New Hire

Chicago, Illinois | Film Short


Eseoghene Obrimah

2 Campaigns | Illinois, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $4,000 for post-production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

39 supporters | followers

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Omari Stone is a quiet, dapper soul who's life ended abruptly after signing a predatory contract with Anubi Afterlife Services. All Omari wanted was to live debt free with their wife as she battled kidney failure. Little did Omari know, a car accident would change their life for half an eternity.

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

Mission Statement

By telling this story, we want to push our audience to consider the repercussions of our current status quo on people's relationships and wellbeing. We do that by transporting them to "the other side" and seeing how the life our society has created can impact what death looks like too.

The Story

Welcome to Anubi.

Your one stop shop for affordable and quality apparitions for all your ghostly needs.

New Hire tells the story of a recently deceased Chicagoan working their first gig for a corporation that has dead people perform ghostly tasks to pay off debt. 

The film follows Omari Stone, a gender non-conforming, queer person from the South Side of Chicago who signed over their spirit to an afterlife gig company, Anubi, to pay off their wife's medical debt. As we open, Omari is still in shock from their sudden car accident and apprehensive about their new job.

On their first gig, Omari encounters Cassandra, a business woman has who discovered a damaging secret about Chicago's mayor. Cassandra, a slightly neurotic workaholic is arguing with her lawyer about whether a high profile interview to expose the mayor is a safe bet. 

At Anubi's headquarters, Omari meets Ox. Ox is like your favorite cousin that knows everyone's business and only comes over for the food. He's kind of irritable, but sociable and humorous. He works hard but he's treated as though he's not working hard enough. Ox is on a 175 year-long contract paying off his IRS debt.

Through this journey, Omari also encounters one of Cassandra's ancestors, a no-nonsense classy lady from the 1930s and Tanya, the overworked middle manager at Anubi. As Omari grapples with the idea of working for 150 years on a highly questionable workload, they manage to maintain elements of their personality and loyalty to their wife as they begin their journey as a ghost for hire. 

As the world around us highlights all the ways corporations devalue human life, it's interesting to imagine how the exploitation of our workforce could continue even after death. New Hire is a tongue-in-cheek dramatic satire with Afro-surrealistic influences that exposes a horrific truth that many people face everyday--inescapable debt and unethical work expectations that seemingly never end.

As emerging filmmakers, the producer, director and cinematographer have all worked within the Afro-Surreal genre and are committed to being a part of the movement of artists doing telling unique and exciting stories in the genre. We're also committed to telling stories that challenge societal structures and push our audiences to imagine the futures we are creating and the ones we could choose to. Our past films have won awards at film festivals like North Dakota Human Rights and Dayton Independent Film Festival and have streamed on platforms like OTV | Open Television and KweliTV.

We've completed production! Here's some behind the scenes photos!



So, now that the hard part is done, we're seeking $4000 in funding to cover post-production, that is, editing, coloring, sound design to really capture the afterlife world we've built. We're also raising funds to cover our festival run and distribution including the cost of festival submissions, preparing the costly film deliverables that many premiere film festivals require and the cost of travelling to some festivals. 


Pledge, follow and share! Follow the film's progress on Instagram @blackrisingfilms.



Here's some posts you can copy, paste and share!

Follow and pledge to "New Hire" on Seed & Spark to support a short film about Black ghosts working gigs.

Support "New Hire!" An Afro-surrealist satirical short film about what happens when dead people have to work off their debt in the afterlife.

If you're interested in ghost stories, "New Hire" is telling a unique one that centers a Black queer person and highlights some Chicago mediamakers too. Follow and support their Seed & Spark campaign!

Pledge and support "New Hire" on Seed & Spark to support a unique story about Black ghosts, the gig economy and debt in the great beyond.



Use the WishList to Pledge cash and Loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an Incentive directly.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Editing & Color

Costs $1,200

We found a brilliant editor to make the color and sound turn out amazing!

Screenings & Film Festivals

Costs $750

That was a hard day's work! Now it's time to get the film out in the world.

Deliverables and Marketing

Costs $750

We'll use this money to send the film out to festivals and to get more eyes on our work!

Travel Expenses

Costs $800

We'll use this cash to travel to festivals and screenings.

Sound Design

Costs $500

Great audio makes the film. We'll use this portion to make sure our audio is clear, crisp and rich.

About This Team

Eseoghene Obrimah is a Chicago-based award-winning producer from Lagos, Nigeria committed to telling stories that imagine what freedom looks like. In 2020, she received an MFA in Creative Producing from Columbia College Chicago where she produced short films like "For the Love of Monsters" and "35" which won Best Student Film at the Dayton Independent Film Festival and at the North Dakota Human Rights Film Festival. Ese is a participant in the 2021 Chicago Independent Producers Lab and a recipient of the RedBull Arts Microgrant. She works as the Operations Coordinator for the Independent Film Alliance, a non-profit committed to providing resources to independent filmmakers in Chicago where, amongst other things, she creates opportunities for connection, education and resource-sharing for fellow producers.


Aquarius Ester is an experimental/Afro-Surrealist artist from the Roseland/West Pullman neighborhood in Chicago. Aquarius was one  of OTV's 2020 Film Fellowship Cohorts and her script, Second Sunday, has been selected for Full Spectrum Feature's 2021 Producer's Lab along with her producer, Ese Obrimah. Her recent past works include vocals/movement/lyrics with the Afro-Surrealist collective, Zo//Ra, movement/vocals with the Participatory Music Coalition, as well as solo works in support of Angel Bat Dawid, Ayako Kato, Honey Pot Performance, and other Chicago based artists. She worked as a special effects make-up artist on the set of Searching For Isabelle, Bring the Beat Back, FCK Yes, and more. Her experimental dance film, "Ambivert" can be viewed on OTV’s website. In 2020, Aquarius started Black Rising Films to create Afrosurrealistic media that unpacks spiritual trauma and highlights the Black experience in Chicago. 


Donijah Collier is from New Haven, Connecticut. After moving to Chicago, Illinois to study at Columbia College Chicago, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Cinema and Television Arts with a concentration in Cinematography. Finding inspiration throughout the colors and compositions of the world, he has used this as a guide to express himself as a creative professional. Collier has realized the importance of reinventing the types of stories that are being told today. He aspires to tell diverse new narratives that will influence, and impact our society emotionally, culturally, politically as well as socially, through his unique visual storytelling.


Sarah Joanou spent their four years of theatre school working in both the set and costume shops, helping build and paint the sets for many productions. They also budgeted, shopped for, and sewed costumes, all coordinating with the production designers to adhere to the overall art direction of each show. They  have performed the functions of: production designer, set dresser/stylist, props collector, MUA, wardrobe/costume designer, actor, writer, director, & producer. They have been on a number of film & theatre sets in their 5+ years in Chicago.



Current Team