Apr 14, 2015 7:30 AM ET

Archived: TYSON! – A narrative short film inspired by a true story: Tyson is a survivor. A defier. A foul-mouthed con man of sorts. And he’s only six years old.

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 14, 2015




Tyson is a survivor. A defier. A foul-mouthed con man of sorts. And he’s only six years old.



Tyson! is a narrative short film inspired by a true story.  After being admitted into a hospital close to death, Tyson survives, but the hospital fees are too much for his family to pay. In Kenya you must pay your bill in full before being released.  So Tyson and his mother begin to settle into the hospital indefinitely until one day she leaves and never returns for him.  Our film begins here.  Through the misadventures of this rambunctious six year old some major universal concerns are revealed in regards to healthcare, orphaned children, and poverty in the developing world.

the TEAM

Rebecca Ocampo (Writer/ Director)                                                                          

“This film is a dedication to my father, Ricardo Aguilar Ocampo.  He was a doctor.  Growing up in Harlan, Kentucky, I remember he would often head out of the clinic to do house calls for elderly or poor people who lived deep in the Appalachian Mountains.  He would come home with a sack of potatoes or some tomatoes from someone’s garden given to him in exchange for his service because they could not otherwise pay.  Yep, that’s my dad, coolest guy I know.”

Rebecca lives in Los Angeles as a dancer and actress.  She began her career as a New York Knicks City Dancer and has gone on to appear in over 20 national commercials as well as numerous television shows and independent films.  She is currently a performer for the Aqualillies, the world’s most glamorous synchronized swimming entertainment company.                                                                                    www.rebeccaocampo.com

Matthew Leutwyler (Producer)                                                                                        

After studying film at The San Francisco Art Institute, Matthew wrote and directed the cult-comedy/horror/musical DEAD AND BREAKFAST (SXSW 2004), starring Jeremy Sisto, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and David Carradine. The film went on to win over a dozen audience and best feature film awards around the world and was nominated for a prestigious Saturn Award. Since then he has produced or executive produced THE OH IN OHIO starring Parker Posey and Paul Rudd; LOWER LEARNING with Eva Longoria, Jason Biggs, and Rob Corddry; AGAINST THE CURRENT with Joseph Fiennes,Mary Tyler Moore and Justin Kirk (Sundance 2009); the Matthew Broderick and Sanaa Lathan drama WONDERFUL WORLD (Tribeca 2010); EVERY DAY, starring Helen Hunt, and Liev Schreiber (Tribeca 2011); SUPER (Toronto 2012) starring Rainn Wilson and Ellen Page; and the comedy-drama THE GIRL MOST LIKELY,starring Kristen Wiig and Annette Benning .  Leutwyler also directed the adaptation of the acclaimed novel THE RIVER WHY starring William Hurt, Zach Gilford, and Amber Heard, and the ensemble drama ANSWERS TO NOTHING starring Dane Cook, Barbara Hershey, and Julie Benz. Recently he completed the sci-fi drama UNCANNY, starring Mark Webber, Lucy Griffiths, and Rainn Wilson; and is currently developing DARK WATERS, a thriller set against the world of Nigerian oil piracy.

Outside of his career as a filmmaker Matthew works as a mentor with the Los Angeles based non-profit The Young Storytellers Foundation. He is also the founder of the non-profit organization We Are Limitless, which is moving children out of orphanages in Rwanda and the Congo and into boarding schools.  Matthew travels to Africa 3 to 4 times a year to check on the student’s progress, supplying them with healthcare and other basic needs while promoting critical thinking and independence.


Eric Kabera (Rwanda Producer) with Kwetu Film Institute

Eric Kabera is the founder and owner of the Kwetu Film Institute as well as the founder and president of the Rwanda Cinema Center, both organizations that aim to promote the country’s film industry.   The RCC is best known for organizing the annual Rwanda Film Festival. The Rwanda Film Festival, nicknamed “Hillywood” due to Rwanda’s nickname of “Land of a Thousand Hills”, is a traveling festival. Due to Eric’s desire to show the films to as large of an audience as possible, the festival is held not only in the capital of Kigali, but the films, especially ones made by Rwandan filmmakers, are also shown on large inflatable screens in rural areas throughout the country.  Recently he completed the documentary INTORÉ, following a group of men and women who have given the Rwandan culture a new dimension of Identity and celebration post genocide.


the GOAL

To create a beautifully engaging film that sparks the humanity within our viewers and creates an open discussion towards problem solving  human rights issues in relation to poverty and healthcare.  We believe that films are great UNIVERSAL tools for STORYTELLING and affecting GREAT CHANGE IN THE WORLD.

why are we shooting A KENYA FILM IN RWANDA?

We have many reasons for shooting in Rwanda and not Kenya.  Rwanda is a very safe country.  Because of the genocide in 1994, there is no tolerance for violence.  On the other hand, Kenya is a very unstable country right now, as proven earlier this month when an Al-Shabaab terrorist attack killed 148 people at a university.

We have traveled to Rwanda many times over the past few years and feel extremely adapted. We know the lay of the land, how to communicate and get around, and we have great relationships and resources there.

Rwanda is also one of the fastest developing countries in the world and its major cities are diverse.  This means we can cast Kenyan actors, hire crew, and we’ll even have access to some of the equipment we need.  Also, Western Kenya looks very much like our location in Rwanda.  The authenticity of our film will remain uncompromised.

AND, by shooting in Rwanda instead of say, somewhere like the United States, we get to  provide people with jobs that are above and beyond the standard daily wage in their country.  We like being able to do this…it’s exciting and makes our hearts explode with happiness!


There are many risks and challenges involved with a film shot in Africa. This is why we have thought out every possible scenario we can think of and how we can do damage control (adding more shoot days and prep days, translators, Rwandan Producers, etc.).  Trust us, we are planning on all of these things happening and we will deal  with them beautifully because we are PROS and pros get the job done no matter what.

IF for some reason we don’t make enough money to see out the vision this time, this film will still happen, it just may happen the next time we visit Rwanda (in Fall/Winter 2015) after more funds are acquired.  However, we’d like to see this film play at film festivals like Sundance next year so in order to do that, shooting now is ideal.


Here’s the real deal, our budget is $30,000, but we wanted to make the goal attainable to our contributors in such a short amount of time (WE SHOOT END OF MAY 2015).  We’ve also taken into consideration that since we’ve already bought the plane tickets (did I mention WE SHOOT END OF MAY 2015 ?) we should really worry about production costs now and post production costs later.  So, with your help we can SURPASS OUR GOAL and hit $30,000!

Here’s what our $20,000 breakdown looks like:

NOTE:  Director and Producer are working for free = PASSION PROJECT

Here’s what we can do with more than $20,000:

  • Post Production
  • Add dope music and sound design
  • Submit to festivals

the way we say THANK YOU!

other ways to CONTRIBUTE!

The power of your support can come in many forms:

  • Spread the word!  #filmtyson! We are on Twitter & Instagram @TYSONtheFilm
  • If this story makes you think of someone, SHARE it with them.
  • Share with us a story, an encouragement, or your favorite African music playlist in the Comments section.
  • Contact us and let’s talk about how we can collaborate.
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Contact Information:

Rebecca Ocampo

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