The Garifuna – A Hybrid Culture (Documentary)
Worldwide Africana, LLC presents a film about the Garifuna of Belize whose ancestry is both West African & indigenous Caribbeans.
About this project
What is the documentary about?
Its about the Garifuna people that not only reside in Belize, but also in Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua. There are immigrant communities throughout the U.S. as well. The Garifuna are a hybrid culture with both West African and indigenous Caribbean roots. The genesis of their culture was a direct result of the African slave trade and the intermarriage between the Arawaks, Caribs and West African people. They’re only about 600,000 Garifuna worldwide. Uniquely this group is recognized by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and the World Heritage Convention.
Why did you choose to create this project?
The Garifuna story is fascinating and featuring them on film is on par with my goal to produce positive, entertaining and educational documentaries about global African culture. Being budget conscious I decided to choose Belize as the first destination and as the pilot episode of the Worldwide Africana film series.
When and where will the filming take place?
Filming will take place in May of 2017 in Belize, Central America.
What is Worldwide Africana, LLC?
Worldwide Africana, LLC is a film company whose mission is to produce positive and entertaining documentaries about African culture. It was founded by Professor Ajani Brown (San Diego State University). “The Garifuna – A Hybrid Culture” will be the debut film project for the company.
What do we need?
$3800 or more to cover the base costs of logistics: Air travel, lodging and ground transportation in Belize.
How many people will be traveling to Belize?
Four people total. Three filmmakers and one professor.
How exactly will the funds be spent?
Note: Associated costs are approximations and the total ($3800) is the minimum that we seek. Actual costs may vary. More from our backers is much appreciated and will go directly to in-country (Belize) production costs, post-production (editing), incentive rewards creation and shipping.
- Round Trip Air Travel: $550 x 4 = $2200 (Economy Class).
- Lodging: $1100 (i.e. AirBnB or Hostel).
- Ground Transportation (i.e. Uber, Taxi): $500.
Do we have camera equipment?
Yes. The film crew will bring their own equipment.
Will it be filmed in High Definition?
Yes. It will be filmed in high definition.
We believed this was the best platform to fund raise and connect with our target audience.
If I donate when do I get my incentive?
Expect incentives to be shipped out after post-production (editing) is complete. Approximately September 2017. That will give me and the production team all of June, July and August to sift through the footage collected, thread together the best parts and add voice overs where needed. Backers will receive monthly updates on the post production progress.
Can we exceed our goal?
Yes we can and we will use the extra funds to enhance the scope of the project. For example, adding a historical site to the itinerary to film, interviewing an additional person/group or filming other relevant cultural experiences for the production that we may have missed or decided to forego. All of these additions cost.
Why should I support you if you’ve already reached your goal?
Every dollar over the intended goal ($3800) will go to unforeseen costs, additions to the production itinerary, post-production (editing), rewards creation and shipping. More funding increases what we can do in the allotted time. Thank you, in advance, for helping us exceed our goal.
What happens if the money isn’t raised in time?
Kickstarter is an all or nothing platform. If we do not raise the goal amount in the allotted time then we receive nothing. We have set a 30 day fundraising period.
Is the goal amount in US dollars?
I live in the U.S. can I support you?
Yes. You just need a credit/debit card.
Will you ship my incentive reward anywhere in the U.S.?
Yes. Shipping costs will apply and are stated at the appropriate reward level.
I’m not in the U.S., can I still support you?
Yes, you just need a credit/debit card.
How will I get my incentive reward if I am not in the U.S.?
We will ship it to you. Shipping costs will apply and are stated at the appropriate reward level.
How do I find out more about the project or contact you?
You can email me at ‘thegarifunadoc (at) gmail (dot) com’ AND/OR
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Which film company is producing this project?
Professor Ajani Brown what is your role in the documentary?
I will be the host/narrator, basically the face and voice of the project who will be featured in the film.
What exactly will be filmed?
We will conduct interviews with local artists, scholars and cultural experts. Then we’ll film the musical performances of Punta Rock – the signature genre of the Garifuna. Still further, we’ll cover traditional dance styles such as the Junkanoo. Plus we will meet with local chefs to learn how they prepare culturally specific cuisines. Additionally, we’ll visit historical sites which will provide a greater context to the history and heritage of the Garifuna people.
Who is on the film crew?
Name, titles and biographies are below:
Director of Photography
Melissa Flores holds a BA in Film & Video Production from Columbia College Chicago. As an undergraduate student her short films “Beat” and “Tag” received critical acclaim at the Chicago Latino Film Festival. That recognition led to opportunities to work on the television productions The Voice and X-Factor. Following those successes Flores met with producers Tirf Alexis and Remoh Romeo to work as the Director of Photography for their action packed independent feature “Bastard Son of a Thousand Fathers.” For her work on that film she won Best Director of Photography at the 2016 Motion Picture Association of Haiti Movie Awards. She is currently working on freelance projects in California. You can follow her on Instagram: www.instagram.com/melissaflores0
Tirf Alexius is the co-founder of Chicago based feature film production and distribution companies, 4 Features Film Company and Driven Entertainment. After graduating from Columbia College Chicago with a BA in Acting he began his career appearing in television commercials and films. Alexius then moved behind the camera to direct and produce feature films, music videos and multi-media projects. He is best known for directing and producing the award winning documentary, Lakay, that shares his journey and an intimate view of the devastation of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Lakay was an Official Selection at the 2014 Harlem International Film Festival, won Best Documentary at the 2015 Motion Picture Association of Haiti Movie Awards, and won Best Cutting Edge Film at the 2015 San Diego Black Film Festival. He went on to executive produce, direct and play a supporting role in the acclaimed thriller “Critical Nexus.” Additionally, he executive produced and was featured in the multi-award winning crime drama “Bastard Son of a Thousand Fathers.” The film won Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Director of Photography at the 2016 Motion Picture Association of Haiti Movie Awards. When Alexius is not immersed in film making he works with non-profit organizations to help educate children and enhance their lives in Chicago, Illinois and in communities in Haiti. Follow him on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TirfAlexius
Remoh Romeo studied acting at Columbia College Chicago. He played a sailor in his first role in the theatrical production, HMS Pinafore. Following his debut, he starred in several television commercials and films. He co-founded Driven Entertainment and 4 Features Film Company with his brother Tirf Alexius. Their collaborations resulted in three feature length films. The first was their award-winning documentary, Lakay, about two brothers who return to Haiti to search for family in the wake of the 2010 earthquake. Lakay was an Official Selection at the 2014 Harlem International Film Festival, won Best Documentary at the 2015 Motion Picture Association of Haiti Movie Awards, and won Best Cutting Edge Film at the 2015 San Diego Black Film Festival. In his next project, Romeo co-produced and played a supporting role in the feature length thriller, “Critical Nexus.” Additionally, he co-produced their third feature film collaboration, “Bastard Son of a Thousand Fathers” which went on to win Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Director of Photography at the 2016 Motion Picture Association of Haiti Movie Awards. Follow him on Twitter: www.twitter.com/remohromeo
The film crew and I would like to express our sincere gratitude for your contribution to this project. Thank you for your support and belief in this project.
Risks and challenges
International travel and filming has its associated risks and challenges, such as getting film equipment and luggage through customs, language barriers, unforeseen airport delays, weather (and other acts of God). The directors/producers that I have partnered with have met these challenges before and successfully filmed, LAKAY, a documentary set in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. Their knowledge and experience of the overall process is invaluable.
For each of the cities that we’ll visit we have a list of several filming options on the itinerary should there be any cancellations or if a site becomes unavailable. During my career as a professor I have coordinated and chaperoned a study abroad program to Kingston, Jamaica with 17 students. I understand the logistics of moving with people across international borders while keeping to a strict schedule and dealing with sudden changes. Myself with a three person film crew will be able to move swiftly and efficiently.
The challenges of post production are keeping to the three month completion goal so we can begin to fulfill incentive rewards shipping by the deadline of September 2017. I’m confident that the editing process will be completed on schedule due to the fact that the managing partners of 4 Features Film Company and Driven Entertainment have completed post production multiple times for other projects. Backers will be updated once we’ve returned from Belize and the post production has begun.