About this project
What is AN ABOMINABLE CRIME about?
AN ABOMINABLE CRIME is a documentary that explores the culture of homophobia in Jamaica through the eyes of two gay Jamaicans who are forced to chose between their homeland and their lives -- after their sexual orientations are exposed...
This film tells the stories of…
Simone Edwards, a young lesbian who survives being shot down outside of her home by anti-gay gunmen and must choose between living in hiding with her daughter in Jamaica or traveling alone to seek safety and asylum abroad.
Maurice Tomlinson, a human rights activist and lawyer, who experienced an avalanche of death threats when his marriage to a Canadian man is revealed by a Jamaican Newspaper. Does he dare to return to Jamaica to continue his activism?
Why make a documentary about gay Jamaicans?
Homophobia is a human rights problem, and the struggle for equal treatment of LBGT people is a global human rights issue.
In Jamaica being gay is a crime, homophobia is the status quo, and violence against the LGBT community is widely approved and accepted. HIV now infects nearly a third of the gay male community, who must live in the shadows or risk their lives.
Since filming began in 2009, five characters in AN ABOMINABLE CRIME have fled Jamaica after dealing with gunfire, mob violence, and death threats.
Today, people like Simone and Maurice must choose between their lives and their homeland -- exile or death.
These stories are well worth telling because the impacts of Jamaican homophobia stretch far beyond the Caribbean as refugees like Simone and Maurice seek asylum and safety in the US, Canada, and Europe.
AN ABOMINABLE CRIME is not just a film about homophobia and violence, it also demonstrates in a deeply personal and intimate manner how courage and love can transcend violence and fear.
What will you use your Kickstarter funds for?
1. Finishing the edit: The very talented Karen Sim has been editing AN ABOMINABLE CRIME in bits and pieces for nearly a year. Karen’s award-winning work has been broadcast on Frontline, PBS, and HBO. She is an amazing editor who is passionate about the project. If we are successfully funded, we will be able to pay Karen to finish the film.
2. Music rights and an original score: Amanda Harberg is an award-winning composer whose music has been performed by the the Grand Rapids Symphony, the National Symphony of Ecuador, the Thuringer Symphony, the Olympia Philharmonic Society, the String Orchestra of the Rockies and by the New Juilliard Ensemble. Her work has also been performed at Lincoln Center, Carnegie’s Weill Hall, the Juilliard School, the Eastman School’s Women in Music Festival, Chautauqua, and the Interlochen Music Festival. Amanda has also composed music for several documentaries, including PBS Wide Angle’s "Japan’s About Face" and the "New Teacher Survival Guide" for the Teaching Channel. When we are successfully funded, Amanda’s talents will bring the film to life with an emotional and evocative score.
3. Paying for graphics and archival materials: Graphics include things like titles, transitions, and poster design. The archival materials includes news footage and newspaper photos that help to document the crimes described in the film.
4. If we raise more than $35,000 then the remainder will be used to pay for an animated opening sequence and a professional sound mix -- and to support an outreach campaign to get the film seen around the world!
How did you get this far into the project?
We’ve been working on AN ABOMINABLE CRIME for more than four years with support from the Pulitzer Center On Crisis Reporting. The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting is an innovative award-winning non-profit journalism organization dedicated to supporting the independent international journalism that U.S. media organizations are increasingly less able to undertake. The Center focuses on under-reported topics, promoting high-quality international reporting and creating platforms that reach broad and diverse audiences.
Director Micah Fink first met Simone while in Jamaica working on a series for the Pulitzer Center and PBS World Focus called "The Glass Closet: Sex, Stigma, and HIV/AIDS in Jamaica."
The Pulitzer Center is supporting our Kickstarter campaign by reaching out to their networks and spreading the word about AN ABOMINABLE CRIME. When the film is finished, the Pulitzer Center will arrange screenings at colleges around the United States as part of their campus consortium program.
Who is producer/ director Micah Fink?
Micah Fink, the founder of Common Good Productions, is an award-winning producer, director and writer specializing in international affairs, public health, and environmental issues. He is also on the faculty at the Graduate Program in Social Documentary at the School For Visual Arts in NYC.
Recent projects include producing of CNN's "Memo to the President with Fareed Zakaria" (2013), serving as a Segment Producer for seven hours of Al Gore’s “Climate Reality Project,” (2012), and directing and producing "Mann V. Ford" for HBO (2011).
Micah’s work has been recognized with three Emmy nominations, two Cine Golden Eagle Awards, a Silver Screen award, and an International Film and Video Award. He was a Japan Society Fellow in 2008 and a Kaiser Media Health Fellow in 2005. Micah has a MS in Journalism from Columbia University and a BA in Comparative Literature from Cornell University.
You can learn more about Micah’s company, Common Good Productions, and see examples of his recent work at www.commongoodprod.com.
How does Kickstarter Work?
Kickstarter is 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 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 more chances we have to reach our goal!
How can I keep in touch?
For project updates and news about Jamaica and LGBT issues you can connect with us on Twitter @AbominableCrime.
You can also like us on Facebook.
If you'd like to say hello you can also e-mail us at abominable.crimes [at] gmail [dot] com.
Risks and challenges
The biggest risk in this project was not a production issue but rather the risks that Simone and Maurice are taking by showing their faces -- and revealing their true identities as gay Jamaicans.
They were both willing to be filmed while in Jamaica -- which was, at times, rather tense but because of their commitment to telling this story, it was a risk they (and the production crew) were willing to take.
This film is a testament to their bravery and commitment to the simple idea that LGBT people should not have to live in fear -- and risk their lives -- just for being themselves.
In terms of production challenges, we don’t yet know how the film will be distributed -- and are actively looking for broadcasters around the world (please contact us if you are interested!) so we can't be certain when DVD’s and digital downloads will be available. But we promise to do our absolute best to get everything out to our supporters as quickly as possible.
We’ll be posting regular updates!
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