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My Africa Is aims to highlight the changing face of Africa, by profiling young Africans overcoming challenges with innovative solutions

About My Africa Is

My Africa Is is an eight-part documentary series taking you on a journey across the continent through the eyes of an insider. We know what you’ve seen and heard about Africa – what they think is happening, what they think she needs, what they think she is. The four things that come to mind when people think of Africa are population, problems, poverty, and promise unfulfilled – headline media reports on the continent but that’s not the whole story.

Perspective changes everything.

My Africa Is wants to show you something different. We’re not about hiding real issues or over-hyping good news. We’re more than aware of the challenges, but we also know that we are not helpless. We hustle. We find ways to overcome. We survive. Every day, we are changing our communities – it may be a process, and it may be a little bit at a time, but we’re changing it nonetheless.

This is what it would look like:

The series will follow change-makers in 13 cities across sub-Saharan Africa – they are young, doing some really cool things, and starting a new conversation. Their stories are real; some subjects will inspire, others will provoke, but each one will challenge what you thought you knew and reintroduce you to OUR Africa.

Each episode takes you on a trip to a different location, discovering the uniqueness of each city and appreciating Africa’s diversity, as the series brings it all together.

The money from this Kickstarter will pay for travel, production, and equipment. We plan on heading out in October for a three-month shoot that will take us along the West Coast of Africa, to South Africa, and finally across to the East Coast.

We will be visiting:

Yoff and Dakar in Senegal; Monrovia, Liberia; Freetown, Sierra Leone; Bubusua and Accra in Ghana; Lagos, Nigeria; Luanda, Angola; Johannesburg, South Africa; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Nairobi, Kenya; Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.

We have an amazing team behind this, that are more than able to provide you with an uncensored, "keeping-it-real" take of what is really means to live in Africa.

The complete My Africa Is series will be out on the web in early 2013. ‘Til then, we’ll be uploading pictures, videos and blog posts to our tumblr, so that you can join us on our entire journey during production.

Africa isn’t just about how you see it – it’s how you live it. My Africa Is will take you there.

THE CREW 

Executive Producer/Host- Nosarieme Garrick

 A product from around the Globe, but loudly repping Nigeria, Nosarieme Garrick is a writer, activist, and entrepreneur doing her part to see the advancement of Africa. As a writer, she followed the African culture beat contributing articles to Afripop!, MTV Staying Alive Foundation, Women’s Enews, and Sahara Reporters, creating networks with young African leaders in various sectors. In 2010, she founded Vote or Quench, a youth empowerment campaign educating young Nigerians on the importance of their vote. She headed back to Nigeria from New York to see the initiative through, and spearheaded the live production of the first youth centered presidential debate. Following her time in Nigeria, she did a 6 month business management internship with the Economist Group in the UK, mentored by the company’s CEO, Andrew Rashbass. 

She received a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and French from St. John’s University. She has also spent time DJing, teaching English in France, and travelling around Latin America. 

Producer- David R. Kuhn

During the 1990’s, David was a professional photographer, mainly as a photojournalist, and was published in Vanity Fair, Vogue, The New York Times and other publications. His subjects included war zones in Bosnia and Kosovo, travels in Africa, Cuba and South America, the Miss Universe pageant in Cyprus, as well as volunteer stints teaching sports to impoverished children in the former Yugoslavia and South Africa. His photographs were published in a Time-Life book about the World Trade Center attacks of September 11, 2001. In 2002, he did the legal work and still photography on the 2003 Academy-award nominated documentary, “Capturing the Friedmans”. In 2004, David co-founded Plum TV, where he managed content, produced live and recorded programming, directed and hosted live television shows, and started 8 separate television channels in resorts across America. He was nominated for an Emmy in 2008 for his coverage of Art Basel Miami Beach. In 2010, David visited a rural pilot school outside Medellin, Colombia, where he filmed and co-produced a short doc to help the school raise funds for programs. He traveled to Afghanistan in November 2010 as the producer of a feature-length documentary on the Special Forces, and produced a series of short docs for a commercial client in 2011. As a filmmaker, photographer and writer, David has traveled to over 80 countries, and has created hundreds of stories in print, photography and video over the past 20 years.

Associate Producer- Kathleen Bomani 

A native of Dar-es-Salaam,Tanzania, Kathleen is a cultural curator, connector and a communist. 

A talented organizer, she currently serves as event curator for TEDxDar, a youth-led initiative promoting active discourse and public engagement; and works with the sustainable development think tank Africa Gathering as both United States event lead and Tanzania country lead. Kathleen is also a Co-Organizer of TEDxDzorwulu in Ghana in an advisory role. Bomani can be found sharing her personal and sometimes political voice regarding art, governance and human rights on Tumblr & Twitter. 

Associate Producer - Dearl Nelson 

Dearl Nelson is an emerging filmmaker with a unique and inspirational approach to storytelling. Driven by his desire to make impactful films he has developed several projects during his time in New York City, including Dodo Titit, a short fiction piece based on the bond between two mothers after the tragic earthquake in Haiti, and Cherie (A Love Story), an original script based around the same event; The Horse Man, an artistic silent-documentary profiling one of the only African American men to compete in Equestrian Sporting activities; Into The Woods, a heartfelt documentary exploring the lives of families inhabiting a homeless tent-community in the woods of suburban New Jersey; and Brown Bag Ladies, an original script that explores the complexities of the destructive, dark-skin vs. light-skin issues deep-rooted in the African American community. Dearl has also earned competitive internship positions at Fire Light Films, MTV Networks, and CNN. In May 2012, Dearl Nelson graduated with his Master of Fine Arts in Media Arts Production from The City College of New York, winning the best documentary concept for his short “I’m Not Magic” at CUNY's City Vision Festival. He also studied Documentary Filmmaking at the Maysles Institute in New York City. 

Associate Producer- Tola St. Matthew-Daniel

Tola St. Matthew-Daniel specializes in media relations and creation of thought-leadership platforms for corporations, governments and NGOs. A New Yorker by heart, Lagosian by blood and Parisien-in-training, Tola has spent the last eight years mastering the art of strategic messaging and storytelling and branding her clients in major media outlets across the globe. A graduate of Drexel University, Tola holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and English Literature as well as an MPA from Sciences Po – L'Institut d'études politiques. Her days typically start and end with a prayer because it keeps her centered. French wine, good books, one-way tickets and good music are just a few of her favorite things.

Director of Photography- Bob Bushfield 

Bob Bushfield is a Director of Photography born in Ottawa, Canada. With stunning natural light as the inspiration for his innermost compelling work, Bob was driven at an early age to create images which throughout his career, have transcended into a passion for capturing the true essence within every story. While working in New York, NY, he earned two Emmy Awards for Best Lighting Direction. The first in 2007, for the short film, “THE SAINT OF THE ZUIDERZEE” and the next in 2009 for Best Direction of Photography, Historical Reenactments for “IN SEARCH OF AMBROSIO GONZALES: SOLDIER UNDER TWO FLAGS”. Bob has a strong body of work in film, commercials, documentaries, and music videos and has been at the helm of two Lincoln Center World Premiere projects. The first in 2007 as Lighting Director for “SLOW DANCING” and the next in 2011 as Director of Photography for “PORTRAITS IN DRAMATIC TIME”. Regardless of the type of project, it is Bob’s goal as Director of Photography to capture compelling images that will not only tell the story, but that will affect the viewer on a powerful and yet subliminal level. 

Editor- Liz Bilinsky

Liz graduated from Florida State University with a BA in Social Sciences and minors in Communications and Meteorology. Having an interest in news and weather, she began her career as an associate producer at a local news station in Tallahassee, FL. While gaining experience editing news pieces she developed a passion for story telling. She moved to NYC to pursue the creative industry of film and commercial editing. For the past five years she has worked on many high-end commercials, music videos and is currently working on an HBO documentary.

Production Assistant- Ashton Pina

Ashton Pina hails from New Bedford, Massachusetts, and was born to enlighten, entertain and engage the world through a different lens. After graduating from Florida International University, Ashton moved to New York City, where he now heads a production company creating compelling pieces of entertainment.  Whether he is directing a stage play, shooting a movie, acting in a commercial, or writing a script, Ashton's go-getter mentality is sure to get him to the finish line. His quote to live by? "Never stop dreaming!"

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