Excuse the title and leading with a beautiful portrait of a beautiful woman (connected though they may be), but the sad fact is that it’s tough to get attention for a project about indigenous African tribes. It’s easy to write off anything to do with such projects as yet another National Geographic special on people with unusual piercing habbits (especially as reality tv invade traditionally educational outlets), but this new endeavor from Joey L. is too compelling to ignore.
Joey is a photographer whose work you’ve certainly seen- he’s done elebrity portraits, ad campaigns for huge shows and products, and is even responsible for the moody photography of the Twilight posters. Above is a portrait of Jessica Chastain that represents his style nicely. He’s also known for spending much of his time in Africa, and spending his own money on photography expeditions in Omo Valley in Ethiopia, home to many dwindling tribes of people still living ancient lifestyles. His work with these tribes has blossomed into a rich relationship, one he has paid off by returning to share his work with the subjects, presenting them with copies of their portraits.
Now he wants to make a movie with them and, yep, there’s a kickstarter involved.
What’s interesting is that Joey and his team don’t want to make another beautifully shot but easily ignored documentary- they want to make a true-blue, all the way legit movie. The film would be based on real traditions and stories, be shot in actual Ethiopian locations and star actual natives, but a narrative, cinematic “coming of age” movie it will be.
Looking through Joey L’s portfolio is a treat, and his Kickstarter video is concise and interesting. I’d encourage you to take a peek yourself and see if you have any interest in supporting this one. There’s more info and a pretty slick presentation of rewards on the KS page.