About this project
About The Film:
It has been a joy and a privilege to share IN THE MORNING for the past year with audiences at film festivals and screenings all over the country. The response has been amazing. Our film won the Audience Award for Best Feature Film and an Honorable Mention for Best Narrative Feature, after a sold out run at the 18th annual Urbanworld Film Festival in New York City in 2014. In 2015, IN THE MORNING won the jury award for Best Narrative Feature at Philadelphia’s BlackStar Film Festival, Best Feature Film and Best Overall at Bronzelens Film Festival in Atlanta, as well as the jury award for Best International Film at Siena, Italy’s 19th annual Terra Di Siena Film Festival, with this declaration from the jury: "For the great ability in directing a convincing ensemble on sensitive matters such as love, friendship and marriage in modern times, with great skill and direction, penetrating into the depths of human soul."
IN THE MORNING continued to connect with audiences at additional (sold out) screenings in Paris, France at Claude Lelouch’s Les Film 13 Theater, in Washington D.C., with Parallel Film Collective, in Los Angeles during the 23rd Annual Pan African Film Festival, at Seattle’s Langston Hughes African American Film Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music’s 5th Annual New Voices in Black Cinema Film Festival, the Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival, Gene Siskel Film Center of Chicago’s 21st annual Black Harvest Film Festival, and Gary International Black Film Festival in Indiana. Read more about our journey at http://inthemorning-thefilm.com/press/.
About The Story:
IN THE MORNING is a feature film about love and its inevitable change/decline. It charts the emotional anatomy of the lives, loves, infidelities, and enduring friendships of a group of inter-connected New Yorkers over the course of one day. Photographed by legendary cinematographer Arthur Jafa ('Daughters of the Dust,' 'Crooklyn'), with Production Design by noted designer Susan Linss, Produced by Erin Judd and Jamia Tyler, set in Brooklyn, IN THE MORNING is a searing journey through the lives of nine smart, fiercely articulate New Yorkers. Friends: Harper, Ravi, Fez, Bly and Amara gather to bid farewell to one of their own moving abroad, and debate the compromise and loss of their youthful ideals regarding marriage, fidelity, life and love. Two lovers: Malik and Cadence, meet to ceremoniously end a whirlwind romance that has collapsed under the weight of fears, obligations and regrets. A couple: Zuri and Leal, sift through the remains of their broken relationship as they try to make a life altering decision. They begin to come to terms with their disintegrated trust, and the possibility of renewal. For everyone, life will be indelibly altered in the morning.
IN THE MORNING has an ensemble cast of emerging talent: Jacky Ido (Star of Shonda Rhimes ABC series ‘The Catch’) Emayatzy Corinealdi (‘Addicted,’ 'Middle of Nowhere,’ and Don Cheadle’s upcoming Miles Davis biopic), Numa Perrier (Star of popular web series ’The Couple’ currently under television development by HBO), Kim Hill (soul singer, original lead singer of The Black Eyed Peas), De'adre Aziza (Tony-Nominated Broadway actor ‘Passing Strange') Hoji Fortuna (‘Viva Riva’) JoNell Kennedy (‘Me And You And Everyone We Know’) and making film debuts Alzo Slade and CJ Lindsey. For more about the cast visit http://inthemorning-thefilm.com/the-cast/. For more about the filmmakers visit http://inthemorning-thefilm.com/the-filmmakers/.
A Message From Our Cinematographer/Producer Arthur Jafa:
From the very beginning, we’ve made the cinema we dream of. Works that more than fulfill my mantra, “ a black cinema with the power, beauty and alienation of black music.” ‘Killer of Sheep,’ ‘Passing Through,’ ‘Bush Mama,’ ‘Sweetsweetback,’ ‘The Cry of Jazz,’ ‘Chasing the Moon,’ ‘Chameleon Street,’ ‘Losing Ground,’ ‘Ganja and Hess,’ ‘Daughter of the Dust,’ etc. But I’ve come to realize, that the history of Black Cinema is, to a certain degree, a series of amazing one offs.
Toni Morrison’s first novel was ‘The Bluest Eye.’ What if she’d never been allowed to publish another novel? If Killer of Sheep is Charles Burnett’s ‘The Bluest Eye’, what might his ‘Song of Solomon’ have looked like? If ‘Daughter’s’ is Julie Dash’s ‘The Bluest Eye,’ what would her ‘Beloved’ look like? And on and on and on. We have to deliver even after we’ve delivered. And this delivery requires sustained (but not uncritical) support.
Nefertite is a stone cold warrior, which is to say, Nefertite is a stone cold criminal. And “In the Morning” at this moment, is the cinema we dream of. Help us to steal away. Support the distribution, really the emancipation, of our dreams.
Why Kickstarter? (Again!?):
IN THE MORNING is a truly independent film that would not exist without the support of our community. This film was funded through a previous successful Kickstarter campaign, additional grass roots fundraising and my own personal savings. We shot IN THE MORNING in eight days, against all odds, in the spring of 2012. A true labor of love for all of us, emboldened by a distinct vision, determined to see it through. After principal photography, it took me two years in post-production to gather the resources in order to complete IN THE MORNING. I knew that it would not be easy, as our film doesn’t fit within the narrow lens in which most films about Black lives are viewed, but I refused to give up. Given our current socio-political climate, I know that expanding our narrative and telling our stories matters tremendously.
Sharing IN THE MORNING this past year with audiences at film festivals has been incredible. I’ve met so many people, from all walks of life who’ve expressed nothing but gratitude and love for our efforts, and expressed a desire to see our film, and more films like ours, become widely available. Though this has been deeply fulfilling, I made this film with the hope that it would reach diverse audiences – including those who might not attend film festivals.
The challenges in the dominant landscape of traditional film distribution are staggering, from the financial inequities, to the deeply segregated, exclusionary practices that determine whose voice gets to be heard. Unsatisfied with the offers before me, I began to study emerging distribution platforms to find the best way to connect IN THE MORNING with its audience. Thankfully, technology has changed, and direct access to audiences has become possible. I decided not to let the inequities that plague this industry silence my voice. I’ve decided once again to side step the gatekeepers, and return to my community for the green light.
This Kickstarter campaign is about more than IN THE MORNING, it's about leveling the playing field, creating access, demystifying the process; it’s about empowering myself and other filmmakers like me, by demonstrating what is possible with community. We are building up grassroots support in preparation for a hybrid, non-traditional, theatrical and VOD (Video on Demand) distribution model. More than anything else, I want us to see ourselves. I hope you’ll join me and help bring IN THE MORNING to the masses.
How Will The Funds Be Used?
Our plan is to open theatrically in at least three cities - New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. We also plan to make IN THE MORNING available to audiences everywhere via select VOD platforms such as iTunes and Vimeo in the spring of 2016. In addition, we are developing innovative ways to re-imagine the experience of cinema for our communities. As traditional theater runs can be cost prohibitive to independent filmmakers, we’ll be partnering with local cultural institutions to present IN THE MORNING in our debut cities, and make audience engagement a part of every screening. We want to hear your voices as well! Changing the environment that films are seen in changes the experience, and creates a more meaningful dialogue. CONTENT- CONTEXT- COMMUNITY: this is about all of us!
The money raised will help pay for music rights for our broader release, targeted online and print advertising, marketing, publicity and travel costs. If we exceed our fundraising goal, we can expand our theatrical release to more cities and bolster our promotional campaign. There is so much conversation about the lack of diversity and access in the film industry, but ultimately the power lies with us. Let's move beyond the conversation and into action. Join us, and let's use our collective voice to be a part of shifting the paradigm. Please consider becoming a backer and help us bring our vision and IN THE MORNING to the world.
Check out the complete list of rewards on the upper right side of this page-- all named after art that inspired our film. Jazz masterworks, soulful classic songs and films we love; spot any of your favorites? The rewards range from a pre-release digital streaming link of IN THE MORNING, to limited edition posters, t-shirts, private screenings, and brunch with our cast. Join us!!
HOW ELSE YOU CAN SUPPORT
- You can also help by forwarding this Kickstarter page to your friends, who might be excited to help our film launch an independent release.
For more information about the film, please visit us at www.inthemorning-thefilm.com. Thank you for taking the time to visit our Kickstarter page, and thank you so much for your invaluable support.
Risks and challenges
As independent filmmakers, we absorb all the risks. Thanks to our community, we were able to shoot and complete the film we imagined. Now we are seeking the last bit of funding that'll allow us to get our film distributed and out to the widest audience possible. Through the good reviews, positive responses at film festivals, and the outreach we've already received on Facebook, Twitter, and Email, we feel confident there’s an audience for IN THE MORNING, and we'd love to give them the chance to see it!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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