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A Harriet Tubman Inspired Short Film

Every great dream begins with a dreamer...
~ a quote attributed to Harriet Tubman

$9,352
pledged of$25,000 goal
93
61Days Left
Fund it
Campaign Ends on November 30, 2020

Project Description

Caress IFWOC Grant Recipient!

 

I have always dreamed of creating something bigger than I am, sustainable, and generational​​​​​​. My hope in dreaming this dream is that in bringing it to fruition, I would have touched many lives, impacted a few others, changed a handful, and at least inspired one.

 

Who Am I?

Celebrating films at Austin Film Festival, 2018
Celebrating films at Austin Film Festival, 2018
At the AFF Pitch Contest.
AFF Pitch Contest. Came in 2nd place with my pitch for the feature film, Utopia. What a confidence boost!

 

I'm Nigerian by descent, adopted as a teenager by a Jewish-Israeli family from the Bronx. I studied Computer Engineering and Literature at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J. and after several unhappy years in corporate America, the Universe gave me a kick in the rear that pivoted me in the direction of my true calling, storytelling.

 

Behind the scenes on the set of Utopia
Behind the scenes on the set of Utopia

 

Who/What is Sela Films?

I left the I.T. world with a story I had to tell and didn't know the first thing about how to do so. After a few years working at odd jobs, studying, saving, working as a theater actor in New York City (where I met a very dear theater director and friend who believed I could do this,) Sela Films was born.

Forming this production company came out of a need to create my first film, an autobiographical short titled "Asa, A Beautiful Girl." It was a story of hope and overcoming; of reconnecting with my biological mom who at the time lived in the States; of taking a leap of faith that leaving the life I knew behind in pursuit of what I hoped would be a better one, would in the end turn out well for me.

The process of making Asa and successfully putting it out into the world -- though daunting -- not only inspired me, it encouraged me to go further. It was literally my film school.

MaameYaa Boafo as Asa
MaameYaa Boafo of "Bluff City Law" as Asa in "Asa, a Beautiful Girl"

 

And, now...

Six short fictional films and a handful of non-fictional projects later, Sela Films has proven that it's here to stay -- a black female owned indie production company committed to telling stories about our shared experience as members of the human race and focused on interrogating the human condition, but with empathy.

 

Sela Films in a nutshell
Sela Films in a nutshell

 

Why me, why now, why this story...?

"8:46pm. Harriet Arrives"

Because there's much work yet to be done. And, being a part of this society, I must do my part.

"The Underground Railroad" by Charles T. Webber - Cincinnati Art Museum
"The Underground Railroad" by Charles T. Webber - Cincinnati Art Museum

My fascination with Harriet Tubman (her bravery, her life philosophy, her ambition, her drive and the impact she made in her lifetime) first began in 1997, the year I came back to America.

I was born in the States, and though it is customary in many cultures to send their children home to be raised till a certain age, my case was a tiny bit different in that my mom kept my older sister here with her, and sent me to be raised in Nigeria. Her Sophie's Choice (a conversation for another day, maybe over a cup of tea.)

My 1997 fascination with Harriet Tubman kind of faded into the recesses of my mind as I found my way through life as a teen and then as an adult in my new world, but it resurfaced early this year after the incident with George Floyd and with all that has transpired since.

This question "what would Harriet do if she came back and saw the state of things today?" has played itself over and over again in my head since May 25th. In response, as if it were a literal vision, a story formed in my heart that has taken hold and is demanding to be told. 

 

How Can You Help?

As I imagine you know, growth can be slow and painful, but it sits firmly within the realms of possibility. With your faith in me, your choosing to invest in my vision and support Sela Films, that growth can and will be grounded in a solid foundation and therefore sustainable.

By supporting me in creating "8:46PM. Harriet Arrives." you'll not only be part of bringing such a poignant story to life, you'll be supporting a lifetime of work as I remain committed to growing Sela Films, creating jobs with fair wages for fellow creatives in this industry, and playing my part in bringing the gap between the opportunities available in our industry and the number of BIPOC (male, female, other) with access to those opportunities.

Covid-19 certainly threw a wrench in things, but with every little bit of support, we can weather this time, and continue to bring stories that connect us to light.

The funds from the campaign will be going toward:

1) Accounting & Payroll Budget: hiring a Payroll company to handle payroll out of house, and paying an accountant to handle all accounting including taxes.

Payroll

 

2) Legal: having a lawyer on retainer for all company related legal services. 

Legal

 

3) Insurance: moving from a project-based liability and worker's comp insurance to a company year round coverage that protects each project we embark on, and is a cost effective option in terms of producing multiple projects in a calendar year.

Insurance

 

4) Software subscriptions: Editing suite, Screenwriting and budgeting software, cloud storage, website hosting fees, website upkeep, anti-virus protection, Festival submission fees and discount subscription.

Software

 

5) Hiring one assistant.

Assistant

 

6) Social media: crowdsourcing, campaigning and marketing, and-

Social

 

7) Project development: prepping for new projects on our slate. This includes creating pitch decks and look books for each project, hiring pre-production staff, budgeting, creating and running individual project-based fundraising campaigns when/as needed.

Project Development

 

8) And, last but not least, what having the funds to take care of items one through seven provides us as a company right now is the space to focus our resources on developing 

"8:46pm. Harriet Arrives." 

I thank you so much for spending this time in getting to know a little bit more about Sela Films, and about me. I look forward to partnering with you, and I welcome your inquires/questions. 

Cheers,

Aimi

Harriet Tubman mural by Michael Rosato©
What it means to dream with your fellow human... (Harriet Tubman mural with her reaching out a hand)

 

The Campaign FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • How long has Sela Films been in business?
    • Sela Films was established on February, 29th, 2012 and has remained in business since.
  • What type of company is Sela Films?
    • Sela Films is an LLC (Limited Liability Company)
  • How many employees does Sela Films have on staff?
    • Sela Films is a single member LLC with no employees on payroll. We usually work with contract staff (1099) on a project to project basis.
  • Does Sela Films work solely on local projects?
    • No
  • What budget level does Sela Films work on?
    • It depends on the project. We are an indie production company, and thus far have worked within those levels: $5k to $35K for short form projects and under $3M for long form.
09/24/2020
Monetary Contribution
$55
Jordan Noel
09/22/2020
Shut The Duck Up!
$35
Piper Werle
09/22/2020
Feedback on your Short Screenplay!
$50
Karen Weber
09/21/2020
Monetary Contribution
$10
Elliott Cuff
09/20/2020
Monetary Contribution
$25
Nicola
09/17/2020
30mins Zoom Concept/Story Idea Consult!
$100
Claire Kinnen
09/16/2020
Feedback on your Short Screenplay!
$50
09/16/2020
Monetary Contribution
$25
09/13/2020
BIPOC Hall of Fame
$25
Ally
09/11/2020
Monetary Contribution
$50
Monetary Contribution

Just Because I Care

38 Supporters
Select this reward
25.00 USD
Shut The Duck Up!

As a thank you for your support, you get a shoutout on our social media pages!

And, a copy of the book Shut The Duck Up! by Bobby Cappuccio & Pete Cohen.

This book is filled with loads of no-nonsense, common-sense, inspirational advice. A gold mine of tips, hints and ideas to help anyone embark on a positive life change journey, quelling the constant negative dialogue running around in your head, driving you nuts, and hindering you from moving toward achieving your life goals.

2 Left
28 Supporters
Select this reward
25.00 USD
BIPOC Hall of Fame

Thank you so much for choosing to support us in this category.

We truly appreciate you and can't wait to share all the wonderful things happening at Sela Films with you, thanks to your contribution.

As a thank you, we welcome you to nominate a person of color, of any gender/gender non-conforming, in your life that you consider to be a legend (in their own right.) Someone you admire, look up to, love, respect; someone you're cheering on! Your very own flesh and blood hero... And please, do tell us why.

We'll post up their photo and a blurb about them courtesy of you on our digital hall of fame on the Sela Films website. And, when we begin our social media shout outs, we'll be sure to scream their names from the rooftops!

*See shipping info below for instructions on emailing us your nominee!

3 Supporters
Select this reward
50.00 USD
Feedback on your Short Screenplay!

Need professional feedback on your short screenplay? Got you covered with two pages of detailed notes covering Concept, Structure, Plot, Tone, Theme, Dialogue, Pacing, Story World, Characters, and Marketability. Report will include a logline (representative of reader's understanding of your story) as well as a short summary.

Turnaround time, 72hrs.

Sounds good to you? Great! Select this reward!*

NOTE: Short scripts must be under 40 pages. For scripts longer than 40 pages, please add $1.50 per additional page to your contribution.

6 Left
4 Supporters
Select this reward
55.00 USD
For The Inventor in You!

Did you know that my background is Engineering? I know! That was many moons ago it seems. 

This is for the designer in you, or someone you know who could use this book! Autodesk Inventor is a computer-aided design application for 3D mechanical design, simulation, visualization, and documentation developed by Autodesk.

As a thank you for supporting us at this level, not only will we shout you out over the social media roof tops, you'll get this massive copy of Inventor Accelerated! A guide to your Autodesk© Inventor© program. Written by two of the Design Engineering world's Inventor© experts, David Silverberg and James Dumont.

https://www.inventoraccelerated.com/authors

2 Supporters
None available
75.00 USD
A Short Film Fest In Your Home!

As a thank you for your support, we'll shout you out over the roof tops (i.e. social media :))

And, in addition to receiving a copy of Shut The Duck Up! (while supplies last), you'll be emailed a private link for up to three short films produced by Sela Films! These are private links because the films are not available online. Host a watch party, watch when you want, drop us notes on your thoughts... We're here for that! 

Shorts include:

A Day in the Life of Who: https://vimeo.com/220889549

Utopia: https://vimeo.com/273523290

Hermit: https://vimeo.com/399510737

You may check out our website: www.selafilms.com to learn more about each of these films.

18 Left
12 Supporters
Select this reward
100.00 USD
30mins Zoom Concept/Story Idea Consult!

Yes, it's a bargain!

In addition to receiving all the goodies at the $75 level (while supplies last),

you'll get to sit with your choice of one of our four story collaborators (myself included) and discuss your story idea for a short, feature film, series, commercial or PSA.

You'll be given candid feedback on your pitch, the viability (and, marketability) of your idea, and have your pressing questions regarding your story/project idea answered during the call.

*Please note that you'll be required to sign a release before your scheduled Zoom call. 

6 Left
4 Supporters
Select this reward
100.00 USD
Feedback on your Feature Screenplay!

Need professional feedback on your feature length screenplay? Got you covered with four pages of detailed notes covering Concept, Structure, Plot, Tone, Theme, Pacing, Dialogue, Story World, Characters, and Marketability. Report will include a logline (representative of reader's understanding of your story) as well as a short summary.

Turnaround time, 72hrs.

Sounds good to you? Great! Select this reward!*

NOTE: Feature scripts must be under 120 pages. For scripts longer than 120 pages, please add $1.50 per additional page to your contribution.

9 Left
1 Supporter
Select this reward
200.00 USD
Pitch Deck/Lookbook Consult!

Do you need a second (professional) pair of eyes on your pitch deck and/or lookbook? We've got you covered.

Do you need direction on how to create a solid pitch deck and/or lookbook for your project? We've got you covered.

In addition to getting ALL the goodies in one of the two $100 reward level options! (your choice, how cool is that?),

You'll get a one (1) one hour one-on-one zoom consultation with Eliza Brownlie, an amazing filmmaker, and lookbook & pitch deck designer with an eye for aesthetics that's simply brilliant.***

2 Left
1 Supporter
Select this reward
350.00 USD
Supersized Swag Bag!

In addition to all the goodies at the $200 reward level (while supplies last), you get a printable high resolution copy of one (1) signed poster, your choice out of three of our films, e-mailed to you!

How cool is that? But, that's not all! 

For a limited time, we've created a special edition Sela Films mug and guess what? Yup, you'll get one snail mailed to ya!

5 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
1,000.00 USD
Location, Location, Location!

As a thank you for your support in this category, we offer you two (2) full days at the 2020 Queens Award-winning 3636 Studios in Astoria, N.Y.!

How sweet is that?

*Note, 3636 Studios in located in New York City. If NYC is out of the question for you, guess what? We got you covered! 

Instead, you'll get all the perks included in the $350 reward level and the services of an in-house writer!

Yes, we'll sit with you (virtually) and go over your concept/story idea for your product, or visual media idea, and develop a treatment (or pitch document) for you to help pitch your story/concept to prospective investors or interested parties.

1 Left
1 Supporter
Select this reward
1,500.00 USD
Just Because I Support The Arts

And, we are and will forever be grateful that you do.

Thank you so much for your support at this level. Your contribution will pay the wage of one member of our camera dept. for three shoot days.

THANK YOU SO MUCH. We can't wait to share this film with you so you get to enjoy the fruits of your contribution

And, last but not least, not only will we thank you on the film's closing credits and snail mail you our special edition coffee mug, we'll shout your praises from the social media roof tops!!

0 Supporters
Select this reward
2,000.00 USD
All The Feels!

Thank you so much for your support at this level.

You get all the goodies in the $1000 reward level (while supplies last)!

And, where possible, your choice of any one of the reward items up to the $1500 level will be doubled for ya!

In addition, you may choose between having the filmmakers of one of the three shorts host a virtual Q & A, where you get to ask your burning questions about the film just as you would at a live festival Q & A!

OR, you and I set up an hour long Zoom call to answer your burning behind the scenes questions regarding the making of any one of those short films. You may just walk away with a crash course on how to produce a short film!

1 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
3,000.00 USD
Executive Producer

Thank you for coming onboard!

With your support of $3,000+ we are well on our way to diving right into pre-production!

In addition to the Supersized Swag Bag (x2)! 

You may choose one of two productions (with a $35K and $25K budget, respectively) to sign on to as Executive producer:

1) 8:46PM. Harriet Arrives. (the short discussed at the top of this campaign page)

OR,

2) As The Cookie Crumbles. (a musical romantic drama about what it means to have loved and lost from opposite sides of the coin.) When a young man is dumped by his would-be fiance, he disrupts a widow's nightly routine and learns a lesson about love and loss.

As Executive Producer, you'll be included in all production aspects of the film from development through post-production and festival submission/release.

In addition to being kept up to date on the film's progress as it develops, you'll be credited on the film and on IMDB as Executive Producer, and provided a pass to one festival of your choice out of the film's official selections.

The icing on the cake? A private party & screening of the film you produced for your network/friends and family.

2 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward

Rewards

Monetary Contribution

Just Because I Care

38 Supporters
Select this reward
25.00 USD
Shut The Duck Up!

As a thank you for your support, you get a shoutout on our social media pages!

And, a copy of the book Shut The Duck Up! by Bobby Cappuccio & Pete Cohen.

This book is filled with loads of no-nonsense, common-sense, inspirational advice. A gold mine of tips, hints and ideas to help anyone embark on a positive life change journey, quelling the constant negative dialogue running around in your head, driving you nuts, and hindering you from moving toward achieving your life goals.

2 Left
28 Supporters
Select this reward
25.00 USD
BIPOC Hall of Fame

Thank you so much for choosing to support us in this category.

We truly appreciate you and can't wait to share all the wonderful things happening at Sela Films with you, thanks to your contribution.

As a thank you, we welcome you to nominate a person of color, of any gender/gender non-conforming, in your life that you consider to be a legend (in their own right.) Someone you admire, look up to, love, respect; someone you're cheering on! Your very own flesh and blood hero... And please, do tell us why.

We'll post up their photo and a blurb about them courtesy of you on our digital hall of fame on the Sela Films website. And, when we begin our social media shout outs, we'll be sure to scream their names from the rooftops!

*See shipping info below for instructions on emailing us your nominee!

3 Supporters
Select this reward
50.00 USD
Feedback on your Short Screenplay!

Need professional feedback on your short screenplay? Got you covered with two pages of detailed notes covering Concept, Structure, Plot, Tone, Theme, Dialogue, Pacing, Story World, Characters, and Marketability. Report will include a logline (representative of reader's understanding of your story) as well as a short summary.

Turnaround time, 72hrs.

Sounds good to you? Great! Select this reward!*

NOTE: Short scripts must be under 40 pages. For scripts longer than 40 pages, please add $1.50 per additional page to your contribution.

6 Left
4 Supporters
Select this reward
55.00 USD
For The Inventor in You!

Did you know that my background is Engineering? I know! That was many moons ago it seems. 

This is for the designer in you, or someone you know who could use this book! Autodesk Inventor is a computer-aided design application for 3D mechanical design, simulation, visualization, and documentation developed by Autodesk.

As a thank you for supporting us at this level, not only will we shout you out over the social media roof tops, you'll get this massive copy of Inventor Accelerated! A guide to your Autodesk© Inventor© program. Written by two of the Design Engineering world's Inventor© experts, David Silverberg and James Dumont.

https://www.inventoraccelerated.com/authors

2 Supporters
None available
75.00 USD
A Short Film Fest In Your Home!

As a thank you for your support, we'll shout you out over the roof tops (i.e. social media :))

And, in addition to receiving a copy of Shut The Duck Up! (while supplies last), you'll be emailed a private link for up to three short films produced by Sela Films! These are private links because the films are not available online. Host a watch party, watch when you want, drop us notes on your thoughts... We're here for that! 

Shorts include:

A Day in the Life of Who: https://vimeo.com/220889549

Utopia: https://vimeo.com/273523290

Hermit: https://vimeo.com/399510737

You may check out our website: www.selafilms.com to learn more about each of these films.

18 Left
12 Supporters
Select this reward
100.00 USD
30mins Zoom Concept/Story Idea Consult!

Yes, it's a bargain!

In addition to receiving all the goodies at the $75 level (while supplies last),

you'll get to sit with your choice of one of our four story collaborators (myself included) and discuss your story idea for a short, feature film, series, commercial or PSA.

You'll be given candid feedback on your pitch, the viability (and, marketability) of your idea, and have your pressing questions regarding your story/project idea answered during the call.

*Please note that you'll be required to sign a release before your scheduled Zoom call. 

6 Left
4 Supporters
Select this reward
100.00 USD
Feedback on your Feature Screenplay!

Need professional feedback on your feature length screenplay? Got you covered with four pages of detailed notes covering Concept, Structure, Plot, Tone, Theme, Pacing, Dialogue, Story World, Characters, and Marketability. Report will include a logline (representative of reader's understanding of your story) as well as a short summary.

Turnaround time, 72hrs.

Sounds good to you? Great! Select this reward!*

NOTE: Feature scripts must be under 120 pages. For scripts longer than 120 pages, please add $1.50 per additional page to your contribution.

9 Left
1 Supporter
Select this reward
200.00 USD
Pitch Deck/Lookbook Consult!

Do you need a second (professional) pair of eyes on your pitch deck and/or lookbook? We've got you covered.

Do you need direction on how to create a solid pitch deck and/or lookbook for your project? We've got you covered.

In addition to getting ALL the goodies in one of the two $100 reward level options! (your choice, how cool is that?),

You'll get a one (1) one hour one-on-one zoom consultation with Eliza Brownlie, an amazing filmmaker, and lookbook & pitch deck designer with an eye for aesthetics that's simply brilliant.***

2 Left
1 Supporter
Select this reward
350.00 USD
Supersized Swag Bag!

In addition to all the goodies at the $200 reward level (while supplies last), you get a printable high resolution copy of one (1) signed poster, your choice out of three of our films, e-mailed to you!

How cool is that? But, that's not all! 

For a limited time, we've created a special edition Sela Films mug and guess what? Yup, you'll get one snail mailed to ya!

5 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
1,000.00 USD
Location, Location, Location!

As a thank you for your support in this category, we offer you two (2) full days at the 2020 Queens Award-winning 3636 Studios in Astoria, N.Y.!

How sweet is that?

*Note, 3636 Studios in located in New York City. If NYC is out of the question for you, guess what? We got you covered! 

Instead, you'll get all the perks included in the $350 reward level and the services of an in-house writer!

Yes, we'll sit with you (virtually) and go over your concept/story idea for your product, or visual media idea, and develop a treatment (or pitch document) for you to help pitch your story/concept to prospective investors or interested parties.

1 Left
1 Supporter
Select this reward
1,500.00 USD
Just Because I Support The Arts

And, we are and will forever be grateful that you do.

Thank you so much for your support at this level. Your contribution will pay the wage of one member of our camera dept. for three shoot days.

THANK YOU SO MUCH. We can't wait to share this film with you so you get to enjoy the fruits of your contribution

And, last but not least, not only will we thank you on the film's closing credits and snail mail you our special edition coffee mug, we'll shout your praises from the social media roof tops!!

0 Supporters
Select this reward
2,000.00 USD
All The Feels!

Thank you so much for your support at this level.

You get all the goodies in the $1000 reward level (while supplies last)!

And, where possible, your choice of any one of the reward items up to the $1500 level will be doubled for ya!

In addition, you may choose between having the filmmakers of one of the three shorts host a virtual Q & A, where you get to ask your burning questions about the film just as you would at a live festival Q & A!

OR, you and I set up an hour long Zoom call to answer your burning behind the scenes questions regarding the making of any one of those short films. You may just walk away with a crash course on how to produce a short film!

1 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
3,000.00 USD
Executive Producer

Thank you for coming onboard!

With your support of $3,000+ we are well on our way to diving right into pre-production!

In addition to the Supersized Swag Bag (x2)! 

You may choose one of two productions (with a $35K and $25K budget, respectively) to sign on to as Executive producer:

1) 8:46PM. Harriet Arrives. (the short discussed at the top of this campaign page)

OR,

2) As The Cookie Crumbles. (a musical romantic drama about what it means to have loved and lost from opposite sides of the coin.) When a young man is dumped by his would-be fiance, he disrupts a widow's nightly routine and learns a lesson about love and loss.

As Executive Producer, you'll be included in all production aspects of the film from development through post-production and festival submission/release.

In addition to being kept up to date on the film's progress as it develops, you'll be credited on the film and on IMDB as Executive Producer, and provided a pass to one festival of your choice out of the film's official selections.

The icing on the cake? A private party & screening of the film you produced for your network/friends and family.

2 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward