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A Harriet Tubman Inspired Short Film

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

$2,235
pledged of$25,000 goal
26
40Days Left
Fund it
Campaign Ends on September 11, 2020

Project Description

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 dauting -- 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 focused on telling stories about our shared experience as members of the human race. Its eyes, 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 in the realm 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.

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.

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

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.

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

5) Hiring one assistant.

6) Day-to-day operations, office maintenance and supply replenishment: paper, pens, markers, ink, hard drives, utilities (phone & internet.)

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

8) 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.

9) And, last but not least, what having the funds to take care of items one through eight 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.
Justin Best
08/02/2020
Monetary Contribution
$100
08/01/2020
A Short Film Fest In Your Home!
$75
Anonymous
08/01/2020
Location, Location, Location!
$1,000
Chance Muehleck
07/31/2020
Shut The Duck Up!
$25
Jorge Gonzalez
07/29/2020
Monetary Contribution
$25
Steve & Betty Bailyn
07/25/2020
A Short Film Fest In Your Home!
$75
Liri Asllani
07/24/2020
Shut The Duck Up!
$25
Austin Kase
07/24/2020
Shut The Duck Up!
$25
Dorian R Connelley
07/24/2020
Monetary Contribution
$50
Diane Trauth Randall
07/24/2020
Monetary Contribution
$300
Monetary Contribution

Just Because I Care

12 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.

22 Left
8 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

1 Left
1 Supporter
Select this reward
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 you'll receive one of our signature coffee mugs!! (check out our updates for pics)

And, in addition to receiving a copy of Shut The Duck Up!, 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.

26 Left
4 Supporters
Select this reward
125.00 USD
30mins Zoom Concept/Story Idea Consult!

Yes, it's a bargain!

In addition to receiving all the goodies at the $75 level,

you'll get to sit with me via Zoom (or, one of our four story collaborators - your choice) 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. 

14 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
250.00 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 at the $125 reward level,

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.***

3 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
500.00 USD
Supersized Swag Bag!

In addition to all the goodies at the $125 reward level, you get your choice of a signed poster of one (1) of the three short films mailed to you!

If signed posters aren't your thing, however, no worries we got you covered! We'll mail you a T Shirt with a poster design instead! How cool is that?

But, that's not all! 

You may choose an additional item! from any of the options included in the $25 to the $250 reward levels! Go for it! Don't be shy. Tell us which other reward you'd like :)**

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) 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 $500 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 Supporter
None available
5,000.00 USD
All The Feels! (x2)

Thank you so much for your support at this level.

You get all the goodies in the $1000 reward level!

And, where possible, one of those reward items 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!

2 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
10,000.00 USD
Executive Producer

Thank you for coming onboard!

With your support of $10,000+ 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 bumps into a widow going about her nightly routine and learns a lesson about love.

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.

1 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward

Rewards

Monetary Contribution

Just Because I Care

12 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.

22 Left
8 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

1 Left
1 Supporter
Select this reward
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 you'll receive one of our signature coffee mugs!! (check out our updates for pics)

And, in addition to receiving a copy of Shut The Duck Up!, 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.

26 Left
4 Supporters
Select this reward
125.00 USD
30mins Zoom Concept/Story Idea Consult!

Yes, it's a bargain!

In addition to receiving all the goodies at the $75 level,

you'll get to sit with me via Zoom (or, one of our four story collaborators - your choice) 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. 

14 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
250.00 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 at the $125 reward level,

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.***

3 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
500.00 USD
Supersized Swag Bag!

In addition to all the goodies at the $125 reward level, you get your choice of a signed poster of one (1) of the three short films mailed to you!

If signed posters aren't your thing, however, no worries we got you covered! We'll mail you a T Shirt with a poster design instead! How cool is that?

But, that's not all! 

You may choose an additional item! from any of the options included in the $25 to the $250 reward levels! Go for it! Don't be shy. Tell us which other reward you'd like :)**

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) 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 $500 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 Supporter
None available
5,000.00 USD
All The Feels! (x2)

Thank you so much for your support at this level.

You get all the goodies in the $1000 reward level!

And, where possible, one of those reward items 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!

2 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
10,000.00 USD
Executive Producer

Thank you for coming onboard!

With your support of $10,000+ 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 bumps into a widow going about her nightly routine and learns a lesson about love.

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.

1 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward