The 'Of One Blood' Project critically examines the relationship between Africans and African Americans through the artistic disciplines of Film, Song, and Literature.
The 'Of One Blood (A Short Film)' explores the psychological state of a man enduring the trauma of being ripped from his family, land, culture and most importantly, from himself. Told through minimum dialogue, poetry, song and gripping imagery, the Experimental short film takes you on a pivotal journey through time, place and space.
The 'Of One Blood - Soundtrack Album' features six songs originally created for and inspired by the Project. Each song seeks to explore a crucial element in this severed relationship. Themes in the songs include but are not limited to love, fear, racism, unity, white supremacy, and triumph.
The 'Of One Blood - A Memoir' tells the story of the creator of the project Jason Makwein Nkwain as he grew up in Africa. It travels to specific points in his life both in Africa and eventually America as he comes to the realization that from birth, he had been conditioned, sometimes consciously and other times unconsciously, to think himself inferior. He also comes to the realization that this same conditioning was also seared into the minds of his blood. We find him questioning his way to his true identity in the hopes that finding himself will help him find his 'blood' - African American.
THE CREATOR SPEAKS
I moved to the United States at the age of thirteen and immediately wondered why my African American brothers and sisters looked at and treated me with disdain, as if I was not a part of them. This was the initial spark to my long and grueling dilemma to try to figure out how this relationship had become so strained. In March of 2015, I wrote a poem about this relationship and as I began to determine how to shoot the poem, the ideas kept growing and that is when I decided to make a short film. What started as the making of only a short film immediately turned into creating a whole album with songs. Then also eventually writing a memoir.
My rationale for expanding the project this way is because as an educator, I believe in diversifying how I teach so that it reaches everyone. I believe the film will be better suited for Visual learners, the Songs for auditory learners, the book for Reading/Writing learners, and if all works well, the EXPERIENCE will be for the Kinesthetic Learners.
After over a year of planning, We finally finished principal photography earlier this year and finished recording the necessary songs for the project. I thought that I will have the money by now to get through post production and master all songs, but I was sadly mistaken.
All money raised will be used as follows;
Color grading and Correction
sound effect and Sound mixing
Marketing and Film Festival expenses.
Creating Artwork for film.
Copyrights + Branding
Mixing and Mastering of all six songs
Copyrights + Branding
Printing and packaging.
Copyrights + Branding
Risks and challenges
The most challenging part of this entire project has been the funding. I am currently a high school teacher and I do not remotely make enough to fund my artistic ventures. Also, deciding to make this project into three parts forced me to have to spend a lot more money because not only was I paying for the film and all that it entailed, but also for the songs and subsequently, the mixing and mastering of these songs.
With a project this obscure, I had been unable to get anyone to buy into it because of its peculiarity. People did not understand why I couldn't just make a regular narrative short and also why I had to create the songs from scratch. I also believe that the subject matter here wasn't pertinent to many people. However, I was able to convince my team at Legacy House Inc. to invest in the project. Being young and unable to invest in a project this vast, we borrowed as much money as we could to fund the film, and the songs. We have totally exhausted the borrowed funds and any other avenues that we could to be able to create this project and here we are.
I have been working on this project for the past two years and seven months and everything created for and on this project is original. The film, the poems, the songs, and the visuals are all original. There is no outside company or contracts that control any parts of this project.
- (30 days)