About this project
ONE DAY I TOO GO FLY is a coming-of-age feature documentary that follows 4 African youths from different countries and socio-economic backgrounds as they pursue knowledge at America's premier technological university - the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Over four years from arrival at MIT, through visits back to their home countries, to graduation from college, the film follows their adventures as their ambitions evolve. Their dreams are anchored in the Tanzania, Rwanda, Nigeria and Zimbabwe they have left, but their daily realities are defined by America - by the immediate challenges in their MIT classrooms, as well as the larger social issues confronting the world outside of those classrooms. Each is forced to refine their ideas about the world and about themselves. Each must decide how much of Africa to hold on to and how much of America to absorb.
- Aug 9 VENTURES AFRICA interview
- July 30 SHE LEADS AFRICA article on SANTE
- July 27 AYIBA MAGAZINE article
- July 21 AFRICAN TECH ROUNDUP podcast
- July 15 AYIBA MAGAZINE press release
- July 12 THIS IS AFRICA article
- May 19 MIT DIVISION OF STUDENT LIFE article
- Sept 26 (2016): MIT NEWS profile on BILLY
Why This Kickstarter Fundraiser?
In 2012, we found a community on Kickstarter that rallied to fund the filming of the documentary, enabling us to shoot with 3 students in their home countries; with Fidelis in Zimbabwe, with Sante in Tanzania, and with Billy in Rwanda. We continued filming their lives back in the United States… all the way through graduation. 4 years of filming are now complete, and I now ask for your support to fund the editing of all the footage into a moving film.
While shooting ONE DAY I TOO GO FLY, we also created a spinoff film called NAIJA BETA, about Philip and another group of MIT students who launch and run a robotics education camp for teenagers in Lagos, Nigeria. We are proud of this spinoff film, which was supported by MIT President Emeritus Paul E. Gray. NAIJA BETA has won 4 awards to date, and has screened in Africa, Europe, and North America. It has also stimulated important conversations about STEM education and youth entrepreneurship at community screenings such as at the Entrepreneurship Week at the African Leadership University in Mauritius, Girls Day at the MIT Museum, and the HALI Indaba in Rwanda, a gathering of 40 professionals who work with High-Achieving, Low-Income students in 15+ African countries to access college scholarships. In short, the films we are creating are resonating with audiences and are doing good work. The lessons learned on creating NAIJA BETA will make ONE DAY I TOO GO FLY a stronger film.
How Your Funds Will Be Used
Your contribution will fund the post-production stage of ONE DAY I TOO GO FLY. Post-production is what happens after a film has been shot. This includes editing, sound design, music, sound mixing, color correction, etc. These are expensive.
We have been cutting the 100s of hours of footage from 4 years of filming in more than 5 countries into scenes over the years, thanks in part to funding from the Council for the Arts at MIT (CAMIT) and our team's own resources. However, we still have months of serious and expensive editing to do, which we cannot pay for without you. Help us fund the focused, intense period of editing required to bring this film to the world.
Also, Kickstarter is All-Or-Nothing. If we don't make our target no pledges get collected, and we get nothing - so please chip in whatever you can to help us reach our goal.
ARTHUR MUSAH - Director/Producer/Cinematographer
Arthur is a filmmaker from Ghana and Ukraine, who has lived in the United States for the last 17 years. His first film NAIJA BETA premiered in 2016 at the Pan African International Film Festival in Cannes, and won Best Documentary Feature at the Urban Mediamakers Film Festival in Atlanta, an Achievement in Documentary Film Award at the Silicon Valley African Film Festival, and a Directing Award at the Arlington International Film Festival. NAIJA BETA also screened at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, where it won Best Documentary Short at the Roxbury International Film Festival. He studied filmmaking in the MFA program at the University of Southern California (USC) as an Annenberg Fellow, and holds a bachelor’s and a master’s in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT.
BROOK TURNER - Producer
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Brook’s passion for film brought her to the University of Southern California’s Peter Stark Producing Program where she received her MFA in 2011. Over the years, she’s found herself playing multiple roles as a host for a sports show on NBC, a model for national campaigns and now, a producer (SPICE, JOYCE, NAIJA BETA) and writer. Her primary interest is to make positive projects that shed light on underrepresented cultures. Brook hosts a podcast, SHORT & SWEET, and has other projects in development.
MARK J. HARRIS - Directing Advisor
"This film is bold, original, and ambitious. No other film explores as deeply or longitudinally the impact of American education on students from developing countries. This intimate documentary promises a fresh perspective on both the United States and Africa. I'm happy to be a part of it and to continue guiding Arthur's and Brook’s filmmaking instincts." - Mark J. Harris
Mark J. Harris is a Distinguished Professor at USC's School of Cinematic Arts, where he has taught filmmaking since 1983. Among his many works are THE REDWOODS, which won an Oscar for Best Short Documentary; THE LONG WAY HOME, which won the Academy Award for Best Feature Length Documentary; and INTO THE ARMS OF STRANGERS: STORIES OF THE KINDERTRANSPORT, which also won an Academy Award for Best Feature Length Documentary. His latest film is BREAKING POINT: THE WAR FOR DEMOCRACY IN UKRAINE.
HELEN ELAINE LEE - Story Advisor
“I am delighted to help make this wonderful project a reality. Its themes of determination, risk, transformation, and the role of home and homeland in our lives are powerful and resonant, particular and universal. I am sure that Arthur will draw on his considerable gifts for seeing and storytelling to produce a thoughtful and unforgettable film.” - Helen Elaine Lee
Helen Elaine Lee is Professor of Fiction Writing in Comparative Media Studies/Writing and Director of the Program in Women's & Gender Studies at MIT. Her first novel, The Serpent's Gift, was published by Atheneum in and her second novel, Water Marked, was published by Scribner. Stories from her recently finished novel, "The Unlocked Room," have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Callaloo, Hanging Loose, Best African American Fiction 2009 (Bantam Books), and www.solsticelitmag.com. She was educated at Harvard College and Harvard Law School.
KATE AMEND, A.C.E. - Editing Advisor
“Like many documentaries that unfold over several years of production, bringing it together will be a painstaking process. I am confident, however, that the result will be worth the effort. I know this is a labor of love for Arthur and his team, and I look forward to advising them as they wade through hundreds of hours of footage, shot over four years, to chart a clear story and a moving film.” – Kate Amend, ACE
In 2005, Kate Amend received the International Documentary Association’s inaugural award for Outstanding Achievement in Editing for her work, which includes two Academy Award-winning documentary features, INTO THE ARMS OF STRANGERS and THE LONG WAY HOME, along with many other lauded works. Amend also received the 2001 American Cinema Editors’ Eddie award. Amend has advised at the Sundance Institute Editing Labs, been a festival juror and appeared on industry panels. She is on the faculty of the School of Cinematic Arts at USC, is a member of both the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the Board of Directors of the American Cinema Editors. She holds degrees from the University of California, Berkeley and San Francisco State University.
NANCY KETEKU - Education Advisor
Nancy Keteku serves as EducationUSA’s Regional Educational Advising Coordinator for Africa West & Central, responsible to the Institute of International Education and the U.S. Department of State on expanding U.S. higher education opportunities for African students. As an American who has lived in Ghana for over thirty years, she has been uniquely positioned to study the development of African universities and their role in the wider global arena. During the past sixteen years as Regional Coordinator, she has worked with the higher education sector in 49 African countries, gaining a perspective on development of both public and private institutions of higher education and insight into the motivations of African students. She has been directly and indirectly responsible for assisting African students to obtain over $10 million a year in funding for study in the United States and is a leading authority on financing higher education in the United States for international students.
Unable to Contribute with Money?
You can still participate in making this film. Here are some ways:
- Spread the word about the film and this fundraiser
- Organize a screening of NAIJA BETA
- Connect us with organizations that could use the films
- Get social with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Risks and challenges
Creating a film, especially a documentary like this one, is an organic process. We are confident that the target $60,000 we set in this Kickstarter fundraiser will see us through the edit of the film, and cover Kickstarter fees and production/delivery of backer rewards. Based on our experience with NAIJA BETA, we know we will have some additional finishing costs, which we aim to cover through grants.
Any additional money we raise beyond our target in this campaign will save us grant application time and allow us to work on the film non-stop to completion. We will keep all backers updated on this post-production journey, and should we encounter any snags that delay delivery of the film, we will let you know.
We completed NAIJA BETA, and will finish an even finer film with ONE DAY I TOO GO FLY!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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