From two years living and working in Nakom, Ghana, to crafting an authentic and ambitious script, to the hard fight for production financing, to shooting-the-impossible-shoot over more than 2 months in a village with no electricity – a feat made possible ONLY through the teamwork of hundreds of Nakom’s villagers and our small, determined crew – our dream of the feature film NAKOM has been 8 years in the making, and is now in the home stretch!
The unique Making-Of this film (Part 1):
What the Story Means to Us
With its quick-witted dialogue, bold characters, and universal themes, NAKOM aims to challenge and broaden Western notions of what it means to be African. This is not a story that reduces life in Africa to violence, starvation, or turmoil. Instead, we see family dynamics play out – sometimes serious, sometimes playful. We see the contrasts between village-life tradition and city-life ambition. We see gender politics, tired hierarchies, dorm room romance, and so much more that lays bare the universal.
It's that desire to reveal commonalities that lifts NAKOM beyond the village that's its namesake, to tell a story that's taking place right now in villages across Ghana and the entire developing world; a story about the human yearning for more.
Status & Goal
After a challenging and miraculous 4-month Ghanaian production phase, and with 60 hours of footage in the can, we are ready to finish this film and make the villagers of Nakom proud. Only, there’s one obstacle standing in our way: FUNDING. For NAKOM to reach its potential, we need to cover all of the following:
- an editor and facility costs
- a colorist (to enhance the visual quality – a must for a film shot in the sun that’s exposing for darker skin tones)
- sound design
- a score
- music/media rights
- festival fees, prints, and marketing materials
- travel for two key Ghanaian collaborators, lead actor Jacob Ayanaba and producer Isaac Awinimi, to attend the World Premiere of the film (a gigantic boon for any indie film on the circuit)
With its unique setting, high production value, and globally relevant story, we believe this film has everything it takes to succeed on the festival circuit. The above list will elevate our footage to a professional standard and help position NAKOM for top-tier film festivals, with the goal of seeking distribution and reaching a mass audience.
This is the 2nd Feature Film from filmmaking team Kelly Daniela Norris and Travis Pittman. The first – SOMBRAS DE AZUL – premiered at the Austin Film Festival in October 2013, winning the Audience Award in its category. Pittman served with the Peace Corps in the village of Nakom, and wrote the script through close collaboration with Isaac Awinimi – the talented and tenacious Nakom-native who is also the film’s Producer. In his third collaboration with the directors, the unstoppable Bob Geile ran the camera, and Production Manager Alicia Sully kept us all alive, healthy, and pumping out the epic story’s more than 150 scenes.
For more info on the team behind the film, feel free to check out www.nakomfilm.com
And for press coverage on SOMBRAS --> www.shadesofbluefilm.com/press
The Village of Nakom
At its heart, NAKOM is the story of that community. To ensure that this film has real-world results, we have pledged a 5% stake of film revenue to entrepreneurs and farmers in Nakom through its tribal chief. (To be clear, this is a share of revenue from a potential commercial release of the film, NOT a distribution of Kickstarter funds.)
We want this film to fly. We want our amazingly talented lead actor to have a lasting career. We want the whole village of Nakom to reap the benefits of their hard work and sacrifice. And that all starts here, with you.
Please, even if you can’t monetarily donate, share our campaign and the story of this film via Facebook, Twitter, email, or even (in true Ghana-style) in person.
We need your help.
Now YOU can take home a little piece of Nakom tradition because thanks to our production team in Nakom, we come bearing one-of-a-kind, hand-made gifts!!! All of the following rewards were produced especially for this film by cast & crew in Nakom and the neighboring town of Pusiga, and we're delighted to share them with you. (Photos by Cinthia Castilla)
- NAKOM is the first ever feature film in the Kusaal language (the wikipedia is all about goats for some reason)
- Kusaal is not standardized as a written language, so most actors learned their lines orally
- The cast is entirely local - talented nonactors who are nearly all from Nakom
- Malaria was a problem throughout the shoot, with some cast/crew members contracting the mosquito-borne disease multiple times
- Quality 9V batteries are impossible to find in Ghana (shout-out to Sound Man Paul Woo-Hoogenstyn!)
- Nakom's subsistence farmers rely on an annual millet harvest to feed their families throughout the year; a present-day example of an ancient way of living
- There's no electricity or running water in Nakom, but you can access Facebook from a mobile phone (a debate-worthy observation)
- The film was blessed by elders and traditional priests of the Kusasi tribe
Risks and challenges
The big risks are behind us, but funding will continue to be a challenge.
This is an expensive business, where a film is too often judged by the size of its budget and stars rather than the content of its story. But, having already executed a production phase far greater than our resources, the entire NAKOM team welcomes that challenge. As we continue to pursue grant opportunities and industry support, funding raised through Kickstarter would give us a phenomenal push through post-production. If we make our goal, expect “Push Goals” to crop up shortly after, with new rewards and specific details of what could be done with just a little more support.
Thanks for reading, watching, and spreading the word!!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (45 days)