Funded! This project was successfully funded on September 19, 2012.

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A short film for Africa's premiere film festival, shot entirely in the San Francisco Bay Area.

WORKING TITLE: The Music Factory

SYNOPSIS: 100 years in the future, the West African country of Burkina Faso is unrecognizable.  Development has come at a cost.  Sea level rise has given Burkina Faso, once a landlocked country, a coastline.  People have become so enamored with their smart phones that they have lost the ability to make music, or at least recognize good music.  So the music sucks.  In a chance encounter, HASAMI, the main character, hears great music for the first time.  This leads him on an odyssey to California, where he falls in love with an abusive American woman, ANA MAE.  Sidetracked at first, he is eventually led to the secret Music Factory by SAMIRA, a beautiful African girl.  This film looks at the question of "what is Africa?" and does it need to fit into the world, or does the world need to fit into Africa?

WHO WE ARE: We are an eclectic group of Bay Area filmmakers led by Fulbright Scholar and director Daouda Zalle getting ready to make a unique, decidedly different short film about Africa and Africans, but filmed almost entirely in the San Francisco Bay Area.

WHAT WE NEED FROM YOU: We only need $850 so we can entice great actors to participate, and so we can pay a professional editor/colorist or sound person, as well as for misc. music rights purchases.

FAQ

  • 10 minutes

    Last updated:
  • Yes. The following is our working script:

    SCENE 1

    EXT. DAY. BURKINA FASO

    Slow pans across creative commons stills of Burkina Faso today.

    We hear beautiful West African music playing in the background.

    NARRATOR VO

    [in French with English subtitles]

    Music. It gives life meaning. It is almost divine.

    The music stops abruptly.

    CUT TO:

    SCENE 2

    EXT. DAY. CITY SCENES.

    We see people listening to music on their devices, mostly head-

    phones. People checking their smart phones. People with head-

    phones on. People walking and listening. And we hear awful mu-

    sic. Simple, off-key, out-of pitch, worse than Muzak.

    NARRATOR VO [in French with English subtitles]

    But the world changes. New technologies. People forget. All

    the music was put on cell phones. Then the cell phones stole

    the music and started selling it. And one day, the good music

    disappeared, and there was only bad music.

    CUT TO:

    SCENE 3

    EXT. DAY. BURKINA FASO

    CG: Burkina Faso, 2113

    NARRATOR V.O.

    [In French with English subtitles]

    Even in Burkina Faso, the music was bad. Yes, even in Burkina

    Faso. Seriously, even in Burkina Faso- West Africa. In just

    one hundred years, the sea levels rose and Burkina Faso was no

    longer a landlocked country. Burkina Faso now had a beach, but

    the music was really bad. Yes, in Africa, the music was bad.

    Really.

    CUT TO:

    SCENE 4

    EXT. BERKELEY PIER. DAY.

    HASAMI walks along the pier, listening to the music on his head-

    phones. When HASAMI puts his headphones on, we hear what he

    hears: really terrible music, which he shows neither love or

    hate for, but listens to nonetheless. As HASAMI gets closer to

    the end of the pier, he spots a set of really nice pimped-out

    headphones. He picks them up, puts them on, and starts listen-

    ing. We hear some amazing African music, and the camera pushes

    to HASAMI’s face, which is filled with wonder and amazement.

    Just then, HASAMI looks up and spots MYSTERY. MYSTERY ap-

    proaches him, feigning nonchalance.

    MYSTERY

    I’m sorry, I must have left these here by mistake.

    HASAMI

    My god, where did you get this music?

    MYSTERY, now obviously frightened, looks around, hoping nobody

    is around. MYSTERY now knows that HASAMI has heard the amazing

    music.

    MYSTERY

    You must keep this a secret. It is from... Ummmm... America?

    HASAMI

    Where?

    FORTUNE TELLER

    The United States of America. U. S. A.

    HASAMI [confused]

    United Arab Emirates?

    MYSTERY [Exasperated]

    No. UNITED States.

    HASAMI

    You mean like Manchester United?

    FORTUNE TELLER

    The United States of America. It used to be a great power, like

    China is today.

    HASAMI smiles, pensively.

    FADE OUT

    FADE IN:

    SCENE 5

    EXT/INT: BUS IN SAN FRANCISCO – DAY

    We see some establishing shots of the USA, such as McDonald’s,

    the American flag, and some fat people.

    CG: United States of America

    We are back to listening to awful music

    HASAMI gets on the bus looking very timid and out-of-place. He’s

    obviously just arrived in the United States. He’s got on some

    very big, old-fashioned headphones, and we hear the gloomy music

    as the soundtrack to his American life thus far – he’s an out-

    sider, lonely, self-conscious.

    He sits down next to ANNA MAE, a “beautiful” African American

    woman who is grooving to some “great” music in her fancy head-

    phones. He looks at her until she notices him.

    ANNA MAE

    (taking off her headphones)

    What?

    HASAMI

    Nothing. I, uh, what are you listening to?

    ANNA MAE shrugs and lets him hear her music. Everything changes.

    Hasami’s whole aura lifts to

    the beat of her “amazing” music.

    CUT TO:

    Hasami smiling out of the window as cheerful, picturesque SF

    scenes pass by. He smiles at ANNA MAE. She smiles back at him.

    V.O. HASAMI

    She changed everything. I could hear the music

    again. I could smell the sea. I wasn’t stuck in my

    depression anymore. I had finally arrived in America.

    FADE TO:

    SCENE 6

    EXT/INT. DINER/RESTAURANT IN BERKELEY – DAY

    HASAMI walks into the restaurant. This is his regular lunch

    spot. He is chipper. DARLA, the restaurant proprietor, greets

    him.

    DARLA

    Hello, Hasami.

    HASAMI

    (smiling ear to ear)

    Hi Darla.

    HASAMI sits down at his usual table by the window and DARLA

    comes over to take his order. In the background we see a wait-

    ress: SAMIRA, beautiful African girl in her early 20s.

    She is cleaning glasses, keeping busy, listening to their con-

    versation.

    DARLA

    Why are you so chipper today?

    HASAMI

    (eager to share his news)

    I met someone!

    DARLA

    (intrigued)

    Oh?

    HASAMI

    She’s incredible, Darla. She is full of life.

    She knows good music. A real American.

    The focus moves from HASAMI and DARLA to SAMIRA in the back-

    ground as she reacts to HASAMI’s news. She is obviously disap-

    pointed and hurt.

    DARLA

    Well, that’s great news, HASAMI.

    I’m very happy for you.

    Close up on HASAMI smiling at her, feeling satisfied.

    Camera focuses changes from his face to the street through the

    restaurant window.

    HASAMI VO

    That’s how I was for a while. But then changed. In a bad way.

    CROSS DISSOLVE TO:

    SCENE 7

    CG: One year later

    INT. HASAMI’S APARTMENT - NIGHT

    ANNA MAE, 20s, comes home from a date. She is drunk. She lingers

    in the doorway, obscuring a man from view and shushing him so

    that Hasami wont hear what he’s saying.

    ANNA MAE

    (giggling and whispering)

    No you have to go. I had fun.

    HASAMI sits on the couch watching TV and pretending not to no-

    tice. He is seething, but he is defeated and has obviously given

    up on this relationship.

    ANNA MAE closes the door, walks into the living room, throws her

    purse on a chair and turns on the stereo. The loud, cacophonic

    music drowns out the TV show HASAMI is watching.

    She sits on a chair and starts to pull of her high heeled boots.

    HASAMI

    Did you have fun?

    ANNA MAE

    (losing her temper as she is quick to do)

    What is that supposed to mean?

    HASAMI

    Where were you?

    ANNA MAE

    Out.

    HASAMI

    Who were you with?

    ANNA MAE

    What is it to you? You got your greencard, didn’t you?

    HASAMI

    (under his breath)

    Not yet.

    ANNA MAE

    What did you say?

    HASAMI

    Nothing.

    ANNA MAE

    Oh yeah? What’s that?

    HASAMI forces a tired smile.

    HASAMI puts on his giant headphones and starts to listen to some

    music. PUSH to HASAMI’s face, tired, worn.

    FADE OUT

    SCENE 8

    EXT. FOLSOM STREET FAIR ON SUNDAY, SEPT. 23 - EVENING

    HASAMI is walking by himself amidst a crowd of revelers. Random

    shots of partiers, craziness. He is wearing an African shirt;

    is wide-eyed and a bit unimpressed. He sees ANNA MAE in the dis-

    tance and hurries up to her. She is hiding something; she’s ob-

    viously been doing

    some drugs.

    HASAMI

    Hi.

    ANNA MAE

    You snuck up on me.

    ANNA MAE’S friend starts to giggle.

    ANNA MAE’S FRIEND

    Nice shirt.

    HASAMI

    (to ANNA MAE)

    What are you doing?

    ANNA MAE

    (getting angry)

    What am I doing? I AM HAVING A GOOD TIME.

    HASAMI

    I am tired. I want to go home.

    ANNA MAE

    Go home then.

    HASAMI

    I wont leave you. It’s not safe.

    ANNA MAE laughs out loud. She’s really high now.

    ANNA MAE

    This is San Francisco, Hasami. The safest city in the world!

    You’re in America now. Have some fun. Don’t be so serious.

    C.U. on Hasami’s face. He seems very troubled. They are obvi-

    ously very different, and in that moment their differences seem

    insurmountable.

    Off camera we hear ANNA MAE’S friend say: Where did you find

    that guy? He’s so weird. Seriously, You gotta stop picking up

    guys at the airport.

    FADE TO BLACK

    SCENE 9

    INT. DINER/RESTAURANT IN BERKELEY – DAY

    HASAMI walks in to the restaurant by himself. He is clearly

    homesick and wants something familiar. He sits down at a table

    by the window, and DARLA greets him.

    Pleasant, unobtrusive music is playing in the background.

    DARLA

    Hasami, hello.

    HASAMI

    Hi.

    DARLA

    Why do you look so sad?

    HASAMI

    Nothing here is what I thought it would be.

    DARLA

    What did you think I would be?

    HASAMI

    I don’t know. I wish I had the answer.

    DARLA

    Sometimes the answer is right under your nose.

    (pause)

    I’ve got the just the thing for you.

    DARLA walks back to the kitchen.

    CUT TO:

    INT. KITCHEN – MOMENTS LATER

    DARLA walks in to the kitchen and talks to a waitress SAMIRA, a

    beautiful 22 year-old African girl.

    DARLA

    Hasami is outside.

    SAMIRA

    What? He is?

    DARLA

    And he’s looking rather forlorn.

    SAMIRA

    What? Why?

    DARLA

    Here’s your chance.

    SAMIRA

    He doesn’t even notice me.

    DARLA

    Just go out there and take his order. Make him take notice.

    INT. RESTAURANT – MOMENTS LATER

    SAMIRA comes up to serve HASAMI.

    SAMIRA

    Hi Hasami.

    HASAMI

    Hello, Samira.

    SAMIRA

    What’s the matter?

    HASAMI

    Do you ever feel far away from home?

    SAMIRA

    Yeah. When I first came to America I used to feel homesick all

    the time. Here, nobody cares about you. Nobody knows you. That’s

    what I thought. But now, when I feel like that, I know where to

    go.

    HASAMI

    Where?

    SAMIRA

    The music factory. Real music. People can still make it,

    Hasami.

    CUT TO:

    HASAMI stares after her as she walks to the kitchen to put in

    his order. He begins to realize that perhaps she is the answer

    that has been under his nose the whole time. The

    music becomes increasingly joyful.

    CUT TO:

    SCENE 10

    EXT/INT. LOCAL AFRICAN MUSIC VENUE IN OAKLAND - NIGHT

    A Burkino Fasan band is playing in a small lounge in Oakland.

    Various African men and women in their 20s mingle and dance. The

    atmosphere is festive. The music is beautiful, joyful, dis-

    tinctly African. A long lost delight. HASAMI is happy as SAMIRA

    leads him around the club, introducing him to her African

    friends.

    SAMIRA

    Do you like it?

    HASAMI

    It feels like home.

    CUT TO:

    SCENES FROM THE REST OF THE NIGHT. LAUGHTER, MUSIC, FRIENDS,

    THEY ARE FALLING IN LOVE.

    HASAMI V.O.

    When did I fall in love with America?

    (pause)

    When I found myself again.

    FADE TO BLACK

    Last updated:
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