With new funding raised, Germany-based directors Noel Dernesch and Moritz Springer are set to return to Jamaica to film their feature documentary Journey To Jah.
The project, about European overlap with Rastafarian culture, recently surpassed its goal of raising $60,000 on Kickstarter and that funding will go towards more filming. Romert estimated that only about 10% of the film has been shot so far.
Rene Romert, one of the film’s producers alongside Port Au Prince Film Production partner Jan Kruger, said it was notable that the team had been able to raise so much money for a documentary. “It’s been a great success,” he said of the Kickstarter campaign, raising more than their goal of $60,000.
Port Au Prince, which was set up in 2008 in Berlin, has been developing this project for more than a year (the directors have been working on it for more than six years.)
The directors plan to return to Jamaica in December/January and then will return for another shoot likely in March or April 2012. The film will be readied for delivery at the end of 2012, hopefully for a Berlinale 2013 premiere.
One of the key figures in the film is Gentleman, a reggae star who lives in Germany. “That’s what makes it interesting for us, we’re interested in those cultures coming together,” Romert said. “It’s about moving between Rastafarian culture and capitalism living.” Another character in the documentary, Alborosie, is Italian but living in Jamaica. Those two performers have been helpful at spreading the world to promote the film project, Romert added.
Now more traditional funding will be raised for the film’s production and finishing costs (which will likely total about $600,000). Some of that finance will come from Switzerland and Germany (Medienboard Berlin/Brandenburg is already a backer). Also, German-based Slaughterhouse will handle the post-production work.
“Kickstarter is a really good platform for crowdfunding, it’s a serious platform,” Romert said. “You can’t complete finance a complete movie with crowdfunding, but it offers a big chance for young production companies.”
More information can be found at the film’s website.