£2,536
pledged of 9.900 £pledged of 9.900 £ goal
41
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, March 1 2015 11:07 AM UTC +00:00
Tristan MG AitchisonBy Tristan MG Aitchison
First created
Tristan MG AitchisonBy Tristan MG Aitchison
First created
£2,536
pledged of 9.900 £pledged of 9.900 £ goal
41
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, March 1 2015 11:07 AM UTC +00:00

About

Become a Friend

Who would you turn to if your family tried to kill you, because they think you're possessed by demons? Sidney & Friends is a feature documentary that reveals what it's like to live as an intersex or transgender person in Kenya, perhaps one of the most conservative and intolerant regions of our world. 

"They say I'm possessed by demons. Demons that make me want to become a man."
"They say I'm possessed by demons. Demons that make me want to become a man."

The film is shot and we are ready to begin post-production and share this untold story with you and the world. Becoming a friend means we can do just that. 

A Friend with Benefits  

We have some amazing limited edition and exclusive Kickstarter pledges which include the completed film.

Exclusive to Kickstarter limited edition silver gelatin wet prints of analogue stills that feature in the film.
Exclusive to Kickstarter limited edition silver gelatin wet prints of analogue stills that feature in the film.

About the Film

Sidney & Friends is the debut feature documentary from award-winning filmmaker Tristan MG Aitchison. Revealing interviews with six members of the intersex and transgender community of Nairobi, and striking scenes of everyday life were shot with vintage East German and Soviet lenses. The film also features stunning black-and-white analogue stills photography. Sidney & Friends doesn't just take the viewer into the lives of Kenya's gender minorities, it immerses them in a hidden world that Africa doesn't even know exists.

“I don't feel I'm deceiving you in any way. This is who I am”
“I don't feel I'm deceiving you in any way. This is who I am”

In January 2013, Tristan travelled to Nairobi, Kenya. Where many filmmakers and journalists had been refused access, Tristan was welcomed into the small community. Then, over a two-month period, captured perhaps the most in-depth personal interviews ever filmed with transgender and intersex Africans. 

"Society doesn't understand. Our government doesn't understand. Our families don't understand."
"Society doesn't understand. Our government doesn't understand. Our families don't understand."

Sidney & Friends was a guerilla production. Due to the subject matter and safety of our contributors we filmed underground and always away from the public and authorities. To date, Sidney & Friends was shot for around £700 which doesn't include the immense amount of time over the past two years working on the film. We have something special and want the film finished to the highest standards. 

That is why we need you to join the team, back the film, and become a friend. We are in the fortunate position that the film is 75% complete but without you and your contribution Sidney & Friends won't make it. 

Limited Edition Darkroom Prints

Limited Edition photographs hand-printed in the filmmaker's darkroom
Limited Edition photographs hand-printed in the filmmaker's darkroom

Some of the story is told through black-and-white stills photography. These photographs, all shot on film with vintage cameras and lenses, are available as part of our pledge packages. They were shot on Rollei Retro and Fomapan film, hand-developed in very old school Rodinal developer then hand-printed in the filmmaker's own darkroom on beautiful traditional Foma Variant 123 semi-matt (velvet) Fibre Based paper from the Czech Republic. The photographs are then selenium toned for aesthetic and archival purposes. Signed and numbered, these are part of the film that you can hold and display. Numbers are limited and when they are gone they are gone. Don't miss out!

You can also be the first to own an HD digital copy of the film straight after Sidney & Friends has received its festival premiere. 

"AMIGO" stunning limited edition analogue darkroom print. Choose either 'Sidney' or 'Maria'
"AMIGO" stunning limited edition analogue darkroom print. Choose either 'Sidney' or 'Maria'

The experienced post-production team are in place and ready to complete the film. They are all working well below industry cost prices because they are passionate about the project. The team, the majority of whom worked on Tristan's international award-winning social-commentary chiller Care, are excited to begin work. 

TRISTAN MG AITCHISON (Writer, Director, Editor) Shortlisted for the John Braborne Big 5 Comedy Award in 2011, Tristan has since worked with BAFTA award-winning director Marcus DF White developing television series. In 2012, he grabbed a camera and directed his debut award-winning guerilla short Care. Tristan was trained in Social Work before becoming a filmmaker. He has a post-graduate qualification in screenwriting from Screen Academy Scotland and is a tutor with the BFI Film Academy for the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. He began filmmaking three years ago. 

PAUL TERRY (Composer, Executive Producer) Paul has produced and scored independent films for 15 years. These include the 14-time award-winning werewolf comedy The Furred Man (which had its world television première on Channel 4 in 2010), Raindance Festival award-nominated drama Emily (starring Felicity Jones and Christopher Eccleston), and Tristan MG Aitchison's award-winning chiller Care. Aside from his score work, his solo records under the moniker of Cellarscape include the acclaimed The Act of Letting Go.

JAMES BELLAMY (Music Editor) James won a MPSE Golden Reel as the music editor of Les Miserables. His 60+ other credits include Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Submarine, The Double, and Filth. He was also the music editor for Care.

PAUL DUNKLEY (Titles Designer) Paul designed the titles and indents for 2014 BAFTAs, and has also produced motion graphics and titles for MTV, ESPN, Channel 4, E4, ITN, and Discovery Channel. He designed the titles for Care.

SILAS MIAMI (Contributing Vocalist) Silas Miami is one of Kenya's rising stars in the South African and the East African music scenes. His vocals will feature in Paul Terry's score.

MATT WILLIS-JONES (Colourist) Matt is an experienced colourist working for Norwegian television as well as feature films and shorts.

The film is supported by ScreenHI and XpoNorth. Amanda Millen, Director of XpoNorth enthuses, “We have been working closely with Tristan for the past 4 years, firstly on his award-winning short film Care, and now with Sidney & Friends. XpoNorth nurtures and showcases emerging talent from across the world. We are proud of what Tristan has achieved so far and we are really excited that this internationally important film highlights the creativity we have within the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.”

Sidney & Friends is also part of the Scottish independent film movement Tartan Features.

"When I grow up I know I will become a man."
"When I grow up I know I will become a man."

The Budget

Our very modest goal is the absolute minimum we can complete the film for and to the standard that it deserves. This is how we intend to spend the budget:

  • Original score, sound editing and final mix
  • Editing
  • Colour and grade
  • Titles and graphics
  • Subtitling
  • Kickstarter, payment processing and pledge costs


Risks and challenges

This is a Kickstarter and if we don't reach our goal we fail. If we miss our target we receive nothing and the project stalls. Your credit/debit card will only be charged if we reach our initial goal. On completion of the film we hope to release the Sidney & Friends to international festivals and achieve the widest possible audience. Sidney, Maria, Leone, Guillit, Lexy and Ben have risked so much sharing their stories. Some are risking their personal safety, others their family relationships, so we owe it to them to get this film out there and to the largest possible audience.

We will begin work on the edit of the film in the days after the end of this campaign. The rest of our team are ready to do their job in the months that follow and in a perfect world the film will be completed and ready to submit to festivals by July. But as this film proves, our world isn't perfect, and documentaries can take on a life of their own. Time can slip and obstacles occur but we will complete the film and you will get your pledges.

We would really hope to share the film with you on completion but we don't want to risk premiere status with festivals. Therefore we will fulfil the pledge of the HD digital download straight after the festival premiere. We hope you understand that we can't put an date on when that will be. But you are now on our journey and we will keep you updated all the way. When the edit is complete Tristan will begin work on delivering the Limited Edition prints and Art Cards. We hope to fulfil these pledges over the summer months. Again, there will be regular updates.

On behalf of everyone working on Sidney & Friends – Thank You for being a friend!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £10 or more About $13

    “FRIEND” – Your name in the Thank You section of the film's end credits and “Sidney & Friends” website, PLUS a special “Sidney & Friends” Art Card, handwritten with a personal thank you and signed by the filmmakers.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge £20 or more About $26

    “AMI” – Receive an HD digital download of “Sidney & Friends” just after the festival premiere of the film

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    14 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £50 or more About $65

    “RAFIKI” – The Collector's Edition! A HD digital download of “Sidney & Friends” just after festival premier + exclusive Bonus Features + a digital download of the “Sidney & Friends: Original Soundtrack” by Paul Terry + everything in the “FRIEND” pledge.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £100 or more About $131

    “AMIGO” – An Ultra Limited Numbered & Signed Edition (1 of 50) darkroom analogue fibre based print (9” x 12”) of a still photograph that features in the completed film (EXCLUSIVE to this pledge level), hand signed and numbered by the film's director Tristan MG Aitchison. Hand developed, printed, and selenium toned by the filmmaker in his darkroom + everything listed in “RAFIKI.”

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £400 or more About $523

    “CHINGU” – Go a step further with the rarities: a complete set of 5 x different Ultra Limited Numbered & Signed Edition analogue fibre based prints (9” x 12”) of still photographs that feature in the film (ALL EXCLUSIVE to this pledge level). Hand developed, printed, and selenium toned by the filmmaker in his darkroom + everything listed in “RAFIKI.”

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £3,300 or more About $4,314

    “CARAID” – Feature in the beginning and end credits of the completed film as an ASSOCIATE PRODUCER + a unique Ultra Limited Numbered & Signed set of two analogue prints (EXCLUSIVE to this pledge level) of photographs that feature in the film. Hand developed, printed, and selenium toned by the filmmaker in his darkroom + everything listed in “RAFIKI.” Depending on geographical restrictions (UK only) we will do our very best to meet and have dinner with our Associate Producers.

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Funding period

- (30 days)