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Join the historic and inspiring journey of a community who never gave up hope of finding out who they truly were.
Join the historic and inspiring journey of a community who never gave up hope of finding out who they truly were.
190 backers pledged $15,826 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

The Jews of Ghana: From the Four Corners of the Earth project video thumbnail
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$15,826

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THE STORY

For centuries, a community located in a rural and remote area of Ghana known as the Sefwis, have been practicing a religion unique to any of those around them. Only in the last twenty years, did they discover that the religion they’ve been following all this time was Judaism. They also discovered something even more profound: They weren’t alone. Millions of people around the globe were following the very same religion. 

From the Four Corners of the Earth takes us through the Sefwis’ journey of self-discovery – not just the journey of their past, but the journey they are about to embark on: their very first trip to Israel.

Kofi leading services in synagogue
Kofi leading services in synagogue

WE ARE NOW FUNDRAISING FOR OUR FIRST PHASE OF PRODUCTION IN GHANA 

TODAY, WE'RE ASKING FOR YOUR SUPPORT TO HELP US SHOOT OUR FIRST PHASE OF PRODUCTION IN GHANA IN EARLY 2013. 

Our first phase of production will focus on the Sefwis' telling their story - their journey of discovering their Jewish roots. It will also paint a vivid picture of their life today. We will explore how Judaism has shaped who they are, their understanding of the world and their place within it.

We will have a small 2-person crew on this phase of production which will take place over 3 weeks.

Our first phase of production also includes key interviews with experts in African Jewish history and past visitors to the Sefwi Wiawso community.

A TRANSMEDIA APPROACH TO STORYTELLING

Using the tools of 21st century storytelling, we seek to enhance the creation of our stand-alone documentary film by employing techniques that use a variety of digital, social media and communications technologies to enable deeper and ongoing communication between the Sefwi community and those people around the world who can relate to their journey of self-discovery and quest for belonging.

Currently, we are looking to provide members of the Sefwi community with video-enabled smartphones and enable them to post their own video diaries online. If you are able to donate an old smartphone - please contact us! 

Rahel looking at a video she recorded on a flipcam
Rahel looking at a video she recorded on a flipcam

THIS IS NOT JUST A DOCUMENTARY. THIS IS A HISTORIC JOURNEY. AND YOU CAN BE A PART OF MAKING IT HAPPEN. 

With your support, not only can we shed light on this inspiring but little-known part of Jewish history, we can also fulfill the Sefwis' dream of connecting with the birthplace of their religion: Israel. For most of the community, this will be their first time ever stepping foot outside of Ghana.

PRODUCTION CREW


From the Four Corners of the Earth is not just a Jewish story or an African story. It’s a profoundly human story. Our human need to belong drives us to find and connect with one another. It’s a need so strong that it shrinks the distance between nations, between cultures, between people. 

It is our intent with this project to tell a story about a shrinking world: a world made smaller by people focusing on those things that bring them together rather than those things that push them apart.

Risks and challenges

The risks and challenges we face on this first phase of production in Ghana are quite minimal and strictly those associated with any low-budget production: travel or medical issues, equipment damage, emergencies etc.

Both travelling crew members (Gabrielle and John) have experience living and working in Ghana and are prepared for the problems we are likely to face. We also have a contingency in our budget for emergencies.

Another challenge we face on our production is that of the language barrier. Most of our friends in Sefwi Wiawso speak English - however, some speak it with greater ease than others. As such we will be conducting some of our interviews in the native language of the Sefwis (known as "Sefwi") or in the popular Ghanaian language Twi. With several members of the Sefwi Wiawso community actively involved on the film production, and the assistance of a hired translator - we believe we can overcome the language barriers we will face in production.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Thank you! Every donation counts! Shout out on Facebook and Twitter!

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    Pledge $18 or more About $18

    Thank you!! We will recognize your gift with a shout out on Twitter and Facebook! PLUS you will receive a personal thank you email from the Director, Gabrielle Zilkha.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Thank you! Shout out on Facebook and Twitter PLUS personal thank you email from director PLUS recognition on the documentary website for contributing to an historic journey!

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    32 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    All the recognition above PLUS recognition in film credits as a person who made this journey possible! You will also receive email updates from production in Ghana and Israel!

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    All of the recognition above PLUS a digital copy of the film (post-release)! PLUS digital booklet of production stills from the first phase of production in Ghana.

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    17 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    All of the recognition above but you have the option of receiving hard copy DVD of the film in place of digital download (post-release). PLUS those who donate $100 or more can join Director Gabrielle Zilkha and the leader of the Sefwi community and associate producer Alex Armah for a LIVE PRODUCTION UPDATE from Ghana on Google+ Hangouts!

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Above PLUS thank you phone call from Director Gabrielle Zilkha PLUS 2 tickets to premiere screening of the film (travel and accommodation not provided. Alternatively, we can offer you 1 ticket to see the film screened in the location closest to you). You will also receive admission to all events associated with the documentary project.

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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    All the rewards above PLUS a unique “kente-style” yamaka hand-made by a Sefwi Wiawso community member.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    All the rewards above PLUS we will place your handwritten “prayer note” into the cracks of the Western Wall in Israel (an age old Jewish tradition) in our second phase of production. We will capture the moment in a photograph and provide you with a print.

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

    All the rewards above PLUS Your name will be included amongst the names of the Sefwis on a custom-designed scroll that acknowledges the historic journey you have helped the Sefwis make to Israel. You will receive a copy of this scroll and it will be submitted to an historical archive in Israel. PLUS Private skype call with director and Alex Armah (leader of the community + associate producer) on location in Ghana for updates on production.

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

    All the rewards above PLUS Associate Producer credit. As an associate producer you are joining the team that will make this incredible journey possible! Spend a day in the editing room after the each phase of production, receive monthly updates on the project's progress and have your name included as part of the production crew on our website, media releases and in the film credits.

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Funding period

- (25 days)