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Merging documentary and poetry, this short film follows Sunni Patterson’s return to New Orleans, twelve years after Katrina.
59 backers pledged $5,626 to help bring this project to life.
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$5,626

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Sunni Patterson on the set of Black Back | Photo: Remy Williams
Sunni Patterson on the set of Black Back | Photo: Remy Williams

UPDATE: In just 22 days, we’ve reached our goal! But let's not stop here! We want this to be the best possible film and have set a new goal of raising an additional $2,000. Our new goal is $7,000.

These additional funds will go towards hiring our composer, free feral to score the entire film (as opposed to small sections), enhance the colors of the film by hiring a professional color correction specialist and enhance the title sequence and possibly add some animation by hiring a motion-graphics and animation designer.

Thank you for believing in us, in the importance of Sunni Patterson’s story, in our city and its people!

A R T I S T   I N   E X I L E

World renowned poet, Sunni Patterson’s story of her return to New Orleans after being displaced for twelve years following Katrina is told through a primarily observational-style documentary as she struggles to come to terms with her hometown that has been much altered. The film blurs the lines between documentary and narrative as it merges Sunni’s original poetry, music, dance, and magical realism as we follow Sunni and her family throughout New Orleans, from her father’s Ninth Ward neighborhood where she grew up, to her mother’s Algiers neighborhood where she now resides. The film captures the beauty of her people, who, despite all it, still call New Orleans home.

"I am an artist in exile...a spirit on the run...displaced from the familiar, transplanted into the foreign, only to discover that the one has become the other.. Either things happened “before the Storm” or “after the Storm.” I wonder if our Ancestors held this same thought during their displacement to these shores. Is the cultural genetic passed from one generation to the next, one of a nomadic people in search of a place?”

- Sunni Patterson

Artist in Exile is one of five films that was awarded the Tricentennial Story Incubator award, a partnership between NOVAC (New Orleans Video Access Center), The New Orleans Film Society, Kickstarter and the Mayor's Office of Cultural Economy/Film New Orleans and #CreateLouisiana. If we reach our goal and raise $5,000 or more, the Tricentennial Story Incubator will match the funds with a $5,000 award, doubling the project funds! That means that every dollar you give to the project will be matched with a dollar so that your support can go even further in making this film a reality.

B U D G E T

Our total budget is $20,000 for this project, half of which has already been raised by Junebug Productions, in-kind support from Visible Productions and with support from the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation. We need you to help us raise the remaining 25% of the budget which will be matched 1:1 by the Tricentennial Story Incubator. Our team is 100% local, from documentary subjects, performing artists, crew, locations, caterers, T-shirt printer...so 100% of the funds raised by the project (minus the Kickstarter fees) will go back in to the hands of New Orleans residents. We work hard to raise funds so that we can pay our team equitable fees.

C O L L A B O R A T O R S

This project is an artistic collaboration between Visible Productions, Junebug Productions and Sunni Patterson and is the third collaboration between our core team (Sunni Patterson, Stephanie McKee, Kiyoko McCrae and Jason Foster), the first being the theatrical production, Gomela/to return: Movement of Our Mother Tongue and the second being the short poetry film, Black Back

Photo: Gus Bennett
Photo: Gus Bennett

Sunni Patterson (Poet) has been the featured performer at many of the Nation’s premier spoken word venues, including HBO’s Def Poetry Jam and BET’s Lyric Cafe. She has also shared her work on the Arsenio Hall Show, TEDWomen (Momentum 2015), and on several international stages. Inspired by her words, Beats by Dre commissioned Sunni to provide the soundscape for tennis great, Serena Williams’, workout (wireless beats) commercial, and the congratulatory piece for Williams’ third US Open win (Congratulations Serena ft. Sunni Patterson). As a highly sought after lecturer, workshop facilitator, and performer, she deliberately uses art as a tool to recognize, address, and eliminate all forms of oppression. She has trained under great scholars, allowing her to become a Certifed Professional Life Coach (CPC), a certifed instructor of Chi Kung (Qi Gong) and Tai Chi for Health, and a diligent student in the healing and spiritual arts.

“There are few people in the world like Sunni Patterson, the visionary poet, singer, and activist. A voice for those who struggle daily, Patterson offers hope and calls for change. The power in her words lies not only in their meaning, but in their delivery.” - Jennifer Panicali http://www.thirteen.org/unsungheroines/women-cat/sunni-patterson-new-orleans-poet-singer-and-activist/

Photo credit L-R, top to bottom: Alleyn Evans, Lawrence Taylor, Alexander Andrew Smith, Bruce France
Photo credit L-R, top to bottom: Alleyn Evans, Lawrence Taylor, Alexander Andrew Smith, Bruce France

 

Kiyoko McCrae (Producer/Co-Director), a theater and film director and producer is Director of Visible Productions and former Managing Director of Junebug Productions. Film directing credits include Come Home, Black Back, Free Southern Theater: Beginnings. Theater directing credits include Lockdown (Big Easy Award nominee), Voices from the Back of the Class and Finding Joy in Unlikely Places. Kiyoko worked as producer and dramaturg for the theater production, Gomela/to return (NEFA National Theater Project receipient). She is currently collaborating with Goat in the Road Productions on an original immersive theater production, The Stranger Disease and developing a theater production with musician Leyla McCalla about Radio Haiti that is commissioned by Duke Performances. www.kiyokomccrae.com

Jason Foster (Co-Director/Editor), director, editor and producer is co-founder of FosterBear Films, which he founded with David Beard in 2011. FosterBear Films has produced over twenty short documentaries, short narrative films, music videos and promotional videos. Their work has been featured in the New York Times, Shadow and Act, Indiewire, TruthOut, Okayplayer. Jason is a 2015 New Orleans Film Society Emerging Voices Fellow and has received numerous New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation Community Partnership grants for his work documenting Louisiana artists. Jason is a graduate of Georgia Southwestern State University (B.A. in Communication). His work can be found at www.fosterbearfilms.com

Stephanie McKee (Producer), Exeucutive Artistic Director of Junebug Productions is a performer, choreographer, educator, facilitator and cultural organizer who is deeply committed to creating art that substantively refects disparate conditions, as leveraging it as a powerful tool for change. Ms McKee is a member of Alternate ROOTS, a board member of National Performance Network and is a New Voices emerging Leader alumnus and a 2015 APAP Leadership Fellow. As an organizer, she was the founding Director of the 7th Ward Neighborhood Center, a part of Neighborhood Housing Services of New Orleans. Stephanie was the Director of the New Orleans Urban Bush Women Summer Leadership Institute 2009-2015 and was Co-Artistic Director for the 2011 Homecoming Project. www.junebugproductions.org

Zac Manuel (Director of Photography) is a New Orleans bred-and-based filmmaker whose work in film and music video has been exhibited at festivals and on platforms around the world. His work focuses on the intersections of politics and social psychologies, mostly in communities of color. As cinematographer, his credits include Cover Me (Rotterdam International Film Festival; Prospect 3, New Orleans), Like (Field of Vision, SXSW) and Aloné (New York Times OpDocs, Sundance 2017 Jury Award Winner, Best Non-Fiction Short). As director, Zac’s films In The Garden, The Clock, Thelema, and Painted Lady have played in competition in festivals worldwide. His work has appeared on The Washington Post, MTV, Billboard, Stereogum, and Pitchfork. Painted Lady is available on by Shorts HD and Closed To Interpretation on MTV News. His current documentary feature, Bloodthicker, follows three young rappers as they fight to build upon their fathers’ legacies while navigating the pitfalls of rap culture www.bloodthickerfilm.com

P R O J E C T    S T A T U S

We have raised 50% of the funds needed for the project and we will begin shooting in November. Since we have not started production yet, most of the footage that you see in the video is from our previous collaboration, Black Back. Artist in Exile will have a similar look and feel with its vibrant saturated color palette. We have an excellent track record of completing projects and all of the projects that we have collaborated together on have been delivered on time. 

W h y   A R T I S T   I N   E X I L E ?

New Orleans is changing at an alarming pace and much of its unique culture is under serious threat of disappearing. Accelerated by Katrina and exasperated by gentrification, short-term rentals, an upshot in tourism, and shifting policy around permits and noise ordinances, the “new” New Orleans is being commodified to make way for developers and businesses. Sunni Patterson was born and raised in the Ninth Ward. Her story is representative of so many New Orleanians who have either been displaced by Katrina or priced out since. One of our goals for this project is to address issues of displacement and gentrification which is not unique to New Orleans but it felt in communities all around the world.

R E W A R D S

Here is a sneak peek at some of the rewards we have in store for you!

 

 

 

Risks and challenges

Like all film projects, there are some risks and challenges that come with completing the project but our biggest risk is not reaching our Kickstarter goal! The matching funds from the Tricentennial Story Incubator will only be granted to us if we reach our Kickstarter goal.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Social media shout-out

    No pledge is too small. We appreciate you and we'll shout out our gratitude!

    Includes:
    • Social media shout out
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    7 backers
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    Pledge US$ 20 or more About US$ 20

    Digital photo of Sunni Patterson

    Thank you for your support! In return we'll send you a digital photo of Sunni Patterson on the set of Artist in Exile, exclusive for Kickstarter supporters only.

    Includes:
    • Digital Photo of Sunni Patterson
    • Social media shout out
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    3 backers
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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    Name in the end credits of the film

    See your name scroll down in the end credits
    in the film alongside the cast and crew of Artist in Exile!

    Includes:
    • Your name in the end credits
    • Digital Photo of Sunni Patterson
    • Social media shout out
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    9 backers
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    Pledge US$ 35 or more About US$ 35

    HD Download of Artist in Exile

    As part of our crew of supporters, you deserve to have your very own copy of the final product you helped to make!

    Includes:
    • HD Download of Artist in Exile
    • Your name in the end credits
    • Digital Photo of Sunni Patterson
    • Social media shout out
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    13 backers
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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Sunni’s Playlist

    Download Sunni's playlist of her all-time favorite songs and secret bonus tracks!

    Includes:
    • Sunni's playlist
    • HD Download of Artist in Exile
    • Your name in the end credits
    • Digital Photo of Sunni Patterson
    • Social media shout out
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    6 backers
    $

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    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    Gomela T-shirt

    Get your own Gomela T-shirt, designed by Danielle Miles for Junebug Productions' theaterical production, Gomela/to return featuring Sunni Patterson (T-shirts available in Men and Women sizes. Select size and color in post-campaign survey)

    Includes:
    • Gomela T-shirt
    • Sunni's playlist
    • HD Download of Artist in Exile
    • Your name in the end credits
    • Digital Photo of Sunni Patterson
    • Social media shout out
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    $

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    Artist in Exile Storyboard image

    Get a glimpse in to the creative process with a mailed copy of one of the director’s original, printed Artist in Exile Storyboard panels.

    Includes:
    • Printed copy of director's storyboard
    • Gomela T-shirt
    • Sunni's playlist
    • HD Download of Artist in Exile
    • Your name in the end credits
    • Digital Photo of Sunni Patterson
    • Social media shout out
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    $

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 150 or more About US$ 150

    Gomela Performance

    One ticket to the April 2018 performance of Gomela/to return: Movement of Our Mother Tongue, featuring Sunni Patterson at the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans. (Tickets will be available at will call for April performance, all other rewards will be delivered in May 2018)

    Includes:
    • Ticket to performance of Gomela
    • Printed copy of director's storyboard
    • Gomela T-shirt
    • Sunni's playlist
    • HD Download of Artist in Exile
    • Your name in the end credits
    • Digital Photo of Sunni Patterson
    • Social media shout out
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $

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    Pledge US$ 200 or more About US$ 200

    Black Back Package

    HD Download of the short poetry film, Black Back written and performed by Sunni Patterson as well as a mailed copy of Black Back storyboard panel

    Includes:
    • HD Download of Black Back
    • Mailed copy of Black Back Storyboard Panel
    • Ticket to performance of Gomela
    • Printed copy of director's storyboard
    • Gomela T-shirt
    • Sunni's playlist
    • HD Download of Artist in Exile
    • Your name in the end credits
    • Digital Photo of Sunni Patterson
    • Social media shout out
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 350 or more About US$ 350

    Cast and Crew Wrap Party

    We invite you and your guest to come celebrate with the Artist in Exile cast and crew when we wrap shooting at an exclusive private party in New Orleans (date TBD) + an additional Gomela T-shirt for your guest!

    Includes:
    • Cast and Crew Wrap Party Invite
    • HD Download of Black Back
    • Mailed copy of Black Back Storyboard Panel
    • Ticket to performance of Gomela
    • Printed copy of director's storyboard
    • Gomela T-shirt
    • Sunni's playlist
    • HD Download of Artist in Exile
    • Your name in the end credits
    • Digital Photo of Sunni Patterson
    • Social media shout out
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $

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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    Sunni Personalized Video

    A video shot by the filmmakers on the set of Artist in Exile of Sunni thanking you personally. A one-of-a-kind keepsake, capturing a moment in time in one of our beautiful New Orleans locations that can be shared and cherished forever.

    Includes:
    • Sunni Personalized Shout Out Video
    • Cast and Crew Wrap Party Invite
    • HD Download of Black Back
    • Mailed copy of Black Back Storyboard Panel
    • Ticket to performance of Gomela
    • Printed copy of director's storyboard
    • Gomela T-shirt
    • Sunni's playlist
    • HD Download of Artist in Exile
    • Your name in the end credits
    • Digital Photo of Sunni Patterson
    • Social media shout out
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    $

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    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    Producer Package

    Your name listed as a producer in the credits + lunch with the cast and crew of Artist in Exile during one of our shoot days (shoot days will be sometime between December 2017 to March 2018)

    Includes:
    • Producer credit
    • Lunch on set with crew
    • Sunni Personalized Shout Out Video
    • Cast and Crew Wrap Party Invite
    • HD Download of Black Back
    • Mailed copy of Black Back Storyboard Panel
    • Ticket to performance of Gomela
    • Printed copy of director's storyboard
    • Gomela T-shirt
    • Sunni's playlist
    • HD Download of Artist in Exile
    • Your name in the end credits
    • Digital Photo of Sunni Patterson
    • Social media shout out
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

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    Pledge US$ 2,000 or more About US$ 2,000

    Executive Producer Package

    Your name listed as Executive Producer in the credits + lunch with the cast and crew of Artist in Exile during one of our shoot days (shoot days will be sometime between December 2017 to March 2018)

    Includes:
    • Executive Producer credit
    • Lunch on set with crew
    • Sunni Personalized Shout Out Video
    • Cast and Crew Wrap Party Invite
    • HD Download of Black Back
    • Mailed copy of Black Back Storyboard Panel
    • Ticket to performance of Gomela
    • Printed copy of director's storyboard
    • Gomela T-shirt
    • Sunni's playlist
    • HD Download of Artist in Exile
    • Your name in the end credits
    • Digital Photo of Sunni Patterson
    • Social media shout out
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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Funding period

- (37 days)