A second project we’ve covered this year that will incorporate the mythical deities from African folklore known as Orishas, into its narrative.
Recall how much I’ve championed Orishas as great fodder for cinema – whether literal translations, or (getting creative) even as superheroes, which is exactly what London-based filmmaker Nosa Igbinedion is doing currently, with his project Oya: Rise of the Orishas, a short film that he hopes to expand to feature length eventually.
Today I introduce you to another Orisha-based project – this one from director Eliciana Nascimento, titled The Summer of Gods, which tells the tale of a young girl who visits her grandmother in rural Brazil, where she encounters Orishas, who challenge her with a mission.
The film is set in the Northeast of Brazil where Afro-Brazilian religious traditions remain strong. In the film, Lilli’s grandmother is in charge of an annual celebration for the Orisha Yemanjá. In real life, the event is known in Brazil as Festa de Yemanja and it is the largest Orisha celebration in the country. In this event, devotees of African religious traditions dress in all white to take their offerings to the sea to thank Yemanja for helping them in their social and political struggles. In The Summer of Gods, this celebration is at risk of expiring because Lili’s great-grandmother is about to pass away. Grandma is a well revered local priestess who unites her community to honor the Orishas. Lili is blessed by the goddesses as well. To preserve tradition, they lead her on a mystical adventure through a nearby forest which symbolizes her initiation into the tradition.
Director Nascimento is an MFA candidate at San Francisco State University. This is her second narrative film and its completion will mean the fulfillment of her degree.
To assist in its completion, she has set up a Kickstarter campaign to raise $30,000 that will go towards funding the film. With just 6 days left in the campaign, she’s raised just over $10,400, meaning the campaign really needs a contributions boost right away, to get it closer to its $30,000 goal.
I’ll say no more. Just watch her video pitch for the project below, and if you’d like to contribute, click over to the project’s Kickstarter page HERE (or within the widget at the bottom of this post). I made mine: