Hi, I’m Amit Ashraf, the writer and director of Project Ommi.
A few years ago I saw a successful online campaign designed to expose criminals operating in the Darknet. Project Ommi is inspired by this event. This online campaign was run by international children’s charity Terre des Hommes. It featured a lifelike digital girl in 3D, which they called Sweetie.
Project Ommi takes this idea into the future where an AI boy is created to live in the net, and fight criminals online.
Project Ommi takes the concept of AI and asks whether it's computer intelligence which threatens humans, or is it the way we choose to use it, which counts.
Our film is unique as it’s set in my home country of Bangladesh and filmed in English with an international team, to be shown to a worldwide audience. We’ve filmed a part of the story to show you and we’re excited to be shooting the main scenes early in 2019.
Your support is crucial in helping us transform our main filming location - a ship graveyard on the life-giving Ganges - into a futuristic world setting for the main shoot.
In the near future, beyond the neon cityscape of Dhaka, Bangladesh lies a desolate ship graveyard home to outcasts. In this mysterious and dangerous place, a reclusive but expert techie named Ravi, hides out.
Ravi has been commissioned to create a child which exists in virtual reality. He teams up with a talented digital artist named Sammy, to bring this child to life. They give their creation artificial intelligence (AI). They call him Ommi.
Ommi has one purpose: to track down online criminals who threaten the safety of children. As he becomes more aware, he appears to think and feel just like a human child. As a family bond builds between the boy and his creators, Ravi and Sammy are faced with a moral dilemma: can they wilfully send their AI child into the Darknet?
Time is running out as a dangerous anti-tech terrorist group closes in on Ommi’s creators, forcing Ommi to take a decision that will change his fate, that of his family - and of us all.
The Sweetie campaign which inspired this film launched a 3D CGI model of a young girl into chatrooms to trap child predators online. The charity behind this campaign is Terre des Hommes. We are very pleased to be endorsed by them. Their campaign was incredibly successful. It highlighted the growing issue of child exploitation online. This is a major concern in developing countries, including Bangladesh. For more details about the impact of the ‘Sweetie campaign’, see a BBC news report here.
Inspired by the Sweetie campaign, Ommi is an AI creation who lives in virtual reality. Resembling a real boy, Ommi is fully self-aware. His mission is to find online criminals and save the kidnapped children. Our film asks the most important question of future tech: if this digital entity has a soul, do we have a moral responsibility to take care of him? Or can he be sacrificed it to save real children?
Sci-fi is a powerful genre. It allows us to take a step back from everyday issues and explore them from a new perspective. I’ve been inspired by a wealth of powerful sci-fi feature films which offer social commentary.
Visually Project Ommi borrows from the anime verve of Ghost in the Shell (1995), combined with the gritty aesthetic of Children of Men, while exploring the themes of machine use and abuse reflected in The Matrix and Blade Runner 2049.
District 9’s socially engaging take on apartheid in South Africa through a sci-fi lens inspired me to do something similar in Bangladesh. I’m creating Project Ommi as a cautionary tale to bring a Bangladeshi perspective to a social issue which concerns us all.
I spent my childhood in Bangladesh and the USA. The contrast between these two colourful cultures has shaped my view of the world. After I graduated in filmmaking from New York's TISCH Film School, I wanted to bring my experience of Hollywood filmmaking back to Bangladesh. I shot my first feature Runway (Udhao) here. IT showcased the country's technical skills and emerging film industry in festivals worldwide.
By teaming up with UK production company FoR Films, I’m creating Project Ommi in a way which gives this film a local sensibility and a global reach. We will be spending the production money we raise here on Kickstarter, in Bangladesh. It will make a positive impact on the local economy. In Bangladesh £25,000 | $30,000 will go a long way. We will use it to create jobs and grow specialist skills to leave a legacy of experience and confidence here.
It’ll take a touch of magic to turn our ship graveyard location into a cinematic spectacle using Special Effects (SFX). It takes a highly skilled team of designers, concept artists, architects, prop makers and fight coordinators working together to create the world of the film. Our concept art shows the specialized props, set designs and futuristic costumes we’ll be making.
Your support will bring these special effects to life on screen.
There are a large number of deserving projects all seeking finance on this crowdfunding platform.
There are 6 very good reasons why you will want to be involved with us on Project Ommi:
This film is ready to be made. We’re fortunate in having most of the finance we need. Your support is crucial in getting us over the finish line to complete the shoot.
- You will be supporting a project with important and progressive messages including those of child protection online, issues affecting the developing world, and debate about the future of technology.
- You will be part of the first major international sci-fi film shot in Bangladesh creating opportunities and showcasing local talents to a worldwide audience.
Join the club! You will become a celebrated part of our community and first to know about key updates from production, including exclusive behind the scenes footage.
You will be the first to see this film! £25 | $32 pledged, will secure you a special edition of the film with many additional exclusive features.
You will get to own a reward from a truly unique range of enticing and original merchandise to thank you for choosing us!
Have a look at the range of exclusive and exciting items below.
Please note - this Kickstarter is launching from the UK, so we’ve shown pledge amounts in UK Pounds GBP and given US Dollars as a guide. Kickstarter’s conversion rate shows the exact amounts you’ll pay.
If you’ve donated to the project, THANK YOU!Please spread the word by sharing our Kickstarter page - a share can go a long way! You can also follow our progress and join our community: @PROJECTOMMI
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / #AwakenOmmi
Also, please do join us on our website, www.ommimovie.com to read our blogs and sign up to our newsletter for more exclusive content and project updates.
Feel free to email us with questions or for more information: email@example.com
YOUR SUPPORT IS MASSIVELY APPRECIATED.
THANK YOU, from the Project Ommi team.
Risks and challenges
Having completed my own projects in the past, I understand the commitment needed to make a project like this work. I know my team has the passion, tenacity and ability to bring this vision to life.
As you all know, Kickstarter is the largest funding platform for creative projects in the World. But there’s a catch: we have to meet our funding goal before the campaign expires - or we don’t get any of it.
No matter how large or small, any amount you can pledge, will get us over the line to bringing Project Ommi to life.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)