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An intimate film about four women who find unity, hope, and strength through one of the world's darkest tragedies.
A feature film about four women who find unity, hope, and strength through one of the world's darkest tragedies.
A feature film about four women who find unity, hope, and strength through one of the world's darkest tragedies.
372 backers pledged $65,752 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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***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.

Then—chaos.

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.

Collapsible set built and used for the concept trailer.
Collapsible set built and used for the concept trailer.

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:
Wardrobe
Props
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.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Every Seed Counts!

    Welcome aboard! Pledge $10 or more and you will receive:
    —The ETERNAL LOVE AND GRATITUDE of the Trees of Peace (TOP) team.
    —AN INVITATION TO JOIN THE INVITE-ONLY TREES OF PEACE FACEBOOK GROUP (where we will be posting BTS photos, stills, and production updates)!
    ...Every little seed counts, and we appreciate you.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A Picture's Worth 1,000 Thank Yous

    You'll receive:
    —A DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPH OF THE CAST AND CREW TAKEN ON SET, AND AUTOGRAPHED BY THE CAST.
    —The love and gratitude of the TOP team etched eternally onto the inter-webs with A PUBLIC THANK YOU ON THE FILM WEBSITE.
    —Access to the invite-only TOP Facebook group.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Make it Official!

    You'll receive :
    —AN OFFICIAL DIGITAL HIGH-RES MOVIE POSTER AUTOGRAPHED BY THE CAST AND DIRECTOR!
    —A public thank you on the film website.
    —Access to the invite-only TOP Facebook group.
    —A digital photograph of the cast and crew taken on set, and autographed by the cast.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    (Film) Credit Where Credit's Due

    You'll receive:
    —A THANK YOU IN THE FINAL FILM END CREDITS!
    —A public thank you on the film website.
    —Access to the invite-only TOP Facebook group.
    —A digital photograph of the cast and crew taken on set, and autographed by the cast.
    —An official digital high-res movie poster autographed by the cast and director.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    The Writing's On the Wall

    You'll receive:
    —YOUR NAME WILL APPEAR ON THE WALL OF THE SET IN THE FILM!
    —A thank you in the final film end credits.
    —A public thank you on the film website.
    —Access to the invite-only TOP Facebook group.
    —A digital photograph of the cast and crew taken on set, and autographed by the cast.
    —An official digital high-res movie poster autographed by the cast and director.

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    13 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Be the First to See the Film!

    You'll receive:
    —AN ADVANCED DIGITAL COPY OF THE FILM, WITH PRIVATE BLOOPER FOOTAGE!
    —A public thank you on the film website.
    —Access to the invite-only TOP Facebook group.
    —A digital photograph of the cast and crew taken on set, and autographed by the cast.
    —An official digital high-res movie poster autographed by the cast and director.
    —A thank you in the final film end credits.

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    14 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Not Just Any T-Shirt...

    You'll receive:
    —A LIMITED "PEACE PROJECTS RWANDA 1994" T-SHIRT (the one worn by Peyton in the film)!!
    —A public thank you on the film website.
    —Access to the invite-only TOP Facebook group.
    —A digital photograph of the cast and crew taken on set, and autographed by the cast.
    —An official digital high-res movie poster autographed by the cast and director.
    —A thank you in the final film end credits.
    —An advanced digital copy of the film, with private blooper footage.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    2 backers
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  8. Select this reward

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

    A Real Page-Turner!

    You'll receive:
    —A PRINTED COPY OF THE SCRIPT AUTOGRAPHED BY THE WRITER/DIRECTOR!!
    —A public thank you on the film website.
    —Access to the invite-only TOP Facebook group.
    —A digital photograph of the cast and crew taken on set, and autographed by the cast.
    —An official digital high-res movie poster autographed by the cast and director.
    —A thank you in the final film end credits.
    —An advanced digital copy of the film, with private blooper footage.
    —A limited "Peace Projects Rwanda 1994" T-shirt (the one worn by Peyton in the film).

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    3 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    The Only Place to Get The Book!

    You'll receive:
    —AN EXCLUSIVE HARDBACK COPY OF THE CHILDREN'S POEM BOOK "SEEDS OF LOVE, TREES OF PEACE" FEATURED IN THE FILM (and written just for TOP)!!
    —A public thank you on the film website.
    —Access to the invite-only TOP Facebook group.
    —A digital photograph of the cast and crew taken on set, and autographed by the cast.
    —An official digital high-res movie poster autographed by the cast and director.
    —A thank you in the final film end credits.
    —An advanced digital copy of the film, with private blooper footage.
    —A limited "Peace Projects Rwanda 1994" T-shirt (the one worn by Peyton in the film).
    —A printed copy of the script autographed by the writer/director.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    YOU are an Associate Producer!

    You'll receive:
    —AN ASSOCIATE PRODUCER CREDIT IN THE FINAL FILM (plus access to the set during filming)!!!
    —A public thank you on the film website.
    —Access to the invite-only TOP Facebook group.
    —A digital photograph of the cast and crew taken on set, and autographed by the cast.
    —An official digital high-res movie poster autographed by the cast and director.
    —An advanced digital copy of the film, with private blooper footage.
    —A limited "Peace Projects Rwanda 1994" T-shirt (the one worn by Peyton in the film).
    —A printed copy of the script autographed by the writer/director.
    —An exclusive hardback copy of the children's poem book "Seeds of Love, Trees of Peace" featured in the film (and written just for TOP).

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Hello Mrs./Mr. Executive Producer!!

    You'll receive:
    —AN EXECUTIVE PRODUCER CREDIT IN THE FINAL FILM (plus access to the set during filming and a post-production screening of the film)!!!
    —A public thank you on the film website.
    —Access to the invite-only TOP Facebook group.
    —A digital photograph of the cast and crew taken on set, and autographed by the cast.
    —An official digital high-res movie poster autographed by the cast and director.
    —An advanced digital copy of the film, with private blooper footage.
    —A limited "Peace Projects Rwanda 1994" T-shirt (the one worn by Peyton in the film).
    —A printed copy of the script autographed by the writer/director.
    —An exclusive hardback copy of the children's poem book "Seeds of Love, Trees of Peace" featured in the film (and written just for TOP).

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    $
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Funding period

- (30 days)