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5 African youths pursue knowledge at an elite American university, MIT. Over 4 years they discover engineering, the world, themselves. Read more

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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on December 19, 2012.

5 African youths pursue knowledge at an elite American university, MIT. Over 4 years they discover engineering, the world, themselves.

About this project

The Film

ONE DAY I TOO GO FLY is a 4-year chronicle of how 5 students from Tanzania, Nigeria, Rwanda and Zimbabwe become engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). As they arrive from varied African backgrounds and immerse themselves in the challenge of rigorous academics and navigating a new world, we witness them receive an elite education and grow into their adult selves. 

What happens to them over four years as they are molded into first-class engineers at America’s top technological university? How do their relationships with their home countries evolve? What becomes of their dreams to make an impact on the world? As they are pushed by MIT to explore beyond the limits they defined for themselves, we discover with them who they become as a result of the experience. While their experiences are intimate and personal, ultimately these young people are crucial components of their countries' intellectual capital, and their journeys in America will affect their homes.

As the project's director, I’m making this film for a number of reasons. I wanted to attempt an in-depth depiction of undergraduate life at MIT – to capture the essence of the gradual process of becoming an engineer. I wanted also to tell a story about how a teenager becomes an adult in a college environment – how what you know and believe about yourself and the world are tested and refined by collisions with new ideas, people and experiences. But most importantly I wanted to make a film that would take a new look at Africa today, because my passion for filmmaking stems from my desire to document my Africa. Hence our focus on 5 ambitious students from the continent whose lives meander across multiple continents and will telescope to us an African experience rarely explored in cinema.

The Students

PHILIP, from Nigeria: "The admission MIT gave me changed everything."
PHILIP, from Nigeria: "The admission MIT gave me changed everything."
BILLY, from Rwanda: "You are your brain."
BILLY, from Rwanda: "You are your brain."
FIDELIS, from Zimbabwe: "Every problem at MIT is hard. If you survive, you learn that every problem can be solved."
FIDELIS, from Zimbabwe: "Every problem at MIT is hard. If you survive, you learn that every problem can be solved."
SANTE, from Tanzania: "I'll have a hard time getting there, but I know I'll get there. I'm that kind of person."
SANTE, from Tanzania: "I'll have a hard time getting there, but I know I'll get there. I'm that kind of person."
MOSA, from Nigeria: "Life is just too short to just be ordinary."
MOSA, from Nigeria: "Life is just too short to just be ordinary."

These students – Sante, Philip, Mosa, Billy & Fidelis – have been superb partners in the project by generously sharing their hopes, fears, challenges and victories for the film. The movie we envision is an intimate coming of age story that people from any background can relate to, but also one that will inspire youth all over Africa to dream big and reach boldly for those dreams.

Our Team

Arthur Musah, Director/Producer

Arthur is a filmmaker trained in USC’s School Of Cinematic Arts, where he was an Annenberg Fellow. Prior to that he obtained undergraduate and graduate degrees in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science at MIT. Born in his mother’s Ukraine, raised in his father’s Ghana, and now living in the United States, Arthur explores characters defined by multiple worlds in his films. He has produced, written, directed and edited fiction and documentary shorts currently playing at film festivals across the world. Some of these include What To Bring To America (Producer), Refuge (Writer/Director), and Color Blind (Editor).  

Brook Turner, Producer 

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Brook attended the University of California, Berkeley, as an undergraduate on a full athletic Track and Field scholarship. 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) and writer. Her primary interest is to make positive projects that shed light on underrepresented cultures. Brook currently hosts a blog, Thankful For A Million, and has other projects in development. 

Adam Hochstatter, Composer

Adam is a composer, producer, conductor, and arranger specializing in film, television, and video games. He attended Concordia College in Moorhead Minnesota, where he received his Bachelor of Music degree in Composition and then completed the Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television Program at the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California. There he studied and worked with distinguished composers such as Emmy-Award winner Bruce Broughton, Jack Smalley, Christopher Young, and Mike Reagan. Currently, Adam lives in Pasadena, California and has scored four documentary films and several shorts. Samples of Adam's film music along with the score for this trailer can be found here

Helen Elaine Lee, Story Advisor

Helen Elaine Lee is Professor of Fiction Writing in MIT’s Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies and a Writer in Residence with the Solstice Low-Residency MFA program at Pine Manor. She was educated at Harvard College and Harvard Law School. Her first novel, The Serpent's Gift, was published by Atheneum in 1994 and her second novel, Water Marked, was published by Scribner in 1999. She recently finished “Life Without,” a novel about the lives of ten people who are incarcerated in two neighboring U.S. prisons, and “The Hard Loss,” a novel about a DNA exoneree’s first week of freedom after 22 years of incarceration for a crime he did not commit. Stories from “Life Without” have appeared in Callaloo, Prairie Schooner, Hanging Loose, Best African American Fiction 2009 (Bantam Books), and solsticelitmag.org. A member of the Board of Directors of PEN New England, she serves on its Freedom to Write Committee and volunteers with its Prison Creative Writing Program.

Mark J. Harris, Directing Advisor

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; Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport, which also won an Academy Award for Best Feature Length Documentary; Unchained Memories: Readings from the Slave Narratives, an Emmy-nominated HBO documentary; and Darfur Now, which won a Christopher and an NAACP Image Award.  He is Principle Investigator on "Interacting with Autism," a federally sponsored project to create a website that focuses on the best treatments for autism.

Kate Amend, Editing Advisor

In December 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. Amend also received the 2001 American Cinema Editors’ Eddie award for Into the Arms of Strangers, and edited the 2001 Oscar-nominated documentary short On Tiptoe: Gentle Steps to Freedom. Other credits include First Position (Toronto International Film Festival, 2011), One Lucky Elephant (Best Documentary Editing - 2010 Woodstock Film Festival); Steal a Pencil for Me (2007), which screened at the United Nations, South by Southwest, Berlin and Kagali Film Festivals; Man From Plains (2007), directed by Jonathan Demme, and a triple- award winner at the 2007 Venice Film Festival. 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 the University of Southern California, is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Cinema Editors. She holds degrees from the University of California, Berkeley and San Francisco State University.

Stay tuned for 1 more Advisor bio coming shortly! 

Why Kickstarter? 

We’ve been shooting at MIT since August of 2011, and recently filmed 14 days in Nigeria. Seeing as our film takes place over the course of 4 years, we have a great deal of work ahead of us. So far, we’ve funded the project ourselves. Now we need your help. 

How Your Funds Will Be Used

Your donation will fund a whole year of production in 2013 at MIT and abroad. We will be able to pay for crew members to come on board when we film at MIT, to help us make a high quality film. We will be able to pay for travel expenses next summer to the students homes in Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Rwanda where we’ll film their families and the backgrounds that shaped their ambitions, and tech projects they undertake there. The funds will also pay for production insurance, transcription and translation fees (we have filmed scenes in languages such as Swahili, French, Igala and Pidgin-English), as well as production supplies like tapes, batteries and harddrives. Every dollar you donate will help us tell this story in the depth and richness it deserves. Also, on Kickstarter, if we don't make our target no pledges get collected, and we get nothing - so chip in whatever you can to help us reach our goal.

Unable to Donate? 

You can still participate in making this film in the following ways:

  • Spread the word about the film and this fundraiser! 
  • Connect us with organizations that would be interested in using this film in an education related mission
  • Check out the film's production blog: www.onedayitoogofly.com/blog and drop us a comment
  • Keep up to date with us on Twitter: @onedayitoogofly
  • Email us with feedback and thoughts: arthur@onedayitoogofly.com

Thank you for helping us make this film!

Risks and challenges

We have provided conservative delivery date estimates for the film rewards we are offering to account for possible production and post-production delays:
*JUNE 2016 for the full feature-length documentary ONE DAY I TOO GO FLY
*DECEMBER 2013 for the short spinoff documentary XRL, about the revolutionary Robotics program that our character Philip taught as an MIT student initiative in Nigeria last summer.

Should any additional unforeseen delays crop up, we will update you promptly.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • Yes. Go ahead and process the contribution with your details. And then send us a note via Kickstarter or at arthur@onedayitoogofly.com to let us know which portion of your contribution should be in your name, and which portion a gift in someone else's name.

    If there rewards are confusing, just send us a note with your question, and we'll get right back to you.

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  • Click on the green "Back This Project" button to the right of our project video. Follow the steps Kickstarter will walk you through. Email us at arthur@onedayitoogofly.com if you run into any issues.

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  • Yes, just log back into your Kickstarter account and edit your details before this campaign's deadline of 9.07am EST on December 19th, 2012.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    20 backers

    THANK YOU: Every dollar counts and you have our gratitude for your support.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    49 backers

    YOUR NAME ON OUR WEBSITE:
    We'll list your name on a Thank You page on the film's website.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $20 or more

    14 backers

    HELLO PENPAL:
    (1) Postcard designed for the Film mailed from Cambridge, MA by director. (2) Thank You listing on the film's website.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $20 or more

    16 backers

    F-1 VISA STICKER: (1) For international students in the US, the F-1 visa is a story in it's own right. Your own "F-1" Visa Sticker (3.3"x2.17") to commemorate your life and times as an exchange student in the US or elsewhere in the world. (2) Thank you listing on the film's website by JAN 2013.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    60 backers

    KEEP IT DIGITAL:
    (1) Digital Download of an early piece of the ONE DAY I TOO GO FLY story - a standalone short film about XRL, an MIT student initiative to revolutionize education in Nigerian through robotics, which our character Philip instructed, by DEC 2013. (2) Thank You listing on the film's website, by JAN 2013.

    Estimated delivery:
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    Pledge $50 or more

    45 backers

    A SHORT FILM AND A POSTCARD:
    (1) DVD Copy or Digital Download of an early piece of the ONE DAY I TOO GO FLY story - a standalone short film about XRL, an MIT student initiative to revolutionarize education in Nigerian through robotics, which our character Philip instructed, by DEC 2013. (2) Postcard designed for the Film by JUNE 2013. (3) Thank You listing on the film's website by JAN 2013.

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    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    13 backers

    DIGITAL DOUBLE PAK:
    1) Digital Copy of the ONE DAY I TOO GO FLY film upon completion by JUNE 2016 (2) Digital Download of an early piece of the ONE DAY I TOO GO FLY story - a standalone short film about XRL, an MIT student initiative to revolutionarize education in Nigerian through robotics, which our character Philip instructed, due DEC 2013.
    (3) Postcard designed for the Film by JUNE 2013.
    (4) Thank You listing on the film's website by JAN 2013.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    49 backers

    DVD DOUBLE PAK: (1) DVD copy of the final ONE DAY I TOO GO FLY film upon completion by JUNE 2016. (2) DVD Copy of of an early piece of the ONE DAY I TOO GO FLY story - a standalone short about XRL, an MIT student initiative to revolutionarize education in Nigeria through robotics, which our character Philip instructed, by DEC 2013. (3) Postcard designed for the Film by JUNE 2013. (4) Thank You listing on the film's website by JAN 2013.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $125 or more

    3 backers Limited (247 left of 250)

    WEARABLE INSPIRATION: (1) Limited Edition ONE DAY I TOO GO FLY T-Shirt featuring 1 of the 5 characters & an inspiring quote from them. You get to pick your inspiration - Sante, Fidelis, Billy, Philip or Mosa, by JUNE 2013. (2) The DIGITAL DOUBLE PAK from the $75 level (Digital copies of the feature film & the short film, the postcard, and website thanks) with respective delivery dates.

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    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    6 backers Limited (244 left of 250)

    WEARABLE INSPIRATION TAKE 2:
    (1) Limited Edition ONE DAY I TOO GO FLY T-Shirt featuring 1 of the 5 characters & an inspiring quote from them. You get to pick your inspiration - Sante, Fidelis, Billy, Philip or Mosa, by JUNE 2013. (2) the DVD DOUBLE PAK from the $100 level (DVD copies of the feature film & the short film, the postcard, and website thanks) with respective delivery dates.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $200 or more

    7 backers Limited (23 left of 30)

    PHOTO PRINT:
    (1) Limited Edition Print of Film Still, signed by the students and crew. (2) Everything from the $150 level (T-shirt, DVD copies of the feature film & the short film, the postcard, and website thanks) with respective delivery dates.

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    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    4 backers Limited (46 left of 50)

    POSTER PRINT:
    (1) A Director-Signed Print of the Limited Edition Early Film Poster featuring 1 of the 5 characters. You get to pick - Sante from Tanzania, Fidelis from Zimbabwe, Billy from Rwanda, or Philip or Mosa from Nigeria. (2) Everything from the $150 level (T-shirt, DVD copies of the feature film & the short film, the postcard, and website thanks) with respective delivery dates.

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    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    9 backers Limited (11 left of 20)

    NAME ON THE SCREEN:
    (1) Your Name in a Dedicated Section of the Film Credits. (2) Everything at the $250 level (Poster, T-shirt, DVD copies of the feature film & the short film, the postcard, and website thanks) with respective delivery dates.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    2 backers Limited (18 left of 20)

    SNEAK PEEK:
    (1) Preview of work-in-progress scenes from the feature film. (2) Everything from the $500 level (Film Thanks, Poster, T-shirt, DVD copies of the feature film & the short film, the postcard, and website thanks) with respective delivery dates.

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    Pledge $2,000 or more

    1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)

    DINNER WITH FILMMAKER:
    (1) The director Arthur takes you out to Dinner in Boston, MA (Travel not included). (2) Everything at the $1000 level (Preview scenes, Film Thanks, Poster, T-shirt, DVD copies of the feature film & the short film, the postcard, and website thanks) with respective delivery dates.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $5,000 or more

    0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)

    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER:
    (1) Associate Producer Credit in the Film (in place of other credits) and 2 Tickets to a Festival Screening of the Film (travel & lodging not included). (2) Everything at the $2000 level (Dinner in Boston, Preview scenes, Film Thanks, Poster, T-shirt, DVD copies of the feature film & the short film, the postcard, and website thanks) with respective delivery dates.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $10,000

    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER:
    (1) Executive Producer Credit in Film (in place of other credits) & with yearly project updates from the director, Arthur. (2) Everything at the $5000 level (Festival Tickets, Dinner in Boston, Preview scenes, Film Thanks, Poster, T-shirt, DVD copies of the feature film & the short film, the postcard, and website thanks) with respective delivery dates.

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (30 days)