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Promoting Change through the Power of Story

The vision of Song of the Kalahari is to use the power of dramatic storytelling to create positive awareness about the value and relevance of the Bushmen culture, while also providing meaningful insights into the Bushmen way of life, reaching audiences worldwide through a captivating animated film.

Created in collaboration with a village of Nharo Bushmen who wish to share their stories and knowledge to preserve their culture and to help others, this project seeks to impart vital wisdom that has allowed humankind to successfully live for aeons on Earth, which is now in danger of being lost— an interconnected way of being and reverence for life that is just as essential to thrive in our world today.
 

Project Overview

Song of the Kalahari is a 2D animated adventure-fantasy film based on the folklore, history and stories of the Bushmen of the African Kalahari. We are currently seeking tax-deductible donations to fund the production.

_3270376_pro We are making this film to prevent the disappearance of Bushmen culture by supporting their autonomy and freedom to live their traditional way of life.

By illustrating the value, depth of knowledge and importance of the Bushmen’s over 80,000 year old culture, we seek to shift prevailing misconceptions and attitudes that the Bushmen traditional hunter-gatherer way of life is “less-evolved”, in order to alleviate the cultural genocide and forced assimilation the Bushmen are currently facing.

Through the expressive medium of animation, we will take viewers on an inspiring journey with the Bushmen into the wilds of the African Kalahari, weaving together Bushmen folklore and ancestral wisdom with moving stories of challenges they face in modern times.
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The Project is collaborating with a village of Nharo Bushmen, whose mythology and life ways are at the center of the film. The lead Project Advisor for this film, Anna Festus, is a Khomani Bushmen who works as a cultural liaison and representative for her people. It is the belief of the Project Team that working in close collaboration with the Bushmen provides both a level of expertise and authenticity, as well as a responsible and ethical ground to avoid cultural appropriation.

Song of the Kalahari is partnered with the Origin’s Project, an Africa-based trust that facilitates cultural regeneration for the village of Nharo Bushmen we are working with on Song of the Kalahari. As requested by the Bushmen we are working with, the proceeds from this film will be given to the Origins Project trust to provide a sustainable living arrangement for the community and support the Bushmen’s work to revitalize the intergenerational exchange of ancestral knowledge, practices, and low-impact flourishing skills, bringing a deepening sense of pride and self-determination to the community.

_3251456_pro To increase the film’s distinction and expand its reach to the widest audience, Song of the Kalahari seeks to share the Bushmens’ story with the world and position the film for an Academy Award nomination. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has a 15 year history of nominating low-budget, independent, animated films which have had a statistical average chance higher than 1 in 4 of being nominated for a Best Animated Feature Academy Award over that same period. This is illustrated by the recent nomination of Boy & The World, made with a budget of about $500,000. The Project Team has built a plan that will qualify the Project for nomination and is confident that the subject, story and artistry will allow for its greatest success.
 

Team

The driving force behind this project are filmmakers Eric Lake and Athena Gam, an experienced creative team dedicated to bringing this compelling vision to the big-screen and beyond. Eric Lake was instrumental in setting up and managing animation studios for Vanguard Animation, later becoming an in-house development producer for the company. He has worked on animated feature films for Warner Bros., Fox, Starz Media, and Disney. As a screenwriter, Athena Gam has written and developed film projects with Oscar nominated and award-winning directors and producers.

Bushmen-Team

Project Advisors for Song of the Kalahari include Khomani Bushmen Anna Festus, and cultural anthropologist and Southern Africa specialist Dr. Nicole Apelian, whose has worked closely with the Nharo Bushmen since 1995.

The Project Team has explored traditional film financing channels and has determined that due to the political nature of the Project, an alternative funding model is needed. The Project has partnered with 501(c)3 charity Creative Visions, enabling it to receive tax-deductible donations to cover production costs.
 

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This project is seeking sizable tax-deductible donations to fund the creation of this film and we are grateful for any donation amount you can give to support this vision. For more information, please contact us.

Donate Now!

If you have any questions about this project and our work with the Bushmen, we’d love to hear from you. Please email us at:

info@songofthekalahari.com