She was able to raise about $6,000 via Indiegogo a couple of years ago (we featured the campaign here) to produce a short version of the film – a short film she is now using to help raise funding for the feature.
The feature project, titled Aissa’s Story (the short was titled The People v. Aissatou Ba) is now set up as a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization, which is also where you can contribute to its completion – HERE.
It’s scheduled to shoot this August (2014).
The feature narrative, inspired by the real-life criminal case relating to allegations of sexual assault and attempted rape of hotel maid, Nafissatou Diallo, against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, tells the story of… “an African immigrant housekeeper moving on with her life after the case against the man who assaulted her is dismissed. The film depicts the impact of sexual assault, the judicial system, and the media on a woman’s life, in a universal story of faith, hope, and courage against all odds… the film asks the question: What price does Aissatou pay for telling the truth?“
The short version was a 2013 Student Academy Awards semifinalist; Essien also recently won a 2014 Spike Lee Film Production award for the feature.
It’s her first feature, and she’s clearly off to an auspicious start!
The journey to completion continues, and you can help, again, by making a contribution to help fund the film. Head over to Fractured Atlas to do so. Thus far, it’s raised over $5,000.
Watch an early teaser for the feature, Aissa’s Story, below: