‘Picturing Independence: A Positive Revolution’ is a year-long production initiative to create a group of short films that celebrate the Sierra Leone of yesterday and today. As a country Sierra Leone is celebrating its 50th Anniversary of Independence on April 27th 2011. The films are being created by a group of young Sierra Leoneans who are a part of a film/video collective called WeOwnTV (which roughly translates to “Our Own TV” in Sierra Leonean Krio).
Who and what is WeOwnTV?
WeOwnTV is a collaborative media project launched by the filmmakers of the award-winning documentary “Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars.” In August 2009, Banker White and a small North American filmmaking team ran a storytelling and media production training workshop in Sierra Leone. Many of the workshop participants had their childhoods cut cruelly short by war; and as survivors, orphans, ex-combatants or former child prostitutes this opportunity to share their stories and creativity is not taken lightly. For the group, creating media provides an opportunity to unite their community in a cooperative effort while envisioning a future lit by optimism and resilience. Today, WeOwnTV has grown to become an active collaboration between filmmakers in North America and these talented filmmakers based in Freetown,
What will the films be about?
As part of the initiative, both narrative and documentary films are going to be produced. These works explore the idea of independence and rebuilding a positive national and cultural identity. The project has already received the honor of being selected as one of the programs officially endorsed by the Sierra Leone 50th Anniversary Committee.
One example of a film that is currently in post-production is titled, They Resisted. This is period piece set in the early days of the slave trade in Sierra Leone. It tells the story of a slave revolt in Africa and explores aspects of West African culture pre-contact. The team is working with local historians at the national museum of Sierra Leone. It was a major production that had a cast of more than forty actors and required a strong collaborative community effort with Kent Village – where the film was filmed. Many local villagers also acted in the piece.
Where can I learn more about the project? Please visit our official website, www.weowntv.org. You can read more about the individual filmmakers and their projects on the site. Please reach out to the filmmakers themselves by registering and commenting on their work.
FAQs: In case you’re wondering how all this works, here some more info:
Is my pledge amount publicly displayed? Yes, according to our award levels, we will acknowledge you via our social networks. However, if you wish to remain anonymous, just let us know and we can keep our thanks private.
If I donate, when can I redeem the incentive? All incentives, big and small, will only happen if our goal is met.
Can we exceed the goal? YES! This would truly be amazing. Exceeding our goal would allow us to create more films and address other equipment needs. Kickstarter will allow as much money as is given before the deadline. This is only the beginning of our journey as a production company and more support will just help us grow. We have set our goal at the low end so if we were able to exceed it, it would be a dream come true and it would allow us to get more of the film done.
Can I increase my pledge once it’s been made? YES! Once you donate to our campaign, you may want to change your incentive reward to a different one, or increase your pledge amount. To do so, go to Kickstarter and sign in. If you go to our campaign page, the green “Back This Project” button has been replaced with a blue “Manage Your Donation” button. Click it and you can enter a new amount, or choose a new incentive.
What happens if the money isn’t raised in time? If our goal isn’t met before the deadline, no money changes hands and we go back to the fundraising drawing board. We want to avoid this scenario at all costs!
Who does the money go to? Every penny (minus the fees for Kickstarter’s involvement) will go directly to the production of “‘Picturing Independence: A Positive Revolution’ short films - i.e. Your money goes directly to the cost of creating these short films.
How do we contact you? Glad you asked! Please go contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will quickly get back to you!
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