About this project
***For ongoing information about TREES OF PEACE, please visit http://www.abrowngirlfilms.com/trees-of-peace/
The Rwandan genocide happened more than 20 years ago. But today, in 2017, we continue to watch the proliferation of such unspeakable tragedy and intolerance. In Syria. Iraq. Yemen. Congo.
It’s easy for the world to look away from mass death, because it’s too painful and overwhelming to acknowledge. But the women in TREES OF PEACE aren’t dying—they are living. After the 1994 Rwandan genocide, women survivors spearheaded the rehabilitation movement for their country. Rwanda now has more women appointed to government than any other nation IN THE WORLD. A powerful, but little-known fact.
TREES OF PEACE is the origin story of these heroic women. The film's purpose is to expose the deepest dualities of our spirit when we have nothing left but each other. And this movie isn't like the clips or images we see in the media, or the films we’ve watched before. You won’t see sweeping landscapes littered with bodies.
Instead, you will become intimately acquainted with the women in this film as complex human beings. Women experiencing love and anger like everyone else; hoping, fearing, forgiving, laughing, crying, learning…all in the midst of genocide, which is a testament to their incredible strength.
The script was written to reflect the true events of the Rwandan genocide—and to reflect the collective spirit within all of us. Whether we’ve seen death or not, live in Rwanda or otherwise, many of the hopes, fears, losses, and triumphs in this story are universal. Annick, Mutesi, Jeanette, and Peyton—with all their vices and virtues—will shine as real women, and as warriors.
TREES OF PEACE will penetrate the hearts and minds of those brave enough to watch without looking away.
It starts out with a sunny, bright stillness, like any other day. Like any regular place. Not necessarily Rwanda—not necessarily a country on the threshold of genocide. In the first few seconds, this could be anywhere. Your house. Or mine.
Four women from different backgrounds and beliefs, each broken in their own ways, become trapped together. They're forced to reconcile their inner demons and put their differences aside…in order to survive the day—
For 81 days straight.
The only chance Annick, Mutesi, Jeanette, and Peyton have to survive is in learning to rely on each other.
Trapped and hiding in an underground compartment during the 1994 Rwandan genocide, they’ve escaped the initial outbreak of violence ravaging the country.
HERE, their story begins…
As they contend with the constant fear of being found and fight a slow death from starvation, they have only a children’s book to keep themselves at ease…
…while they listen to the torturous sounds of a woman raped and killed, neighbors turning on each other, the screams of children, and the maelstrom of war.
Their incredible will to survive drives them to forge an unbreakable bond. Over the course of their journey, each of these women learns what it truly means to find forgiveness, acceptance, purpose, and peace.
This depends on you! We’re aiming to release the film in early 2018 but we need your help to bring TREES OF PEACE to life. We have a strong proof-of-concept trailer and a powerful script—now we need YOU to be our partner on this journey.
There are awesome rewards (take a look to the right) for getting on board the TREES OF PEACE team. And if you’re not able to donate (or even if you are), sharing this campaign on your Facebook or Twitter will get us another step closer to the finish line!
Many thanks to the cast and key crew who helped make the above proof-of-concept trailer:
Written/Directed/Produced by Alanna Brown
Assistant Director Ronin Lee
Starring Sola Bamis, Sydney Mason, Donna Simone Johnson, Alison Rood, and Tongayi Chirisa
Cinematography by Luke Dejoras
Sound by Robert Stronger
Editing/Sound Design/Color by Wilder Herms
Set Design by Victor Aello
Wardrobe/Props by Linda Aranda
Makeup by Celina Dalnim Yun
Special thanks to Bill Klibanow
THE PEOPLE OF RWANDA HAVE JOINED OUR EFFORTS!!!
One of the top news publications in Rwanda, Izuba Rirashe, discovered our concept trailer on Twitter and covered us in an article! The story is written in their native Kinyarwanda, and covers our Kickstarter campaign. It also talks about writer/director Alanna Brown, and mentions all five actors in the concept trailer. Click on the image below to see the article!
OUR FAVORITE REWARDS!!
Risks and challenges
...for an independent film being made on this small of a budget are: 1) running out of money, and 2) allocation of funds.
Fortunately, many of the expenses of larger films, like multiple location changes, location permits, massive lighting setups, props, wardrobe changes, background actors, etc. do not apply to TREES OF PEACE. This is a film with BIG character, but not big location demands.
Think of movies like GRAVITY, CASTAWAY, or the more recent MOONLIGHT. These are all focused on characters trapped in some form of isolation; but with TREES OF PEACE, the characters literally remain in one room for almost the entire film. It’s intense and claustrophobic, but that’s the point!
Similar to the secluded yet frenetic journey in GRAVITY, the audience will go on the journey with these women. In order to accomplish as close an experience as possible to the truly terrifying, stifling reality, we will only ever see four exterior shots. And that in itself massively cuts down on filming costs!
This $65,000 will go towards:
Pre-production costs (like insurance, permits, and contracts)
Renting a sound stage
Renting camera and lighting equipment
Paying the actors
Paying key crew members
Hair and makeup
Donated items include:
Feeding everyone on set
As for the costs of post-production, we’ve secured additional investors and donators-of-talent who will get us through that last leg. Thank you for watching and for reading! Please make your pledge and spread the word in any way you can, because together we can bring this movie to life.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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