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Paa Joe & The Lion is a feature length documentary about the 'Grandfather of Ghana's Fantasy Coffin trade'
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348 backers pledged £22,612 to help bring this project to life.
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£22,612

348

Thank you for helping us hit the £20k mark so that our project will be funded!!

But... don't stop now! You can still be a part of our successful project and make our Paa Joe film even better. Any additional pledges now will help us achieve some of our dreams for the film. Our main aim was simply to raise enough money to finish the film - working to a really tight budget and time-frame to make the best possible documentary we could. Anything over and above £20k allows us to dream a little bigger. Here's what we will spend the extra money on:

Music Licences Ben loves the music of Ghanaian music legend Ebo Taylor. He has been editing footage to specific tracks for months, with your help we could afford to license those tracks for use in the film.

A Creative Commission Another dream goal has been to work with Benjamin Zephaniah. If we raise £2000 over the target we could commission him to write and perform a specific piece, adding his beautiful words and art to the film.

Lots more! Those are just two of the things which money raised over the £20k target will go towards. Funds raised will also help pay for the marketing and promotion of the film to get it as big an audience as possible, events such as the gala night, post-production and more - all helping tell Paa Joe's story in the best possible way and to the biggest audience we can.

SO, WHAT'S THE PROJECT?
A new documentary currently in production that celebrates master craftsman and fantasy coffin pioneer, Paa Joe.

Paa Joe & The Lion looks at an artist at work, the highs and lows of being an artisan and keeping traditions alive. It also documents Ga culture and examines how we look at life and death both in Ghana and around the world.

Director Ben has made several journeys to Ghana, but now we need your help to complete the story of Paa Joe and finish the film.

The past 4 years have been full of;  pitches to TV and film commissioners, documentary masterclasses all over Europe, the building of a lion coffin in an English country park and first-hand experience of a real Ga funeral.

It's been an incredible adventure and we're so close to finishing the film! All we need now is enough money to fly back to Ghana for one last shoot before the editing begins...

We've had some great press coverage for the film & this Kickstarter campaign, so you can read more about Paa Joe & our documentary story here:
- Little White Lies
- Huffington Post
- Laughing Squid


HOLD ON! WHAT IS A FANTASY COFFIN?
The movement began in the 1950s when two young carpenters made their grandma an aeroplane-shaped coffin to fulfill her lifelong wish to fly. Now, skilled craftsmen create unique coffins that represent the life or status of the departed. For example, Paa Joe's work includes lions for tribal chiefs, chilli peppers, eagles, cameras, canons, mobile phones & even cola bottles for soda pop sellers.

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT PAA JOE?
The finest living Ghanaian craftsman of his kind, Paa Joe has trained every great coffin maker in Accra. He is an artist who learnt the craft from the man who began it all: his Uncle, Kane Kwei. But his beautiful, detailed works of art are usually only seen by a few people. Each coffin can take months to make. But sometimes the paint is barely dry before they are out of the workshop and, only moments later, they are buried forever.

WHY ARE WE ON KICKSTARTER?
We believe that Paa Joe's work should be celebrated and shared and we need your help to finish the film and document this fascinating story.

We have made 5 trips to Ghana and gained Arts Council support to enable Paa Joe to visit the UK for the first time. And we were filming all the way. Now, we need to make one last journey back to Ghana. We need to find out how the film and Paa Joe's story ends!

We are raising £20,000 which will pay for:

  • Equipment hire 
  • Flights for the crew 
  • Accommodation
  • Insurance
  • Food and much more during our stay
  • Editing
  • Post-production
  • Getting into cinemas!

Funding from our Kickstarter campaign will also allow us to start the process of final editing and post-production on the film to get it into cinemas and on screens across the world.

HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Fund the film, become a part of #TeamPaaJoe and encourage others to get involved. As independent filmmakers, we rely on the support of our community.

By funding Paa Joe & The Lion you can help make a unique film, celebrate and share the beautiful work of a true artist and tell the world about Ghana's fascinating culture and history.

In return we’ve got some great rewards on offer to say thank you for your support. Check out the amazing imagery, miniature coffins and other supercool merchandise on the rest of the Kickstarter page.

See more at our Tumblr blog by clicking here.

TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW!
Spread the word! FACEBOOK!  TWITTER!  TUMBLR!  Tell people you bump into in the street!  Tell the barista at you local coffee place.  TELL ANYONE & EVERYONE!!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

READ MORE

BBC NEWS
THE INDEPENDENT
JUXTAPOZ MAGAZINE
PAUL SMITH BLOG

WHO WE ARE
Director Ben Wigley (in the pic above with Paa Joe himself!) runs his own production company, Artdocs, and has worked for BBC, Tate, National Trust and Oxfam. His previous short film, PS Your Mystery Sender won a number of awards and was selected for festivals including SXSW and Sheffield Doc/Fest.

Producer Anna Griffin works for Wellington Films and has been involved with productions including Bronson and Only God Forgives.

Exec Producer Brian Hill is Managing Director of Century Films and has won numerous Grierson awards as a director and also as an executive producer - see his IMDB page here

Associate Producer The Rt Hon Lord Boateng of Akyem in Ghana and Wembley in the United Kingdom on Paa Joe & The Lion:

"Paa Joe's story deserves to be told. A great son of Ghana..his work exemplifies a rich culture in which ancient traditional craftsmanship and modern aspirational or symbolic artefacts combine in the rituals of death to produce individual works of art which demand wider recognition and dissemination.

“It is right that a cinematic craftsman of Ben Wigley's stature should have taken up the challenge. I for one am glad to give this exciting venture my support. At last a coffin I can enjoy!"

The film project has been supported throughout it's development by Creative England and CBA WorldView and was a participating project in 2012's Documentary Campus Masterschool.  Paa Joe's dream of making a coffin in the UK came true with the support of Arts Council England.

WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR MONEY IF WE DON'T HIT THE TARGET
Kickstarter is all or nothing so if we don't hit £20,000 by Tuesday 12th November, your card won't be charged and we won't receive any money pledged.

Risks and challenges

• Part of the excitement of this project is that we do not know exactly what situation we will find when we land in Ghana. We want to make this last trip to complete Paa Joe’s story as it stands. But we can never be 100% certain of how our documentary will end.

• Independent film making in the UK is very challenging at the moment and much of the funding that helped develop this project (please see Acknowledgement/Thanks) is no longer available to help complete the film. That is why we have turned to the Kickstarter community. And that's why we need YOU!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £1 or more About US$ 2

    Online roarrrrrr!
    A shout-out and heartfelt thank you from the team on our Twitter, Facebook and blog

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge £15 or more About US$ 20

    Be the first to own the film!
    High quality download as soon as the film is released + Amy Blackwell's PAA JOE & THE LION A5 art print + An online thank you

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £25 or more About US$ 33

    Totes-Amaze! OR Time for Tee!
    Gorgeous Amy Blackwell designed PAA JOE & THE LION tote bag / t-shirt + High quality download of the film + An online thank you

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    Limited 103 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £35 or more About US$ 46

    Great Ghana!
    Very limited edition numbered still of Ghana from the film + High quality download + An online thank you

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    Limited 20 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £50 or more About US$ 65

    Amazing Bundle! Get yourself a full pack of Paa Joe merch - a fab Amy Blackwell designed lion Tote Bag AND an Amy B T-shirt AND an A5 Art Print AND stickers! + High quality download of the film + An online thank you. WHEW what a bundle!

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £60 or more About US$ 78

    Just for you! A unique, personal video thank you message from Paa Joe and Jacob + High quality download of the film + An online thank you

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    Limited 2 backers
    £

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £100 or more About US$ 130

    VIP Pass to a gala screening of the film* and drink with director Ben Wigley before and after the event + High quality download of the film + An online thank you

    *travel not included

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    Limited 11 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £400 or more About US$ 518

    Totally ROAR-some!!! A very limited edition lion sculpture (a miniature version of the coffin) hand-crafted & signed by Paa Joe + DVD of the film when it is released + A SPECIAL THANKS in the credits of the film + A5 PAA JOE & THE LION artwork signed by Ben + An online thank you
    * Half your pledge will go directly to Paa Joe *

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge £800 or more About US$ 1,035

    Exclusive 3 day film-making masterclass with award winning filmmaker Ben Wigley* + DVD of the film when it is ready + Photos from the production + PAA JOE & THE LION and PS YOUR MYSTERY SENDER (short film by Ben) as high quality downloads + An online thank you to top it off! Plus a SPECIAL THANKS in the credits of the film

    * Travel not included - the masterclass will be hosted in Nottingham

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    Limited 1 backer
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge £5,000 or more About US$ 6,464

    You're now the Top Dog in Team Paa Joe, welcome aboard! EXECUTIVE PRODUCER credit in the film + A DVD + Photo Post Card from our last trip to Ghana + signed A5 PAA JOE & THE LION print + a VIP ticket to a gala screening and drinks with Ben before and after* travel not included.

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  11. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £40 or more About US$ 52

    Ultra limited edition Amy Blackwell designed A3 PAA JOE & THE LION Grand Finale Poster signed by Director Ben Wigley, as seen in Paa Joe's workshop (only 6 signed in the world!!) + High quality download of the film + An online thank you

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    Reward no longer available 6 backers
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  12. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £230 or more About US$ 298

    You're a Star!! Miniature sculpture of one of Ghana's most loved drinks, Star Lager! Handmade by the one & only Paa Joe himself. It doesn't open but it looks great on the drinks cabinet! This sculpture is an exclusive one-of-a-kind and YOU can own it! + A SPECIAL THANK YOU in the credits of the film

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    Reward no longer available 1 backer
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  13. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £250 or more About US$ 324

    You're a Star too! A beautiful hand crafted miniature coffin in the style of one of Ghana's most loved drinks, Star Lager! Hand made and donated exclusively to the campaign by the one & only Paa Joe himself. These are hinged & open from the front...store your beer tokens in there! Plus at THANK YOU in the credits of the film.

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  14. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £300 or more About US$ 388

    ONE OF A KIND VIP PASS to Doc/Fest! Grab yourself a golden ticket to the legendary film festival with a full Delegate Pass to Sheffield Doc/Fest 2014 - PLUS exclusive behind-the-scenes tour with festival Deputy Director, Charlie Philips AND a one-to-one chat. Exclusive access to the "Cannes for documentary people" + A THANK YOU in the credits of the film and online ***Huge thanks to the kind folks at Doc/Fest ***

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  15. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £1,500 or more About US$ 1,939

    You're a producer now! ASSOCIATE PRODUCER credit in the film + DVD + A5 signed PAA JOE & THE LION print + personal photo postcard + VIP invite to Gala screening* travel not included

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    Reward no longer available 3 backers
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Funding period

- (35 days)