"Fighting for Freedom" is a documentary film telling the powerful story of Justin Wren, professional MMA fighter (former UFC fighter) turned Big Pygmy brother, fighting for the freedom of the Pygmies in the Congo.
This film will tell the backstory of Justin's career--his dream as kid to be a UFC fighter, his rise to fame in the wrestling and professional fighter ring, his move to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to fight for Pygmies in 2011, and now his return to MMA fighting with Bellator MMA on Spike TV on August 28th.
Our ultimate goal is to bring the best film to our audience. While our $60,000.00 goal will help us finish the film, anything above and beyond this amount will go towards its promotion and distribution.
This is how we are going to use the funds raised:
- Travel Costs for our crew to go back to the Congo to capture the rest of the story
- Travel Costs for our crew to travel around the US to gather additional interviews pertinent to the story
- Hiring a composer to score the film. A HUGE need to dramatically tell the story.
- Post-Production Costs to master the film
- Legal fees and licensing fees for archival footage.
Enslaved to the neighboring Mokpala (meaning "non-Pygmy") tribe, the Mbuti Pygmy people had zero land of their own, no access to water, and no possibility to grow food on their own. Because of this, the Mbuti Pygmies have no choice but to work for the Mokpala to receive food. This slave labor results in a few bananas or minnows for the Pygmies each day, keeping the Pygmies hungry so that they will return to work the next day.
Justin Wren and his organization Fight for the Forgotten, partnering with a non-profit water development organization called Water4, set out to seek the freedom of these oppressed and forgotten people. Clean water wells brought access to new life for both oppressor and oppressed and offered an incentive for the Mokpala to release the Pygmies.
In depth community development initiatives have been developed and implemented since 2011. To date, 2,470 acres of land has been petitioned, lobbied, and legally purchased from the Mokpala (non-Pygmies) and put in the name of the Mbuti Pygmies. 25 water wells have been drilled for both the Pygmies and Mokpala, both of whom had been losing children due to waterborne disease because of zero access to clean water. A small scale farming initiative has recently begun to teach the Mokpala better farming practices, and to teach the Pygmies how to farm their new land to provide for themselves. 17 Congolese nationals and community development specialist have been hired as full time staff because of the strong vision to empower the locals.
Now, several Pygmy villages are experiencing freedom for the first time. However, many Pygmies still remained enslaved.
Your contribution in the making of this film will help Justin fulfill his promise to the Pygmies by giving them a much needed voice in the world.
We believe stories can change the world, and we hope you will join us on this journey in telling the "Fighting for Freedom" story.
Risks and challenges
Nothing worth accomplishing comes without risk. Making a film about a real man's quest to fight for freedom is a risk. His story and heart are on the line.
But freedom for the Pygmies is worth any risk to us. As a fighter. As a filmmaker. And a supporter...so thank you!
Traveling to the Congo is a real risk. We've done it before, but traveling and filming in such a remote part of the world is tricky. Our aim is to lean on our team's experience of traveling in this part of the world to ensure that we reach our ultimate goal of wrapping up this film.
Distribution for any film is difficult--how is the world going to see our story once it is completed? This is true for us, but we've also received encouraging go-aheads from several major distribution outlets. We've come this far in telling this story...there's no way we'll stop until the world hears this story!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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