One of the promising talents in the future of motion picture - Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting, Elephant, Milk) on Romas Zabarauskas
We Will Riot portrays the very unique predicament of today's youth generation in an insightful and clever way - John Cameron Mitchell (Shortbus, Rabbit Hole)
HOW KICKSTARTER WORKS...
We only get money if we'll reach $10.000 or more. If not, the money stays in your account. So support us, claim your perks, share the good news and help us reach our goal by May 4!
WHAT'S THE FILM ABOUT?
Luke is an up-and-coming DJ from an affluent New York family with a Lithuanian father and an African-American mother. When Luke hears from an estranged grandmother in Lithuania, he defies his parents and decides to visit this far-away country, flying straight to the capital city Vilnius. He falls in love with the city, a rebellious girl called Marta, and the local music scene - the beatmakers - promoted by an aggressive gay manager, Andy.
Luke's grandma's connections get him a deal with the municipality to become the manager of a new nightclub, and he takes up the challenge... but the deal turns out to be poisoned, forcing Luke to rebel in ways he never imagined.
WE WILL RIOT portrays the innovative Lithuanian beatmaking scene alongside the shady dealings of corrupt governments. Music production and spontaneous political protest explode together onscreen, fuelled by the internet and access to new technology in Eastern Europe.
HISTORY HAS NOT ENDED
We support and/or directly participate in peaceful protests around the globe, such as Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Vilnius. While the opinions of the filmmakers of WE WILL RIOT are different and complex, our main goal is to support and inspire peaceful protests and activism. Let's say that "riot" in the title is a metaphor for challenging the society we're living in, searching for an "exit" out of the corrupt system we're too numb to notice.
FILM IS NOT DEAD
Neither is KODAK, who gave us an impressive discount for their stock! We'll be shooting on our cinematographer's personal camera, a Super 16 Aaton Xterà. It's actually gonna be cheaper than a high tech digital shoot, trust us.
MIX NYC Queer Film Festival agreed to be our fiscal sponsor, which means we won't lose your money on taxes!
Check them out: http://www.mixnyc.org/
WHO ARE WE?
DIRECTOR Romas Zabarauskas
This openly gay 21-year-old Lithuanian film director captivated international audiences and caused a national scandal with his debut short film PORNO MELODRAMA, a Berlinale 2011 Panorama selection confronting Lithuania's homophobic legislation. Zabarauskas is currently studying film at Hunter College, New York City.
MUSIC SUPERVISOR Mark Splinter
Mark Splinter started his musical career in London running events and working on multimedia concepts for bands and producers. After moving to Lithuania in 2004, he quickly became one of the country's leading dance music promoters, most famous for introducing the English genre "dubstep". He has performed with and supported the local beatmakers, managed a nightclub, and is now focusing on his label Stableface, using his long A&R and entertainment management experience to develop innovations in film soundtrack production and music marketing.
AMBASSADORS Nell Constantinople, Jon Dieringer, Shannon Crawford Vinson, Vaiper, Jazzu, Denisas Kolomyckis, Marija Šilkūnaitė, Severija Paukštytė, Daphné Praud, Zoé Klein, Nadia Oesterreich, Julie Masselis, Lynn Thomas - these are the rad people who are helping us to reach you out.
Male lead - Ebeneezer Sowah - New Yorker DJ LUKE
Ebeneezer Nii Sowah was born in the New York borough of Queens, to parents hailing from Ghana and Equatorial Guinea. The actor was mentored by the late director, playwright and activist Titus Walker, who cast Ebeneezer as the lead in two of his Off-Broadway Ujamaa Black Theater plays. Transitioning to film, Ebeneezer won a scholarship from the notoriously selective acting coach Susan Batson, whose clients include Nicole Kidman and Juliette Binoche. Recently, this rising star landed leading roles in Brooklyn-based feature films “Radius”, “Life Among Valley People” and the short "Stalking Ghosts", all currently in post-production. He also just joined the cast of another Brooklyn-based project, the web series "Brooklyn is in Love" (2012).
Female lead – Vilma Kutavičiūtė – rebellious socialite MARTA
This upcoming 23-year-old Lithuanian actress will graduate from prestigious acting school The Russian Academy of Theatre Arts (GITIS) in Spring 2012. She starred in a short film “About Love” (2011) by Armenian director Anna Melikyan (director of Sundance, Berlinale awards winning “Mermaid”, 2007), a yet-to-be-released documentary of American photographer Leigh Ledare, as well as Romas Zabarauskas’ previous short film “Porno Melodrama”.
Supporting male - Šarūnas Zenkevičius – openly gay manager of the beatmakers - ANDY
This 21-year old actor is about to graduate from the Lithuanian Music and Theater Academy. He plays the main role in the unconventional "Brothers Karamazov" project, performed at Lithuanian prisons and monasteries. After minor roles in foreign productions (“George Cross Heroes”, “Unsere Mütter, Unsere Väter“), this handsome actor is ready for a serious debut.
Big Hollywood productions like "Defiance" (dir. Edward Zwick) with Daniel Craig or "Transiberian" (dir. Brad Anderson) with Woody Harrelson were shot in Lithuania because it's affordable. Now it's time to use what we learned from Hollywood, creating our own film community. Many of the Lithuanian crew members have honed their skills on big-scale American projects and will ensure high production values and quality.
Even more important is that everyone is highly involved in the creative process in our film. It would be difficult to imagine WE WILL RIOT without our music supervisor Mark Splinter and all of the beatmakers, as well as cinematographer Ville Piippo and editor Gintarė Sokelytė, to name only few. This is a project where everyone is respected and important—including you!
WHY ARE WE ASKING FOR YOUR MONEY?
Because no major producer or company will fund an openly anti-corruption film with a title like "We Will Riot"... even with support of such acclaimed artists as Gus Van Sant, John Cameron Mitchell, Bruce LaBruce, Jonas Mekas and Marie Losier (check out the unique rewards they promised for you!). With industry money we'd be subject to industry ideas of what's sellabe, and that leads to creative compromise. With your money, we will be responsible to you for making a meaningful and beautiful film. Sounds way better!
That's how much we need to shoot the New York part of the film this summer. We're currently raising funds for the rest, and Kickstarter boost would help for that too.
Crowdfunding perfectly fits the concept of direct democracy: if you like our project, vote YES by supporting us and sharing with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, email blast and why not life conversations, too.
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