Now is the Moment to Tell This Story
Since the launch of our Kickstarter fundraising campaign, the topic of drone strikes has crossed over into the mainstream of the media. While we are grateful for the extensive reporting, as well as advocacy from human rights groups, 'From the Sky' is something different.
'From the Sky' will be among the first (if not the first) narrative works of cinema from the U.S. to show the impact of drone strikes on civilians in the Arab world. The film also explores the roots of extremism, the bond between fathers and sons, and ultimately asks a universal question: When we are harmed, will we respond by retaliating, or in life-giving ways?
We believe that good stories not only have the potential to raise awareness but also to bring people together. To create such a story, we ask that you partner with us.
About the Film
'From the Sky' takes viewers beyond the headlines into a fictional story of a noble father Hakeem and his troubled teenage son Abbas as they journey to make a crucial sale.
The story opens to reveal Abbas suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder due to a tragic past and the frequent presence of drones flying overhead. Soon, two mysterious men visit the camp of the father and son, leading to a turn of events which forces Abbas to make a choice about the way he will go in life: the direction modeled by his father, or a different route articulated by the charismatic man Dhiya.
The screenplay is the result of a collaborative environment between the director's research over the past decade and feedback from Muslims and other advisers from the Arab world, so that 'From the Sky' will be an authentic and thoughtful work; a story of hope in the midst of tragedy.
About the Production: Cast and Crew Highlights
Ian Ebright is a Seattle-based Writer/Director and a former film critic for UGO.com and Fandom.com. He studied at Seattle Film Institute and co-directed the short film 'Executive Beats' in addition to completing multiple screenplays over several years. Ian took up blogging about faith, life, culture, and human rights in 2008 which he continues today on his site The Broken Telegraph while working on film projects.
Jessica Grant is a Seattle-based Producer who has worked on numerous short films and music videos, and is a graduate of Seattle Film Institute's Masters in Producing program. Ian says of the producer: "Jessica has great intuition, a strong skill set, and palpable enthusiasm, all of which will be crucial to this film's success. I am thrilled to have her as a key member of our production team."
Ty Migota is a Seattle-based Director of Photography who has shot several short films, commercials, documentaries, and music videos. Ian says of the DP: "Ty not only has technical expertise but is able to compose moving images that are distinct, vivid, and captivating. I am eager to work with Ty and look forward to seeing the film's dramatic performances and beautiful landscapes captured on a RED camera."
In an effort to create an authentic portrait, 'From the Sky' will feature actors of Middle Eastern descent speaking fluent Arabic.
Sayed Badreya has joined the cast of 'From the Sky' in the role of Hakeem. Sayed is likely the most recognizable Arab American actor in Hollywood, having stared in over 50 films and television shows including 'The Dictator,' 'Lost,' 'Iron Man,' 'Three Kings,' and 'The Insider.' Ian says of the actor: "Because Sayed is such a wonderful actor and collaborator, I'm excited to continue the creative process with him as he inhabits a character different from past roles."
We Need Your Help
1. To fund the project:
This project depends on your support. While Ian and his wife Lauren are committed to bringing in $10,000 of their own, it will take the addition of a fully-funded Kickstarter campaign to meet the film's production and post-production costs.
The production team intends to film in Spring 2013 at a remote location in Eastern Washington. The monies raised will help cover production expenses including equipment and location fees, insurance, transportation, food, lodging and compensation for the modestly-sized cast and crew's three day shoot, as well as post-production needs including editing, sound design, and an original music score.
Once post-production wraps in the summer, the finished film will be submitted to festivals beginning with top tier domestic and international events ranging from Palm Springs to Dubai. This will help gain exposure for the film and the topics explored. Following the festival circuit, 'From the Sky' will be released online for free.
2. To build momentum:
You can also support 'From the Sky' by sharing this Kickstarter page with your community and social media network. Raising awareness increases our chance of success.
In Ian's words:
"I believe in mutuality and realize I can't do this all by myself, nor should I expect donors to do it all for me. I hope my financial commitment reveals a level of passion and dedication to this important project and I ask for your help believing that we are capable of far greater when we work together. I can't thank you enough for standing with me."
Nuts and Bolts
Donors may pledge any amount at or above $1, and select their reward. After taking 20 seconds to create a Kickstarter profile, donors will be directed to Amazon to choose a method of payment.
Donations are not charged until the campaign reaches its goal. Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing campaign, which means we need to raise $18,500 or more by end of day February 27.
Any potential donors with questions may contact Ian at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you'd like to support the project anonymously, simply enter 'Anonymous' as you create your Kickstarter profile. Any anonymous donations will still be recognized on the official website and in the film's credits (when applicable) as 'Anonymous.'
Donors who receive the private online copy of the finished film will be able to watch 'From the Sky' well in advance of its public online release, and allows viewers to watch the film whenever they choose.
Kickstarter allows donors to opt out of rewards, if desired.
Risks and challenges
As an independent film, all of the costs fall to the production team so funding becomes our greatest obstacle. Additionally, we have a self-imposed timeline so that 'From the Sky' can be submitted to festivals with deadlines beginning in midsummer. From the obvious challenge of shooting in another language to the smaller issues and logistics involved in any film, we plan to address these matters with a production team that is talented and motivated.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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