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Songs of Hope from Around the World

Documentary Proposal 

Copyright 2001 : Pali Productions Inc.
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SYNOPSIS:  Third world children sing their old folk songs for the world to hear.
BACKGROUND: 

Perhaps the worst thing that happens to the unwanted children of the third world is the loss of their voice; for it is such a lovely voice. There is nothing quite so beautiful as the sounds of children playing, children talking, children singing; in their own exotic languages - and there is an amazing quality and variety of languages out there in the world. "Owner Occupier - Songs of Hope from Around the World" documents the recording of a music CD of orphaned children from around the third world singing their traditional folk songs in their native tongue.

This documentary appeals to a large audience: 1) Those who just like to listen to children singing. 2) Those interested in the cultures and traditional folk songs of exotic societies. 3) Those looking for some insight into the conditions from the front lines of globalization. 4) Entrepreneurs and adventurers who would be interested in seeing how easy it is to use our current technology to record and produce music.

Overall, this is a feel-good project combining art, politics, travel, and technology. At each location there is a brief introduction into the social / political situation; followed by a montage of the children singing and interview / discussions of their lives, dreams, fears, and interpretation of lyrics. The overall style is voyeuristic, with perhaps a minimal amount of voice-over narrative to establish events and locations.

In contrast, this film will demonstrate the difference between: 1) The children's innocence and the adult's conflicts. 2) Poverty against advanced technology. 3) The opposite effects of singing versus arguing. 4) The different solutions provided between adults and children.

There is a bias that this project intends to prove; which is that in these remote third world places, discarded children have knowledge which is very relevant to our way of life, that their cultures are still very alive and vibrant, that they are perfectly capable of understanding and using the latest technology, that we (being first world adults) don't need to control and polish everything, and that there is hope.

TREATMENT: 

Among the people involved in telling the story are: The children, the people working at the charities, the narrator and the crew. Together we will demonstrate the desire to help one another; and the basic need for companionship, feeling important, and belonging. This ought to resonate with the audience perhaps even greater in North America and Europe than anywhere else.

Similar works are varied, as this exact project has not yet been realized. A test music CD was recorded and produced by the narrator on a previous trip to Thailand: "Owner Occupier - Songs of Hope from Baan Unrak" (http://www.members.shaw.ca/OwnerOccupier). Although the quality suffers from lack of time and equipment, it is possible to get an idea of the harmonies and melodies that have the potential of becoming hit songs. The lyrics, also available on the website, provide an idea of the significance that these songs must have on the people; and demonstrate a fantastic opportunity to start a dialog with the children. There is also a very successful music CD recently released by Bar None Records by the Langley Schools Music Project called "Innocence and Despair" (http://www.keyofz.com/keyofz/langley). This CD is now having a very successful run throughout North America and Europe due to the same audience interest that this documentary targets, and parallels the same state of mind: Let the children have their voice, and don't try too hard to make it something that it's not.

This is in the interest of said charity (NGO) as publicity (and perhaps profits) from the CD will go to assist their cause. One of the most vital factors is that the NGO have legal consent over the children; this way we can be sure that the recordings and footage rightfully belongs to us. Also, by using traditional folk songs in the public domain the often difficult task of having to obtain legal permissions can be avoided.

The overall outlook is very promising. Hopefully, the charm and innocence of the children and their folk songs will provide a rich subject matter for the backdrop of the harsh realities and political situations that they must deal with. The gentleness and kind attitudes which prevail in these charities works like a beacon of light in a dark tunnel; helping to show the way to generosity and love. Any difficulties which the crew encounters with this kind of travel; the lack of comfort, the pollution, the unpredictability and danger of getting around, the thievery, the threat of violence - can also be integrated to demonstrate what the children and the charities have to deal with on an ongoing basis. The making of the film itself is part of the story, so any possible hurdles or hindrances will only enhance the film.

This project is a win-win-win-win situation; we get to make a documentary, the children get a taste of some well deserved attention and recognition, the charity gets rewarded, and the audience gets some insight into the wonders of the people that they don't get to see on the 6 o'clock news.

AUDIENCE:  The expected audience is people of all ages (6+) with an interest in music, politics, travel, and other cultures. 
DISTRIBUTION:  Potential distribution outlets include US and European public television stations, national cable outlets like The Learning Channel, or CNN, the CBC, and the BBC.   Other probable distribution to TV networks in countries where Glickman travels. The CDs will be promoted and distributed in conjunction worldwide.
BUDGET:  TBD 
FUNDING:  Glickman can afford to invest $2,000 of his own money in the project.   There is a strong possibility of finding music recording company to co-produce. The NGOs may also be able to provide assistance. Other potential funding sources include one or more the above noted broadcast outlets, foundations, investors, and donations.   Glickman will also investigate the possibility of enlisting a local US PBS station as a presenting station. 
RIGHTS:  Negotiable. 
KEY PERSONNEL:  Steve Glickman
Camera Person
Sound Engineer
Production Assistant 
ADDITIONAL INFO:  See attached. 
CONTACT INFO: 

Steve Glickman

Pali Productions Inc.
#310 1417 East 8th Avenue
Vancouver, BC, Canada, V5N 1T3
http://members.shaw.ca/owneroccupier
604-646-0560
SteveG@Pali.Ca

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