The documentary film
Listen to my Song is a 48 minute documentary film following the story of Esteban, a twenty-six-year-old rapper who ran away from his family and the poverty of the ghetto when he was thirteen to join the FARC guerrilla movement in Colombia.
With the peace process underway Esteban’s life changed when he met Pablo, a famous Colombian reggae artist and record producer while they were both performing at a concert for peace. Three months later I was lucky enough to travel with Pablo to the FARC camp where Esteban was based to record his first music track.
A few months later Esteban was invited by Pablo to the capital city of Bogota to begin rehearsals for a big rap concert. I went with Esteban when he left the camp for the first time and traveled to the city hoping his life was about to take a new direction by starting a career in music.
But Esteban realised he first needed to address his past and find his family before he could focus on his dreams of becoming a rap artist so he returned to the city of Cali where they lived. I had the opportunity of filming him during this very emotional journey.
FARC Marxist guerrillas fought the Colombian government for half a century in a brutal civil war that claimed around 220,000 lives until a peace deal was agreed in 2016. Thousands of FARC soldiers have laid down their weapons and begun the transition to a new way of life as civilians. Many have been integrated back into Colombian society, but some continue to struggle to adapt as the perception of them by many Colombians remains negative.
Why this film matters
Esteban’s personal journey mirrors his country’s unfolding peace process.
This film raises awareness of the importance of the Colombian peace process now in difficult territory with the recent election of a right-wing president who could threaten the peace deal.
Esteban’s story needs to be told as it provides an intimate portrayal of a guerrilla fighter on his quest for peace for the country and making peace with his past. As well as raising awareness about the peace process I hope this film will also give Esteban some recognition for his music.
Why I got involved
Ten years ago I spent some time living in Mexico and covered the campaign of a revolutionary indigenous movement called the Zapatistas. I became very interested in Latin American movements and politics and have been keeping a close eye on the region ever since.
I started this film in 2016 after reading a newspaper article about Esteban performing at a peace concert at a FARC guerrilla camp. I tracked down the producer/ musician who organised the concert, and he invited me to travel with him to the FARC camp to record Esteban’s first song. I dropped everything and within a fortnight I was in a jeep traveling deep into FARC territory. This film has been a major part of my life for the last 18 months and something I have been very passionate about.
What do we need to finish this film?
BAFTA and Sundance winner Kim Longinotto and her company Vixen Films have supported me with some post-production costs. One World Media production fund provided 7% of the cost towards my trips to Colombia. The rest I have funded through my work as a mental health social worker.
I am so pleased to have all the material I need and to have a rough cut of the film. Now I desperately need £3800 to help complete the post production and to get this film out to the world at this critical moment in Colombian history. Most of the hard work is behind me and the film is nearly done, but this next stage is crucial to a successful and timely launch!
With £3800 I am aiming to launch the film around September 2018. The money is needed for the following – the final four days of editing (£1000), sound mix (£600), colour grade (£500), festival entries (£900), graphic design and printing of posters and flyers (£500) and finally Kickstarter will take their fees (£300). Total - £3800
Any additional funds raised over this point will go towards getting Esteban out of Colombia for the first time and to the premiere of the film!
I have been encouraged by industry professionals that the film has potential to be very successful. I now need this final push to ensure it gets out there and makes the impact it deserves.
By backing this project you will be supporting much more than a documentary film, you’ll be joining a campaign that is helping to raise awareness about the importance of a peace process that has reduced violence in Colombia.
Every little bit helps and if you can’t donate money then please share this campaign so we can reach as many people as possible!
Join the campaign and help us bring Esteban’s story to life!!!
Thank you so much for reading and for supporting this project!
Reconciliation CD reward
PHOTOS AND TEXT FOR PRESS RELEASE:
Risks and challenges
There have been risks involved in the production of this film but fortunately this stage is now complete. For many Colombians however the risks involved in political activity continue and despite the peace process there is still an on-going risk of violence facing people like Esteban.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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