Thank you for your extraordinary support so far! The campaign will end on Sunday at 3:40 pm EDT. Last night the funding for the project advanced beyond $15,000, which means we reached the first stretch goal! You’ve enabled me to return to South Sudan where I’ll capture new footage for the film. And you’ve “unlocked” extra rewards for everyone who's backed the project!
Let’s give the campaign one final push and try to achieve the next stretch goal! If we reach $20,000 then I'll be able to make an even better film and more Nimule swag will be "unlocked"!!!
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The Extended Preview
For the best video quality click on the Vimeo logo in the lower right-hand corner.
In August 2005 I traveled to Nimule, South Sudan to document the construction of a home for orphans. South Sudan had just emerged from two decades of war with the northern government. As many as two million people had perished due to the conflict. Some were killed by bullets; others died due to the famine and disease that the war wrought. The town of Nimule was an open wound in the war’s aftermath. A group of American and Sudanese Christians gathered in Nimule, hoping to aid the town in the long process of recovery. They came to build a home for the most vulnerable part of the postwar society – the orphaned, abandoned, and abused children of South Sudan, who had never known a time of peace.
The documentary will focus on four individuals whose lives intersected in Nimule and were forever altered by the events that transpired in late 2005 and early 2006.
Pastor Juma, a former refugee, came back to his native land as an ambassador of Christ, hoping to build up his people by offering them the word of God. He guided a church in Nimule as well as the construction of the children's home.
Jason, the son of an American pastor, came to help Juma in the raising up of the home. He lost a few years to a drug addiction before God grabbed a hold of him and showed him the door to a radically different kind of life.
Murielle came to serve the needs of the children and to work as a midwife at the local hospital. She once told me that her love for the kids felt almost like madness at times. It felt like something she couldn't control.
Mori Luka roamed the market place at the center of town, looking for food or a kind soul to give him a place to sleep for the night. His parents were alive but they were mentally ill and spent more time drunk than sober. Mori was a burden to them, partly because he had epilepsy and severe brain damage. He was not a burden when he became the first member of the children’s home. He was the home’s beating heart.
The film will examine how these individuals and others joined together in the effort to build the home. It will also reveal how the leadership of the building project slowly fell apart due to internal and external problems. To discover what happened in the aftermath of these conflicts, you’ll have to see the documentary!
I would greatly appreciate your help in finishing my first feature-length documentary. I’ve been dreaming of making a film since I was kid and now I feel that I’m finally on the threshold of turning this long deferred dream into a reality. Starting in early September, I plan to spend 8 to 9 months writing the script for film and editing the footage into a sophisticated and gripping narrative.
I have over 120 hours of footage from 2005 and 2006. One of the biggest challenges of my project will be in transforming this massive amount of material into a 90 – 120 minute film. However, I’m confident that I’ll be able to sculpt a powerful story from my daunting collection of HD digital video. I probably should explain why it's taken me nearly 8 years to begin editing the footage into a cohesive narrative, but I'm not going to illuminate that mystery for you. It might reveal too much about the film itself! Let's just say that there are extremely good reasons for the delay.
Seth Anderson wrote the lovely piano piece for the extended preview and will be composing the film’s score. I’m looking forward to integrating his unique music into the aural milieu of South Sudan.
To say that I’m passionate about the subject of my film would be a gross understatement. Nimule – her people and her children – have changed me. I believe that now is the time to bring a part of Nimule’s story into the light. However, I won’t be able to make this film without your generous support, which brings us to…
I want to show my appreciation for your support, which is why I’m preparing a wide array of rewards. Please check out the sidebar for a breakdown of the rewards.
I don’t currently have prototypes of the postcards, posters, t-shirts and other Nimule “swag” to show you right now, but for those of you who plan on garnering a “DUAL CITIZENSHIP PASSPORT” or becoming an “HONONRARY SOUTH SUDANESE CITIZEN” here are two examples of the kind of watercolor paintings that you will receive:
If you procure at least a “STUDENT VISA” you’ll receive a 50+ page PDF of original poems and stories based on my experience in South Sudan. Here’s an excerpt from a story that will likely make an appearance in the collection:
I was standing in the doorway of the church and holding Awilo’s hand and looking for fire in the terraces of the afternoon sky. The SPLA was testing old weapons and these thundering experiments reverberated off every tin roof in the market. Awilo pointed there and there, but I was so blind. Other children laughed, twisting their bodies in excitement like untethered kites interpreting the shifting winds. They called my name and they called out, Silaa gi-kore, silaa gi-kore. Gun is crying, gun is crying.
I wish I had more examples of the rewards that are in store for you, but please know that I’m committed to providing high quality incentives for your support.
Where do all the pounds, shillings, and dollars go?
Your support will allow me to purchase a state-of-the-art computer to edit the film, necessary film software, and sound equipment for recording the narration. (You may have noticed that the sound quality of the narration on the preview isn't phenomenal. I need your help to make the voiceover on the film awesome.)
Furthermore, your support will "buy" me the time to write the script for the documentary, edit the film, and find ways of ensuring it is seen as widely as possible.
I will purchase a new camera, equipment, and a plane ticket back to South Sudan to do additional shooting this winter. If you help me reach this stretch goal, I will have the opportunity to add another layer to my film by connecting what occurred in 2005/2006 with the current situation in Nimule.
I will also purchase two digital cameras to give to the children's home in Nimule in order to help the kids document their own lives.
This stretch goal will “unlock” the following additional rewards:
Everyone with at least an OPEN INVITATION TO SOUTH SUDAN (Levels 1 – 9) will receive an additional postcard with a different design.
Everyone with at least a BUS TICKET TO NIMULE (Levels 3 – 9) will receive an original photo taken by one of the kids at the home, a photo of the child, and a synopsis of his or her story!
I will hire an experienced editor in Vancouver to help me craft a better cut of the film. I will also pay a professional company to create a Digital Cinema Package (DCP) of the film. DCP is the finest screening format available and is required by many film festivals. If you help me reach this stretch goal, I will be able to create a stronger version of the film and also screen it in a format that does justice to the beauty of the people and their stories.
This stretch goal will “unlock” the following additional rewards:
Everyone with a PLANE TICKET TO SOUTH SUDAN (Level 2) will receive a digital download of the film.
Everyone with a BUS TICKET TO NIMULE (Level 3) will receive a signed 8x10" movie premier poster.
Everyone with a SOUTH SUDAN VISITORS' PERMIT (Level 4) will receive a t-shirt inspired by the film.
Everyone with an EXTENDED VISITORS' PERMIT (Level 5) will receive a 50+ page PDF of original poems and stories based on my experience in South Sudan.
Everyone with a STUDENT VISA (Level 6) will receive a DVD or digital download of deleted scenes from the film.
Everyone with a WORK VISA (Level 7) will receive a digital EP of Seth Anderson’s music from the film.
Everyone with a DUAL CITIZENSHIP PASSPORT (Level 8) will receive an 8x11" soft cover photo book companion to the documentary and a digital EP of Seth Anderson’s music from the film.
Everyone who has become an HONORARY SOUTH SUDANESE (Level 9) will receive a handmade African craft and a digital EP of Seth Anderson’s music from the film.
I will use the additional support to promote the film and send it to various festivals across the world. If accepted, I will also use the support to travel to the festival locales. Reaching this stretch goal will allow me to expand the audience for the documentary, so that more people will have the chance to experience the story that has so completely (and irrevocably) captivated my imagination.
Additional Nimule "swag" will be announced. It'll be a surprise!
I’m speechless at this point, but your support will be used wisely for costs related to the film and more good stuff will be “unlocked."
Risks and challenges
I plan on finishing the final cut of the documentary in May 2014 and sending out the rewards in August 2014 or sooner. However, there may be delays. For instance, if I reach my first two stretch goals then I may need more time to create the definitive cut of the documentary.
I will, of course, keep you informed about any unexpected setbacks by posting updates to this Kickstarter page.
Thanks for spending some time exploring my project!
Nathaniel Ross KellyLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)