"Heart of Africa" is a feature film set in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country consistently misrepresented. We will show it in its dignity and beauty. The film is based on experiences of missionaries there, both African and Anglo. One of the missionaries is a Congolese former revolutionary and another a young man from Idaho who has heretofore not seen black people. Aime Mbuyi, who was a revolutionary before he became a missionary, has provided the screenwriter with full descriptions of the revolutionary meetings, including the songs sung at the boarding school where the revolutionaries lived.
The film will be bi-continental, much of it filmed in South Africa using the "Out of Africa" production team, with portions shot in Kinshasa, DR-Congo. Our director is one of the best in the nation, Sterling Van Wagenen. (See his bio in the "full bio" section: https://www.kickstarter.com/profiles/868807300/bio.)
We can get to Africa and complete preliminary shooting for the movie with $30,000. We set that goal as our minimum, but hope to go much higher. For instance, if the Kickstarter campaign results in $50,000--which is certainly possible--we could extend our time in Africa and complete much of the preparatory work for the film.
Whatever we get through Kickstarter will be part of a complete (but relatively modest) budget of $800,000. This will include about $50,000 for pre-production, $500,000 for principal photography, and $150,000 for editing and post-production. With another $100,000, we can integrate the music as well. (Music will be one of the most compelling aspects of the film.)
Because we have IFP support, we have already obtained grants which have funded much of our effort to this point, including a trip last August to Africa (the Congo, South Africa, and Ghana) where we made contacts, considered locations, and shot B-roll. We have applied for additional grants and are waiting for responses. By April, after the Kickstarter campaign is complete and we have received responses to our grant applications, we will consider involving investors. With a total budget of $800,000 coming from various sources, we are confident we can finish and distribute the film.
With Sterling Van Wagenen (pictured below) at the helm, this film can be not only beautiful but world changing.
We plan on premiering "Heart" in Kinshasa, DR-Congo before showing it in Johannesburg and other African cities. We will keep the film on the African continent for two months before bringing it to the USA.
Websites with additional information
Risks and challenges
Clearly, there are risks in filming and premiering a movie in the Democratic Republic of Congo, though we will film in safe areas which we have already scouted and will put contingency plans into effect if needed. We've already been through the process of obtaining a "permission to film" document from the Ministry of Culture in Kinshasa, and will do it again. (We never had to show it during our b-roll shoot.)
We will shoot much of the film in South Africa. Our production team, "Out of Africa," headed by Kweku Mandela and Samantha Putter, has already scouted locations for us in the Kwa Zulu Natal region--about an hour's flight from Johannesburg.
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