend the exclusive on-line PREMIERE via email. We are also proud to include your name under the "SUN" category of special thanks on the "Heroes of Sun" website.

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    10 backers

    Your gift is driving this project toward its success. So it is fitting that you will receive a metal RED TAPTAP (The colorful covered pick-up trucks that serve as Haiti's public transports) This charming, handcrafted Taptap is a magnet by ARTISTS FROM CITE SOLEIL and carries the Heroes of the Sun (HS) imprint. The red taptap comes with TWO DOWNLOADS from the sound track of "Heroes of the Sun": the music of Veye Yo Rara and "Ayiti pa Perir", plus TWO PASSWORDS: one to enjoy all the musical extracts of the film as they are edited, and another to the online PREMIERE of the completed film. THANK YOU so much for being our first audience! Your name will be featured under the "RED TAPTAP" category of special thanks on the "Heroes of Sun" website.

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  • Pledge $150 or more
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    2 backers

    We are overwhelmed by your generosity. You deserve and will receive an ANGEL from Haiti. Hand-painted on metal angel is created exclusively by ARTISTS FROM CITE SOLEIL. It carries the Heroes of the Sun (HS) imprint. The Angel magnet comes with two downloads from the soundtrack of " Heroes of the Sun": the music of Veye Yo Rara and "Ayiti pa Perir". Plus two PASSWORDS: one to enjoy all musical extracts of the film as they are edited and to the online PREMIERE of the completed film. We will send you a limited edition Kickstarter DVD with a heartfelt thank you note signed by the director. And your name will be featured under the ANGEL category of special thanks on "Heroes of Sun" website.

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  • Pledge $275 or more
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    0 backers

    “Mèsi en pile.” Your bigger gift means you are an angel of the first rank. Enjoy with our profound thanks a hand-crafted hanging ARCHANGEL surrounded by birds. This beautiful (10X10 inches) sculpture is made of metal. It is the perfect expression of pop art and authentic culture direct from the heart of Cité Soleil created by Haitian artists exclusively for Heroes of the Sun and carrying the (HS) imprint. The Archangel comes with two downloads from the soundtrack of " Heroes of the Sun": the music of Veye Yo Rara and "Ayiti pa Perir". Plus two PASSWORDS: one to enjoy all musical extracts of the film as they are edited and to the online PREMIERE of the completed film. We will send you a limited edition Kickstarter DVD with a heartfelt thank you note signed by the director. We will keep you posted and invite your comments on the filmmaking process with weekly emails. Your name will be featured under the Archangel category of special thanks on the "Heroes of the Sun" website.

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    0 backers

    The strength of your support gives us the strength to carry on. In appreciation you will receive the mask of an ANCIENT WARRIOR. This remarkable piece of art (22 inches long) is made of metal. It is a combination of African tradition and Haiti's own folk art created by Haitian artists from Cité Soleil and it carries the "Heroes of the Sun" imprint (HS). The mask comes with two downloads from the sound track of " Heroes of the Sun": the music of Veye Yo Rara and "Ayiti pa Perir". Plus two PASSWORDS: one to enjoy all musical extracts of the film as they are edited and to the online PREMIERE of the completed film. We will send you a limited edition Kickstarter DVD with a heartfelt thank you note signed by the director. We will keep you posted and invite your comments on the filmmaking process with weekly emails. Your name will be feature under the WARRIOR category of special thanks on the "Heroes of the Sun" website . “Mèsi en pile”

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  • Pledge $1,050 or more
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    1 backer

    Your shining generosity inspires our most solar thank you! Please enjoy the SUNSHINE MASK, a magical piece (17X17 inches) skillfully crafted in metal by the Haitian artists of Cité Soleil and signed by the artist himself. Plus you receive the magnetic sun as well. Both suns carry the imprint of the project (HS). The bright light of these works of art are complemented by two downloads from the sound track of " Heroes of the Sun": the music of Veye Yo Rara and "Ayiti pa Perir". Plus two PASSWORDS: one to enjoy all musical extracts of the film as they are edited and to the online PREMIERE of the completed film. We will send you a limited edition Kickstarter DVD with the warmest thank you note signed by the director. We will keep you posted and invite your comments on the filmmaking process with weekly emails. Your name will be feature under the TWO SUNS category of special thanks on the "Heros of the Sun" website. And we are very proud to add YOUR NAME to the END CREDITS of the film under Special Thanks!

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  • Pledge $1,750 or more
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    0 backers

    You are FRIENDS OF HEROES OF THE SUN and as such you appear in the END CREDIT of the documentary. In celebration of your vital support, we thank you with the most amazing mask: the RASTA mask! This work of art ( 22X24 inches) of incredible virtuosity crowned with dreads finely cut out a drum oil is SIGNED BY THE ARTIST and carries the " Heroes of the Sun" imprint (HS). The Rasta mask come with the magnetic Angel, and two downloads from the sound track of " Heroes of the Sun": the music of Veye Yo Rara and "Ayiti pa Perir", two PASSWORDS: one to enjoy all musical extracts of the film as they are edited and to the online PREMIERE of the completed film. We will send you a limited edition Kickstarter DVD with a deeply grateful thank you note signed by the director. We will keep you posted and invite your comments on the filmmaking process with weekly emails. You will be able to follow the process and see some additional footage that will not make to the final cut. Your name will be featured under the RASTA ANGEL category of special thanks on the "Heros of the Sun" website.

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    0 backers Limited (20 left of 20)

    With your wonderful gift you have joined the INNER CIRCLE. Your name will appear in the END CREDITS of the film. You bring so much life into the project that in recognition, you will receive the TREE OF LIFE, an intricately painted oil drum SIGNED BY THE ARTIST made exclusively for this project and carrying the "Heroes of the Sun" imprint (HS). You will receive the magnetic Sun, two downloads from the soundtrack of " Heroes of the Sun": the music of Veye Yo Rara and "Ayiti pa Perir", two PASSWORDS: one to enjoy all musical extracts of the film as they are edited and to the online PREMIERE of the completed film. We will send you a limited edition Kickstarter DVD with a profoundly grateful thank you note signed by the director. We will keep you posted and invite your comments on the filmmaking process with weekly emails. You will be able to see additional footage in an exclusive section of the project website. Your name will also be featured under the TREE OF LIFE category on the "Heroes of the Sun" website and you receive two tickets to the WORLD PREMIERE. “Mèsi en pile!”

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  • Pledge $5,000 or more
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    0 backers Limited (4 left of 4)

    “Mèsi en pile” from the bottom of our hearts. And welcome to the project! You are officially listed and listened to as an ASSOCIATE PRODUCER! You will also receive the ARCHANGEL with the stars and the marvellous SUN MASK (18x18) executed out a drum oil and signed by the artist. Both carry the "Heroes of the Sun" imprint (HS). They come with two downloads from the sound track of " Heroes of the Sun": the music of Veye Yo Rara and "Ayiti pa Perir", two PASSWORDS: one to enjoy all musical extracts of the film as they are edited and to the online PREMIERE of the completed film. We will send you a limited edition Kickstarter DVD with a profoundly grateful thank you note signed by the director. We will keep you posted and invite your comments on the filmmaking process with weekly emails. You will be able to see additional footage in an exclusive section of the project website. The Director will solicit your feedback on roughcuts at two stages in the production process via phone, chat or Skype. Your name will appear in the CREDITS and on the website as ASSOCIATE PRODUCER. You will receive four tickets to the WORLD PREMIERE.

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    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    “Mèsi en pile!” We are thrilled to have you join us as an EXECUTIVE PRODUCER! A SUN MASK signed by the artist will brighten your wall and will bring you an everlasting source of inspiration; the PEACOCK, an impressive piece made by a Haitian master of metal art, will show off our gratitude for all to see. These creations are made exclusively for the project and carry the unique Heroes of the Sun (HS) imprint. They come with the two downloads from the sound track of "Heroes of the Sun", the music of Veye Yo Rara and " Ayiti Pa Perir", as many DVDs as you like, and all the project passwords. We will keep you posted and invite your comments on the filmmaking process with weekly emails. You will be able to see "making of" footage in an exclusive section of the project website. The Director will solicit your feedback on rough cuts at two stages in the production process via phone, chat or Skype. Your name will appear in the CREDITS and on the website as EXECUTIVE PRODUCER in the largest font along with mine. I will send you an old fashion letter to express my gratitude and hope to do so in person when you are honored with a special mention at the WORLD PREMIERE. Eight tickets, local transportation, and a luxury room for you and one guest will be provided. (Travel not included).“Mèsi en pile,” “Mèsi en pile,”“Mèsi en pile!”

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Funding period

- (45 days)