Hi, y’all! When was the last time you saw a film which not only portrayed the problems of a society historically oppressed by colonialism and whose members still face racism today but also portrayed them truthfully without playing into or pandering to the shitty attitudes of today?
You may have watched The stoning of Soraya M, It’s a Girl, or a few other films – because only few films can not mess up the responsibility they take by wanting to depict such problematic issues. In this post, I want to talk about Yefon – a film that continues in the proud tradition of socially conscious, Africa-based cinema like Hotel Rwanda, Beat the Drum and Sarafina!—but unlike those movies, its producers will come from the ranks of generous Kickstarter supporters.
“Yefon” is the brainchild of 22-year-old actress and filmmaker Sahndra Fon Dufe. Broken-hearted by the sad reality of too many similar, true stories from Africa of women being denied education , she and the production team have pledged to use a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the film, a companion documentary, books and related merchandise to build an all-girls school in Nso, the Cameroon village where “Yefon” is set.
Based on true events, the movie, YEFON, tells the story of a young African girl’s pursuit of education, and how she stands against a male government that crosses the line to protect their ancient traditions and political interests. It is a story that shows that one little person can be the beginning of not only a change, but a revolution
It has already attracted the attention of Hollywood stars like Jimmy Jean-Louis (Tears of the Sun, Heroes), Adriana Barraza (Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominee, Babel) and Hakeem Kae-Kazim (Hotel Rwanda). The film is being co-produced by Justin Massion, the director of the Kickstarter campaign for “Space Command,” which brought in $75,000 in just three days, and ended with over $200,000.
Education for women is a problem that has plagued women in some rural parts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East for decades. These women face the challenge of being refused an education on the basis of being women. Yefon will tell their story.
I have blogged about the problems in speaking up about such issues publicly here. I have also posted a response here. I believe this is a great project – one which may force people to think deeply on the problems plaguing women in many “developing” countries and not brush it off with cries of “racism” when somebody brings it up; at the very least – one which may initiate debate.
The goal of this movie is to depict the African culture through the use of a variation of color and excruciating detail, as was done beautifully in movies like Slumdog Millionaire. There is authentic use of African fabric with an intention to bring the audience a very powerful and visually compelling film.
The story of Yefon is not particularly any one’s life, the story seeks inspiration from the true life story of millions of women around the world including, but not limited to : The Stoning of Amina Lawal (Nigeria), Tererai Trent’s strive for education (Zimbabwe), the inspiring story of Wangari Maathai (Kenya 1940- 2011), Freidoune Sahebjam’s 1900 book ‘‘La Femme Lapidee’’ and its movie version ‘’The Stoning of Soroya M’’, Princess Sultana (Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia), the words of Ali Ghadur (Kirkuk, 2008), the story of Huda Ahmed ( Iraq, 2008), Reports on African women’s’ battle for equality by Gumisai Mutume, the story of Irene Godonou in Cotonou, Benin, the voices given to women’s’ grievances by Catherine Beecher (1800- 1878), Sarah J Hale (1788- 1879) in the USA, the story of Judith Sargent Murray ( Boston, USA).
The Documentary will follow the lives of three women from different socio- economic backgrounds, and their attitude towards education, and follows in the style of’ “Day in the Life”. Team Yefon intends to create a massive compilation of footage shot by the team, interviews, footage and uploaded videos from followers in order to create a loud voice for women’s education. This will be submitted to festivals. YEFON The Movie will be telling this beautiful story with a choice of exotic locations that represent both the culture and history of Nso people; the tribe where the character Yefon comes from.
The YEFON team is raising these funds via Kickstarter to make a film in Cameroon, Africa, a virgin country for film, where this will be the first major production, a film they can proudly showcase around the world. Due to this, resources are limited and they need to bring help from all over the globe to make this movie possible, and to make history. The Kickstarter goal is set to $50,000 and can be funded here.
Please back the project! Only 12 days to go!