In 2012 I had the privilege of producing and directing my first documentary film Ru: Water is Life. We raised appr. $30,000 and shot for two weeks in South Sudan. The experience was beyond anything I could have imagined. By 2015 Ru: Water is Life had been in 15 film festivals, was screened to tens of thousands of people, won 3 awards (including a best picture) and had helped raise over $2,000,000 for Water is Basic bringing clean water to 500,000 people in South Sudan. If you haven’t seen the film you can watch it on this link or feel free to email me and I’ll send you a copy: https://vimeo.com/52470438 A couple of years have come and gone as another passion project film has blossomed in my heart. Last January, I took a small team to India to shoot my second documentary, Acres of Diamonds. I first traveled to India in 2008 to visit a number of homes being built for children throughout the two poorest states in India, West Bengal and Orissa. I assumed there were orphanages in the traditional sense of the word. Working with Faiz Rahman, the exec. dir. of Good News India (GNI) I learned my assumptions were short sighted. Although there were orphans (and a number of girls rescued before being sold into India’s vast sex-trade industry) in these homes I learned the overwhelming amount of the 3000 children at GNI were victims of one of the world’s largest culturally acceptable crimes, bonded slavery. Somewhere between the ages 5 and 14, the children in the family are expected to start working to help pay off the impossible debt. When these children begin to work—for long hours in tasks they are not physically or developmentally prepared for—education is no longer an option. They become disposable tools for making money. Though officially outlawed by the Indian government, cultural tradition and coercion keep millions of children as literal slaves to discrimination and crippling poverty well into their adulthood. For years I have visited India, and personally witnessing hundreds of children in slavery. I knew a film had to be made. But this is not a film that centers on this great evil. The heart of the film focuses on the hope of freedom that Good News India is bringing to thousands of these children that were once condemned to a life of enslavement. Today, the children that come to Good News India are breaking out of the cycle of despair and are being given a chance for education, love, hope and a future. Acres of Diamonds shows the drastic difference of the lives of children in slavery versus the lives of children under the care of Good News India. It shows the men and women who have given their lives to save and serve over 3,000 children across 30 GNI homes in West Bengal and Orissa. Acres of Diamonds is a film we want to complete so the voiceless children of India are heard. Though all the primary filming is done, the toughest part of the process starts March 28. Through Kickstarter we are trying to raise the money necessary to finish the 30 minute film. $25,000 will finish the film and an extra $15,000 will cover 15 more short pieces that GNI can use over the next 2 years! I am writing you to ask you to be a part of this project before I ask the general public. Over the next week will you:
- Pray about sharing the Kickstarter site with all your friends and family especially on social media. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/529516826/acres-of-diamonds
- Pray about giving into this project significantly. In doing so, you will be a part of this special journey.
- Email me if you have any questions or feel like you can contribute in a different way.
Acres of Diamonds Teaser from One:Eight Productions on Vimeo.