"The spirits talk with the faithful. They hug them, hold them, feed them, chastise them. Group and individual problems are aired through interaction with the spirits. Strife is healed and misunderstandings rectified."
-Karen McCarthy Brown, "Mama Lola"
A year ago, Odessa and her mother went to Haiti to visit family. There was an earthquake. Odessa returned, her mother did not. While Odessa's father struggles to understand the death of his wife, retreating into work and solitude, he leaves his nineteen year old daughter to take on the role of parent to two younger siblings. Odessa's understanding of her mother's death holds a different meaning, which drives her to look deeper for answers and guidance.
"Lwa, A Chorus of Voices" is an original script written and soon to be directed by Dehanza Rogers, a student in UCLA's MFA Directing program. The film will be shot on 16mm film.
WHY A FILM ABOUT HAITIAN VODOU?
We’ve seen Haitian Vodou in films before, but it’s been fetishized and distorted to serve narratives about the outsider caught up in the savagery or mystery of beating drums, animal sacrifices, and zombies. We can’t forget zombies. Rarely, do we see the religion through the eyes and point of view of the practitioner, the believer or within the everyday lives of ordinary people.
What role does Vodou play in not only personal inner conflicts, but in external conflicts between father and daughter, sister and brothers? "Lwa, A Chorus of Voices," a magical realist film about lwa, Haitian spirits, in the everyday lives of a family at a crossroads.
This film explores the tangible connection between religion and our personal choices, the boring daily ones to life changing choices. It explores how these choices are informed and influenced by family, identity and culture. Think of the of the lwa as the Greek Chorus, warning and advising characters or giving a gentle push, even a shove, in the right direction.
Making a film isn't cheap. When you pledge funds to this film, you are entering into the collaborative process of filmmaking. No one person makes a film, it takes a crew. Your generous support will include you as part of that crew. Our total budget is closer to $10,000 and Kickstarter is an all or nothing community, so we're aiming low in the hopes that we'll be funded well beyond our goal.
Funding goes into:
1. FILM: The purchasing of 16mm film stock, the development of that film and HD Conversion, transferring the film into a digital format.
2. CAST & CREW: While the bulk of the core roles of the crew will be filled with talented and dedicated classmates, there are some positions that will be staffed by specialized and PAID individuals. Your contribution makes it possible to staff these positions, like a costume designer, a production designer and security, just to name a few. Oh and actors! We can't forget actors.
3. FOOD: We must feed the cast and crew breakfast and lunch everyday, as well as having craft services available throughout the day. There will be at least 20 individuals on set each day, which means at least 120 meals during the entire shoot.
4. LOCATION: The perfect location isn't always your friend's house, unfortunately. The cost of the perfect location can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. Your support will help ensure we can afford that perfect location, once we come across it.
5. EQUIPMENT: While we are provided with some equipment, there is specialized equipment we'll have to rent, ranging from a dolly and dolly tracks to extra lights.
6. PRODUCTION DESIGN: Film is a visual medium. Creating a believable and cohesive world is imperative and makes all the difference in the production value of a film. For those items we can't rent from prop shops, we'll have to buy or create ourselves, either way money is involved.
7. POST PRODUCTION: Color Correction, Titles, Sound Design, Foley, Mixing and Mastering, DVD Artwork and Creation
8. MARKETING/FESTIVALS: After it's all said and done, we'd like to submit to festivals, which can be pricey. Those costs can be as high as $50 a pop per festival.
We're so excited to be offering rewards from a variety of extremely talented and just down right cool people. We'll add more details about the rewards soon.
THE PEOPLE INVOLVED
You can learn more about the film, the filmmaker, the artists and the crew working on this film at:
Lwa, A Chorus of Voices - http://www.achorusofvoices.com
Her Celluloid Self - http://www.hercelluloidself.com
Thank you for your interest and feel free to contact us. We love talking to people. Honest.
- (30 days)