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Religious and cultural tensions escalate when a woman from the Nation of Islam has an affair with an agnostic man.
Religious and cultural tensions escalate when a woman from the Nation of Islam has an affair with an agnostic man.
94 backers pledged $35,398 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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BEN & ARA- an independent film.

Ben, a passionately agnostic PhD student, falls behind in his dissertation and is surprised to find his muse and love in Ara, a devout member of the Nation of Islam. 

 Even though they have vastly different beliefs they find a way to connect in a world that doesn't accept their relationship. Through their journey they discover that when two cultures touch each other the consequences can be magical and tragic. 

Our Goal

In our video we talk about why this type of story is important, particularly in today's society. We believe that something amazing happens when two people, from drastically different points of view, are able to sit down and connect with each other. As Constance says in her interview, once all the beliefs are stripped away you're just left with two people.  And two people connecting despite cultural barriers is something everyone should experience, if only vicariously through our story. That is our goal with BEN & ARA, to open us up to one another just a little more. 

Our Budget 

 About Us!

Constance Ejuma 

  Born in Cameroon and raised in the US, Constance Ejuma became interested in acting as a teenager and went on to study theater at the University of Toronto in Canada. She later attended Leicester University in the UK where she received a master’s degree in Mass Communications. After completing her studies, she spent a brief time pursuing acting in the Washington, DC area before making the move to Los Angeles to further her training and advance her career. Constance has credits in theatre, film and television and her work has given her the opportunity to collaborate with prolific artists like Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka and Academy Award Nominee Shohreh Aghdashloo. In addition to "BEN & ARA" she is currently working on a documentary film she directed and produced called "Don't Forget Me."

Joseph Baird

Joseph began acting as a young child in the theater in Oklahoma. He studied archaeology at the University of Oklahoma and then went on to graduate school in Miami FL. There the acting bug caught up with him again and he began working on stage and screen. He came to LA and studied acting at the Larry Moss Studio with Michelle Danner, the Underground Theater with Mark Tilman, the Upright Citizen's Brigade, and the Beverly Hills Playhouse. His career advanced through the years and he was recently pleased to be cast in two pilots and a short film called 'The Percipient' that premiered at the Cannes Festival in 2012. His latest credits include a co-star in the CBS show "Criminal Minds" and a leading role in a UK film entitled "Capsule". 

Risks and challenges

A film, or any creative endeavor, is by its nature a 'risky enterprise' and "BEN & ARA" is no different. We are shooting in Oklahoma where many of our sets will be provided for us but still there will be a need for iron-clad budgeting and surrounding the project with a team of people who are committed to the film's vision. We have an accountant on board who is set to help us with budgeting and other producers who will come in on the business side of things once we have funding to make sure the film is on track!

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Our gratitude will literally reach through the screen and embrace you! In addition to this, your name will appear in the special thanks section of our webpage!

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    We love you! Our deepest thanks will be yours AND a copy of our shooting script (complete with directors notes) will be mailed to you directly. In addition to everything mentioned above, you'll also receive a digital download of the completed film.

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    Like a Victorian lady, we're literally swooning over you at this point! A dvd of the finished project will be mailed directly to you. You'll also get a digital download of the movie soundtrack and a physical copy of our shooting script (complete with directors notes). Your name will also appear in the special thanks section of our webpage.

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    Wow!! Will you marry us? You've swept us off our feet! You'll receive production stills from the movie set, a personal email from the leading lady and man as well as all of the above: the DVD, soundtrack, shooting script, and all the rest. You rock!

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    At this point we're stunned, humbled, and beyond thankful for your support. You'll receive an official movie poster, production stills from the movie set, a personal email from the leading lady and man as well as all of the above: the DVD, soundtrack, shooting script, and all the rest. You rock!

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    Now you've done it. Your name will be on the big screen baby! We will include you in our special thanks section of credits in addition to all of the above mentioned things!

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    At this point we're in awe of you! In addition to all of the prior rewards, yours will be an exclusive behind the scenes video chat with our two stars while they're on set. We'll walk you through the set and show you a behind the scenes look (first hand) at how movies are made!

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    We wish there was bigger font to write THANKS, maybe decorated with unicorns and fireworks! You're that amazing!! Please join the two leads of the film for a sit down to chat about whatever you'd like! You'll get the prior mentioned awards plus a special thanks credit on IMDB!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    YOU, my friend, ROCK our socks off! Please accept 6 yards of the African textile fabrics used on the set and costumes, your name in the official movie credits, plus all of the above mentioned goodies (IMDB special thanks and most importantly our LOVE).

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

    Wow- are you Superman/Wonder Woman? Because you're our hero! Please accept five free passes to our North American Premier and after party (travel and lodging excluded). You'll be given all of the previously mentioned rewards and personal thank you letters from the director and stars of the film.

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    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    YOU my friend, are now an Associate Producer! This means an IMDB credit and page will be set up for you and you'll be credited as such in the movie (YOUR NAME + the BIG SCREEN= awesomeness). In addition you and five of your friends/family will be our guest at the North American Premiere and after party (sans travel and lodging). You'll be given all of the above perks and the entire cast/crew will graciously hug you while humming your favorite tune. We love you that much!

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    Pledge $7,000 or more About $7,000

    Wowza! You're an EXECUTIVE PRODUCER now baby! Welcome to Hollywood!! With this extraordinary donation you'll be an EP on BEN & ARA which will include an IMDB credit and page set up for you! Your name will be festooned on our poster, website, and of course the movie credits. You will be consulted at this point on distribution and marketing decisions. In addition to this you and five of your friends will be our guest at the North American Premier (sans travel and lodging expenses) and the party afterwards. All the above mentioned perks will be yours in addition to our highest level of appreciation and thanks which may or may not include frantic hugs and kisses while we jump up and down!

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Funding period

- (32 days)