If you are a Lebanese cardholder* and would like to contribute to Meshkal please follow this link: http://hq2.cleartag.com/Dania/apg.php
*Indiegogo uses PayPal as a credit card processor and PayPal does not support Lebanon. We are working with Indiegogo to find a solution for this but in the meantime, here is a Lebanese payment gateway generously offered by BANK AUDI and CLEARTAG so that we can receive contributions from Lebanese card holders. All money will then be transferred into the Indiegogo website.
Meshkal means Kaleidoscope in Arabic.
I am currently pursuing my MFA in Film Directing at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.
Meshkal will serve as my pre-thesis film in the program, a calling card film and a chance to put all that I have learned into this film. It is the culmination of my work as a filmmaker thus far and I'd be so thankful for anything you can offer to make it happen.
Amer is a 7 year old boy with a wild and magical imagination. Meshkal, inspired by true events, is the story of Amer's journey as he sneaks into his dad's car in the middle of the night and goes tire burning with him.
Why is this film important?
Tire burning is a very common form of protest in Lebanon and the middle east. It is the Working class' way of expressing anger, and of being heard.
Really begs the question, what kind of country do we live in where this is the way the people express themselves. What is this vicious cycle where the system ignores the people who then react this way and teach their children that this is the only way to stand up for one's dignity.
So instead of deeming all these men as barbarians, and just ignoring them and their tires, which is what we generally do in Lebanon, as we just find a different road to take, Meshkal goes into the lives of these men and challenges what we often take for granted: Why are these men on the streets burning tires?
This story means a lot to me as I'm sure it will to a lot of Lebanese people. Anyone who's ever really tried believing in this country, and believing in its colors and spirit, will relate to Amer.
About The Program
NYU's graduate film program has produced many influential filmmakers over the years
including Martin Scorcese (Raging Bull), Spike Lee (Do The Right Thing), Todd Solondz
(Happiness), Joel Coen (No Country For Old Men), Ryan Fleck (Half Nelson) and Luke
Matheny (2010 Oscar Winner for Best Short Film, God of Love). The pre-thesis film is
an important step in the program, used as a showcase film that can help launch careers. Some pre-thesis films have played at festivals such as Cannes, Sundance, Toronto and many more.
What We Need
Making a film is expensive.
Yes, I can shoot my film in New York City where I have all the equipment for free, all the very talented crew for free and a huge database of actors who would love to work for free just for the passion of acting or for a chance to get their names out.
My inspiration, my heart, and my soul is in Lebanon. I can't help it. Everytime I write a story, it's set there. Lebanon is the reason why I got into film in the first place. I have an urge to tell its stories.
Thankfully, such passion is found in so many young Lebanese artists and we brought together a wonderful crew who are all willing to work for free. It is people like these that prove that hope in Lebanon should never be lost.
Also, The Diet Center were extremely generous enough to cater this production for free and provide the cast and crew with yummy healthy meals on set.
However, there is still a lot to pay for. The money we are raising goes directly to the following:
Equipment- We will be renting the entirety of our camera and lighting equipment in Beirut and that can be quite expensive even with the discounted price by the wonderful Platform Studios.
Insurance- Since Lebanon was deemed to dangerous to be covered by NYU insurance, I will have to get my own insurance to cover this production, the cast and crew.
Location Fees & Permits - Although we are getting some locations for free. We do need to pay for others and we still would need to thank everyone who is giving us their personal space with presents and gratification.
Fuel and telecom- Even if the crew is working for free, we will need to compensate for the fuel and phonecalls made on this production.
Transportation – rental of vans to transport people.
Props and Wardrobe- The talented and renowned Issa Kandil, production designer extroardinaire is working on Mishkal and part of the budget will go to creating Amer's magical world in the most beautiful way.
Water bottles and snacks - to keep the crew happy and energized!
Officials' support - The stunts we will be doing (burning tires on a public road) will require the help and supervision of the police department, the fire department and on set medics. We will be ensuring that this scene will be shot in the safest way possible.
Post-Production - professional color correction and audio post.
Various gifts and donation perks- The least we can do after having all these people work for free is give a few symbolic gifts here and there.
Every single dollar raised for this project is going directly into the film and every dollar counts. If you can just donate 10, it would be great!
If we raise more than our goal, it just means we can put more money into the production and post production as well as festival submissions. Everyone on the film is working for free.
If you can't donate
Like, tweet, share, poke, instagram, hashtag -insert other random social network keyword here- BASICALLY SPREAD THE WORD!
If you can't donate, maybe you know someone who can.
Thank you all very much!
Here's to trying to build a film industry in Lebanon!