As I’ve have said before here on this site, we get approached by a lot of people who want us to mention something about their crowd funding
campaign for projects that they’re currently working on.
Some of them are interesting. and others…well… like I said, some of them
interesting. But when I was approached recently by filmmaker Taneisha Berg regarding her
new Kickstarter campaign for a new documentary titled, The Tenor from Abidjan, I was immediately interested for a couple of
reasons, aside from the possibility of being a really fascinating film.
Her doc is about a young man, Landry Assokoly, from Abidjan,
Ivory Coast, who Berg originally met in a small fishing village just outside Accra,
Ghana, who loves and dreams about being an opera singer and chronicles “his
journey to the Netherlands where he will begin applying to various
conservatories around Europe in the hopes of being accepted.“
Needless to say, Landry is not classically trained, nor has he even ever been to the opera, but he is
determined to pursue his dreams, despite the very real challenges he will face.
Hearing him in the film clip below, Assokoly definitely
has some potential, but seriously needs a lot of training and endless hard work
to achieve his dream; but anything is possible
Berg said that the reason why she wanted to do the film, was
because, primarily, she’s “a lover of stories, especially real-life
stories that trump anything you could make up. What’s better than meeting a
young opera aficionado on the main road of a fishing village outside Accra? I
was immediately drawn to Landry and his story, and the seeming contradictions
that it encompassed.“
She also added that:
feel very strongly that it’s time we started speaking about people as people,
and not the sum of their “problems”. People are weird, dynamic, and
curious; we have fears, we have good days and bad days, we fall and get back
up. And I think that the majority of western discourse around Africa/Africans
is problematic and superficial, often ignoring these human elements of the
story. So by offering a deeply personal look at one African’s story — instead
of focusing on the “plight of Africa” and all related subtopics —
the film has the opportunity to create bridges, empathy, understanding, and
interest, ultimately leading to a deeper willingness to openly dialogue.”.
And UCLA Film
School graduate, and a former assistant director, Berg describes
herself as “the eldest daughter of a Black Christian mom and White Jewish dad, born and raised in Northern California
but local in NYC and Rome,” and in addition to filmmaking, is also involved
in poetry, photography, and writing.