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By Jonathan Sachar
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About this project

The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. - Thomas Paine 

Overtown is the incredible true story of a single mother who was willing to do whatever it took to protect her family. Tammy faced the mounting pressure of raising two children alone, losing an uncle to drugs, and watching her sick mother deteriorate as she was denied medical care. Most people would have folded. Tammy did the unthinkable. She decided to go toe to toe with the local drug lord that had held her neighborhood hostage for years. 

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Originally called ‘Colored Town,’ Overtown was the first neighborhood designated for African Americans after the incorporation of Miami as a city in 1896. It quickly grew into a hub of African American culture and commerce, and was home to the South’s first black millionaire. Overtown’s inclusive entertainment scene attracted blacks and white audiences alike to see such artists as Ella Fitzgerald, Cab Calloway, Josephine Baker, Billie Holiday and Nat King Cole, who weren’t allowed to stay in the segregated Miami hotels where they performed. The neighborhood became a home away from home for significant African Americans like W.E.B. DuBois, Zora Neale Hurston, Joe Louis and Jackie Robinson. The growth of this thriving and vibrant community was halted, however, when highways and interstates were constructed to cut straight through Overtown. Businesses boarded up, families moved out, and jazz clubs closed their doors for good. Now considered a ghetto, Overtown may be one of the roughest neighborhoods in Miami, but the soul and character that first made Overtown a mecca for business and the arts still persists.

KELLY OVERTON @iamkellyoverton

As a struggling single mom and the film's moral center Tammy, Overton brings both sensitivity and the fierceness of a mama bear just trying to protect her cubs. Overton is a regular on True Blood, playing werewolf Rikki Naylor. She kicked ass in the movie adaptation of the fighting game Tekken. She has honed her chops on All My Children and in multiple Broadway shows, and has even found time to write, direct, and produce her own project.

CHAD JOHNSON @ochocinco

Love him or really love him, he’s an entertainer. This Miami native racked up over 11,000 receiving yards, 67 touchdowns, and 6 pro-bowl selections in the NFL but was better known for what he did after the whistle blew. Whether it’s using props to celebrate a TD, legally changing his name to Ochocinco, or Dancing with the Stars, he’s always captured attention. Now he takes on his first starring role as Overtown’s loose cannon ‘Dusty.’

KHOTAN @khotanland

He may look like just your average smoldering Latin heartthrob, but as an actor, Khotan Fernandez is no stranger to the world of drug lords and drivebys. He starred in 'Perro Amor' as a son who vows revenge on his father's killer and in 'El Cartel,' about the dangerous world of Mexican drug rings. Born in Mexico City, Khotan is quickly becoming one of Mexico's most popular actors, and not just because of his looks. Okay fine, he plays an underwear model on USA's 'Royal Pains.'

 VINNIE JONES @VinnieJones

Vinnie Jones was suspended from pro soccer for 6 months for “bringing the game into disrepute”and then indefinitely banned after missing a disciplinary hearing. He gave soccer the middle finger and took his infamy to the screen. Some of his 75 acting credits include Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch and played ‘Juggernaut’ in X-men: The Last Stand.

LEW TEMPLE @LewTempleActor

Walking Dead fans rejoice: Lew Temple is on board to play crazy Uncle Cliff, who has a good heart but not much self-control. This acting legend was also seen in Unstoppable with Denzel and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

CHRISTMAS ABBOTT @ChristmasAbbott

Christmas dedicated her life to fitness after an experience in Iraq as a civilian contractor, and hasn’t looked back. She is now one of the most recognizable members of the CrossFit community. As a member of CrossFit Headquarters Seminar Staff she has led her team to Mid-Atlantic Regionals three years running. As if being more fit than most every other person on the planet wasn’t enough, she took on challenge to become the first female member of a NASCAR pit crew. Mission accomplished. She will be changing tires during Daytona 500 this year. She's excited to try her hand at acting, and given this girl's dedication and commitment, we're sure she'll succeed.

MAVADO @Mavado_Gully

Cess Silvera's OVERTOWN wouldn't be complete without a cameo from a Jamaican music legend, so we're lucky to say that Mavado, who has won best Reggae artist of the year and recorded his hit “Real McKoy” for the trailer of Grand Theft Auto IV, is on board to add some Jamaican flavor to Overtown.

BUSHWICK BILL

 As an actor, lyricist, and vocalist Bushwick Bill has done it all. His rap group Geto Boys was named 10th on the list of top 25 rap groups of all time. Bill now brings his talent and charm to Overtown and we’re thrilled to have him.

 Sometimes the life of a movie can take its own unique twists and turns. Though this project started as a small independent feature, it has grown: big talent has come onboard, a full crew has made its way to Miami, and the explosive nature of some of the scenes has become more vivid. We couldn’t be more thrilled. However, this means the budget has grown as well. We need your help to make this movie everything it should be and more. 

Also, through Kickstarter we have a unique opportunity to get this movie to you cheaper than we could through any other source. For our backers only we are offering a $5 digital download of the completed film, because making movies is expensive but seeing them shouldn’t be. 

@CessSilvera

Between shooting his cult hit Shottas in 2002 and its long-overdue 2006 theatrical release, Cess added an “in memoriam” to the credits of the film for 50 of his friends. Only one of those friends died of natural causes.

Writer/director Cess Silvera writes what he knows. He grew up in Jamaica and Miami. He grew up around gangs. He grew up surrounded by violence.This upbringing gives Cess a unique perspective from any other filmmaker today. His intimate knowledge of a culture that is often misunderstood or completely overlooked is what fuels his passion to create. When asked about the level of violence in Shottas, Cess Silvera replied “I want people to see the love, to see it for more than just the violence… I wanted to show if this trend continues we are going to create monsters.” Rather than turn a blind eye, Cess chooses to highlight the very culture he hopes to inspire. It just so happens that when he highlights this culture he makes one hell of a movie.

 Patrick Durham Jonathan Sachar are quickly becoming known as "the most prolific producers in Hollywood," as one studio executive put it. Especially passionate about helping filmmakers realize their creative visions, Jonathan and Patrick have focused primarily on independent projects. Together they have contributed to the successes of such features as Cross, Just Add Water, 7-10 Split, Rights of Passage, Tooth and Nails, The Killing Jar and most notably, Cabin Fever 2. Their ability to make movie magic out of limited funds is the reason that same exec said “No one can make movies at the price they do” and also makes them a perfect fit for the action-packed indie OVERTOWN.

It’s time to put Overtown back on the map. It’s ironic that this film, the story of three friends who resort to crime to support their families, is set against the backdrop of a neighborhood that was once one of the most prosperous African American communities in the country. That’s not the way it should be. This was a thriving community before a city official decided to run highways through its heart. Today, the median household income is just over $22,000 and the area is considered a ghetto. A successful, nationally-distributed film will bring awareness to Overtown, but even more immediately, a successful Kickstarter campaign will guarantee film production, and therefore jobs, to an area that desperately needs its own economic kickstart.

1951 Chevy Deluxe, seafoam green with white and seafoam green leather interior. Brand new custom paint job.
1951 Chevy Deluxe, seafoam green with white and seafoam green leather interior. Brand new custom paint job.
Sunshine Carpet Shirt as worn by Chad, Lew and of course Kelly.
Sunshine Carpet Shirt as worn by Chad, Lew and of course Kelly.
Scorpion t in white - available in sizes S-XL
Scorpion t in white - available in sizes S-XL
Malik Sr. getting attention in his Noseblunt tank
Malik Sr. getting attention in his Noseblunt tank
Black Scorpion T - size S-XL
Black Scorpion T - size S-XL
The Aspen Bag by Waltzing Matilda
The Aspen Bag by Waltzing Matilda
Pacino by Zuckerman, signed by Zuckerman
Pacino by Zuckerman, signed by Zuckerman
Bowie by Zuckerman, signed by Zuckerman
Bowie by Zuckerman, signed by Zuckerman
Khotan by Zuckerman, signed by artist & actor.
Khotan by Zuckerman, signed by artist & actor.


More photos to come!

Risks and challenges

-Distribution:
Finding a distributor is always a challenge for an independent film, but we’re so confident in the quality of the film and the strength of the fan base that we expect to be widely distributed in theaters.
-First-timers:
Sure, Chad Johnson has had a few lines here and there, but is he really qualified to star in a feature film? We think so. Cess has done a great job of creating a character for Chad that is a lot like him – fun, energetic, and a little wild. Chad and the other first-timers like Christmas and Mavado will be surrounded by other excellent actors who won’t let them get away with anything less than amazing. Not to mention, Cess has a record of harnessing stars’ talents – remember Kymani Marley and Spragga Benz in Shottas?
-Shooting schedule:
When you’re dealing with big stars, you’re dealing with busy schedules, so we have our work cut out for us getting everyone into our shoot days. Luckily we have some of the best producers in the business who are going to make sure everyone you see above will be in this film. In fact, they’re working to get some other big names signed on so check back for updates as we go.
-Independent movie risks:
Filmmaking by the big studios has one answer for everything that goes wrong: throw more money at it. We don’t have that luxury, but we don’t need it. One can make up for a tighter budget with passion and planning. We have both in spades. This will be an indie movie, but we’re confident you won’t be able to tell.
-Reward restrictions:
-Must be 18 and legally able to work in the US to be an extra or speaking role
-Must be 18 or accompanied by an adult to attend parties/premiere or set visit
-Most provide your own transportation and lodging for any and all events/set visits.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    WORD ON THE STREET: Be in the know. Get updates and videos reserved only for our backers. You also get our eternal gratitude.

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    OWN THE MOVIE: Special deal - Cess Silvera's OVERTOWN and a PDF of the shooting script, as well as gratitude and updates. This is an exclusive deal for our Kickstarter backers!

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    PRIVATE SHOW: Digital download of the film, cause nothing beats the comfort of your own home. We'll also throw in our eternal gratitude and updates.

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    GANG SIGN: Your very own Scorpion sticker (featured in the film). Pimp out your favorite Trapper Keeper with Overtown love. You also get PDF, digital download, eternal gratitude and updates.

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    COMBO DEAL: DVD/Blu-ray combo pack of 'Cess Silvera’s Overtown'

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    CABIN FEVER - DVD of Cabin Fever 2 signed by the producers, plus exclusive updates and gratitude.

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    'CROSS' THIS OFF YOUR LIST- Get a DVD of 'Cross' - starring Vinnie Jones, Brian Austin Green, Danny Trejo and Michael Clarke Duncan - signed by director and writers, as well as gratitude and updates.

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    BEAST MODE: Want everyone to know where your allegiance lies? Grab this exclusive Scorpion Logo T-shirt.

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    DOPE GEAR - Rock the Noseblunt Supply Company Crown Tank, as featured in the film - see it on 'Malik' to the left.
    Men's sizes M-XXL.

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    FULL PACKAGE: Can't decide? Get it all. Your choice of T-shirt (scorpion, or T&A), plus Scorpion sticker, plus digital download, plus PDF, plus gratitude and updates.

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    SHOTTAS LOVE PART I - Show you're an original true fan with a signed DVD of 'Shottas' by writer/director Cess Silvera.

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    THE NEW CLASSIC - DVD/Blu-ray of ‘Cess Silvera’s OVERTOWN' signed by Cess himself.

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    SHOTTAS LOVE PART II: 'Shottas' poster signed by the one and only Cess Silvera.

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    ART COLLECTOR: Show your support for the arts with the exclusive Cess Silvera’s Overtown Kickstarter poster. You'll also get the DVD/Blu-ray combo pack, sticker, digital download, PDF, updates, and gratitude.

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    INFILTRATOR: Need to sneak into the local drug lord's house to take care of business? This Sunshine Cleaners button down (featured in the film) might do the trick. Plus digital download, PDF, updates and grat.

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    C-NOTE: This is money well spent. You get the poster, you get the DVD/Blu-ray combo, you get your choice of T-shirts, the Scorpion sticker, digital download, PDF, updates, and much love from us.

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    JAMAICA MY DAY: If you never had your own (non-bootlegged) copy, get the 'Shottas' DVD/Blu-ray, Overtown DVD/Blu-ray, Overtown poster, T-shirt, sticker, digital download, PDF, updates and gratitude.

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    INSIDE MAN: Know what happens on set with the exclusive Behind-the-Scenes producers video journal. You'll also get the 'Overtown' DVD/Blu-ray, poster, t-shirt, sticker, digital download, PDF, updates, and we owe you one.

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    CLEAN HOUSE: Let's throw a Sunshine Cleaners shirt (as worn by Chad Johnson and Kelly Overton) into the mix to go with the behind-the-scenes video diary, DVD/Blu-ray, t-shirt, sticker, digital download, PDF, and mad love.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    POSTER CHILD: Not just any poster, but a 'Cess Silvera’s Overtown' poster signed by Cess and cast member. You'll also get the behind-the-scenes video diary, DVD/Blu-ray, t-shirt, sticker, digital download, PDF and updates.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    TALK TO ME: Cess Silvera will record and send a 15 second personalized message to you. To sweeten the pot you'll get the signed 'Cess Silvera’s Overtown' poster, behind-the-scenes video diary, DVD/Blu-ray, t-shirt, sticker, digital download, PDF, updates, and gratitude.

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    WRAP SUPERSTAR: 2 tickets to Cess Silvera's Overtown wrap pary w/ cast and crew, signed poster, BTS diary, DVD/Blu-ray, t-shirt, sticker, digital download, PDF [transportation and lodging not provided]

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    MAD PROPS: Get a piece of film history - one of twenty select pieces from the actual film. Also 2 wrap party tix, signed poster, BTS video diary, DVD/blu-ray, t-shirt, sticker, digital download, PDF [transportation and lodging not provided]

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    I'M IN MIAMI TRICK - Drink all day, play all night, with 2 tickets to the premiere, 2 wrap party tix, signed poster, BTS video, DVD/Blu-ray, t-shirt, digital download and PDF. [transportation and lodging not provided]

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    WALTZ THIS WAY - How did we get our hands on 5 designer handbags? Don't ask so many questions. Designer WALTZING MATILDA 'Aspen' bag - just like the one used in the film - and card signed by Cess, producers and a cast member.

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    JERSEY CHASER: One opportunity to own a costume worn in the film by Chad Johnson. And yes, you also get a signed poster, BTS video, DVD/Blu-ray, t-shirt, sticker, digital download, PDF.

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    MAD MUGGIN - Check out the shot of Khotan under Kickass Prizes. Photographer Robert Zuckerman will photograph exclusive behind the scenes shots of the stars of the film, and then the star and Robert will sign your print. These are priceless limited edition pieces. You'll also get a DVD/Blu-ray, t-shirt, BTS video diary, sticker, digital download and PDF of the script.

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    SCARFACE - Own a limited edition portrait of AL PACINO signed by legendary photographer Robert Zuckerman. Add to that a DVD/Blu-ray, t-shirt, BTS video diary, sticker, digital download and PDF of the script.

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    ZIGGY STARDUST- David Bowie was famously captured by legendary celebrity photographer Robert Zuckerman. That rare combination is available for our backers. Zuckerman will sign one of his most famous celebrity portraits and pass it on to you. Also walk away with a DVD/Blu-ray, t-shirt, BTS video diary, sticker, digital download and PDF of the script.

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    THE IMMORTAL: For $2,000 you will see your name in the credits, immortalized as part of the movie forever. You will also receive 2 tickets to premiere, 2 tickets to wrap party, personalized message from Cess, BTS footage, signed poster, t-shirt, DVD/blu-ray, sticker, digital download, PDF [transportation and lodging not provided]

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    SHOT CALLER: Name a character! We will also put your name in credits and give you a signed poster, t-shirt, BTS video, signed poster, DVD/blu-ray, sticker, digital download, PDF.

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    PARTY ANIMAL: Going to the premiere is nice. Going to the premiere with VIP tickets is nicer. Going to the after party is unheard of, but you will get 2 VIP premiere/after party tix, 2 VIP wrap party tix, name in credits, cleaning shirt, t-shirt, signed poster, BTS video, DVD/Blu-ray, sticker, digital download, PDF [transportation and lodging not included]

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    FLASHING LIGHTS: Officially become a featured extra in the film! That includes a to visit set for one day, eating lunch with cast and crew, 2 tickets to your premiere, 2 tickets to your wrap party, a signed poster, the BTS diary
    (which you may be a part of), DVD/Blu-ray, t-shirt, sticker, digital download, PDF [transportation and lodging not provided]

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    THE HUSTLER - You and a guest will spend a half day with producers Jonathan Sachar and Patrick Durham and let them wine and dine you for lunch as if you were a Hollywood hot shot. Also receive 2 tickets to the premiere, 2 tickets to wrap party, signed poster, BTS diary, DVD/Blu-ray, t-shirt, sticker, digital download and PDF. [transportation and lodging not provided]

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    SHOUT OUT: You want to get your company/product take off? Have your company/product shown in the film! Also: 2 tickets to premiere, 2 tickets to wrap party, signed poster, BTS diary, DVD/Blu-ray, t-shirt, sticker, digital download, PDF [transportation and lodging not provided]

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    STREET CRED: Die onscreen. You will get killed (movie magic, but we won't tell) in Cess Silvera’s Overtown. You also get to hang out with the cast and crew for a day on set, 2 tix to the premiere to watch your on-screen death, 2 tix to the wrap party, cleaning shirt, t-shirt, signed poster, BTS video diary, DVD/Blu-ray, sticker, digital download, PDF [transportation and lodging not provided]. Plus we will never forget that you died for us.

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    SPITTIN GAME: This backer will get a speaking role in Cess Silvera's film, hang out with the cast and crew on set, 2 tix to the premiere, 2 tix to the wrap party, cleaning shirt, t-shirt, signed poster, BTS video diary, DVD/Blu-ray, sticker, digital download, PDF [transportation and lodging not provided].

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    ORIGINAL GANGSTA: Damn it feels good to be a gangsta. Set yourself apart by becoming an Executive Producer on Cess Silvera’s Overtown. You get an Executive Producer Credit: your name on 'Cess Silvera’s Overtown' DVD and your name in the 'Overtown' credits, 2 tix to your movie premiere, 2 tix to your wrap party, limited edition cocaine brick, cleaning shirt, t-shirt, signed poster, BTS video diary, DVD/Blu-ray, sticker, digital download, PDF [transportation and lodging not provided]

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    DAY IN THE LIFE- This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see Overtown through the eyes of Cess Silvera... and I'm not talking about the movie. Cess will take you and a guest on a tour of Overtown. He will spend the day showing you around, share his story, and buy you lunch. A day in the life of Cess would not be complete without watching the MIAMI HEAT play. Which is why Cess will provide you and a guest two tickets to a MIAMI HEAT game. You'll also get 2 tickets to premiere, 2 tickets to wrap party, signed poster, BTS diary, DVD/Blu-ray, t-shirt, sticker, digital download, PDF.

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    RIDIN DIRTY - What are we gonna do with the classic 1951 Chevy Deluxe from 'Cess Silvera’s Overtown' after we've filmed our insane chase scene? That's right, own the actual sea foam green 1951 Chevy Deluxe from the film [car transport not included].

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Funding period

- (30 days)