Panthera Leo

Minneapolis, Hennepin County | Film Feature

Thriller, Drama

Ali Purdum

1 Campaigns | Wisconsin, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $4,100 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

13 supporters | followers

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Dealing with racism, police injustice, gang culture, mental illness, and family ties, Panthera Leo will leave you speechless. But why should you support us? 35% of the film's proceeds will go to inner city families, just like the one in this film. Not to mention the fact that it's a true story!

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

Directed by an African-American female, an 80% Ethnic cast, and a strong female lead. What's not to love? With colorblind casting, as well as a mix of amateurs and professionals, our goal is to make a film that anyone can relate to.

The Story

The Plot

Panthera Leo is the story of a 14 year old girl living in inner-city Chicago. When her brother is suddenly and brutally murdered, she is unsure of what to do. Her grandfather gives her one week to figure out who killed her brother, before she will be forced to move to Maine with him. On top of all that, the police are no help at all, and she must also deal with caring for her schizophrenic mother alone. The amazing thing is, this all really happened.  

The Story   

Hey there! My name is Ali, and I am the Writer/Director of this film. I first learned about it while reading through articles in the paper. Weeks after reading it, I couldn't shake the feeling that this is the film I was supposed to make. I contacted the family in the article, and began interviewing them about their experiences. This film is their story.  

 

In Chicago, a person is shot every 3 minutes. In the last year alone, 871 people have been shot, with 167 people dying from their injuries. 645 of the shooting victims were male. Of the 167 homicides, do you know how many involved an arrest? Twenty. Out of 167 murders, only twenty of them had any clearance. This is less than 10 percent, and frankly, it is unacceptable. Can you imagine having a loved one murdered, sometimes right in front of you, and having no one do anything about it? The police ignore your calls, and eye witnesses won't talk because of the "snitch code." How frustrating must that be? But the real question is, how far would you go to expose the truth?

 

 I know, supporting this film may be hard to do. "Why would I support some random filmmaker?" The thing is, you wouldn't just be supporting the making of this film. Your contribution could actually help people. Maybe even save a life. Thirty-five percent of the proceeds from the distribution of this film will go to inner city families of Chicago, just like the ones in this story. We also made a concentrated effort to employ people from this area, whether as cast or as crew. So the people you are watching on screen aren't just acting out a story, they're acting out their life.

 

 This film is so important to me, because I've seen firsthand the toll this can take on someone. Most stories focus on the person murdered, but rarely do we get to see the effect on the survivors-- the brothers, sisters, parents of the deceased. So please, don't keep scrolling. Don't click away, thinking "What's a dollar going to do?" Dollars add up. Your single dollar could be the final puzzle piece needed to start a change. No matter how small, change is change.

So what will your donation go towards?

$500 - The Camera. Without a camera, how could we make a film?! All joking aside, this cost is for a rental for our shoot duration.

$400 - The Venues. Renting out a location can be costly, but we managed to get a great deal on not 1, but 2 locations!

$1,750 - The Editor. Editing a film is tough and time consuming, but luckily we can hire a professional!

$1,500 - The Sound Mixer. Did you know that every sound effect in a movie has to be added in post? Luckily, there's a guy that does that!

$850 - Cast and Crew. People have to get paid, right? We have a very large cast, many of who are working pro-bono, but even something for their time is appreciated.

The Cast

We were lucky to get an amazing cast for this film, after weeks of wading through auditions and emails. Here they are, in all of their glory! From left to right: Leonard Searcy, Miles Cross, Alicia Shenreice, Andra Knox, Ava Justin, Brian Gibson, Hamza Jamari, and Gabrielle Arrowsmith. 

The film also stars John Edel, Janet Fogg, and Gino Terrell.

The Crew

After sifting through dozens of phone calls and hundreds of emails, I selected my skeleton crew. The first person I hired was Travis Rademacher, my Director of Photography. We spoke mainly through email, and I saw his previous work online. Next was Alex Nelson, my Assistant Director. I also spoke to him mainly through email, and we bonded quickly through our shared love of long shots in film. My third and final crew member hired was Jonathan Adams. I actually hired him fairly late notice, as we had a production meeting the day after he was hired. My previous sound recordist had dropped off of the project, so I was scrambling to find someone to replace him. Jonathan showed me some of his previous work in sound, and he was hired!

 

 Risks and challenges

Making a film always comes with risks. The biggest one for us being our small budget. Luckily we have an amazing cast and crew attached, who are all extremely passionate about not just making a film, but making a great one.

Another issue that comes with making our film is our very short shooting schedule. However, we have a firm schedule in place and everything should come together like clockwork. This is why pre-production was so important for us.

Wishlist

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

Sony A7s II

Costs $500

Without a camera, how could we make a film?! All joking aside, this cost is for a rental for our shoot duration.

The Venues

Costs $400

Renting out a location can be costly, but we managed to get a great deal on not 1, but 2 locations!

Editor

Costs $1,750

Editing a film is tough, but luckily we can hire a professional!

Sound Mixer

Costs $1,500

Did you know that every sound effect in a movie has to be added in post? Luckily, there's a guy that does that!

The Cast and Crew

Costs $850

People have to get paid, right?

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team

Hello! My name is Alicia and I am the Director/Writer/Star of this Panthera Leo. For as long as I can remember I've wanted to be an actor. I started doing theater aand short films at a very young age, but I never managed to branch out from there. My dream was always to do a feature length film. When I was eleven years old I began writing my own screenplays. They were always feature length, but never very good. Once I hit high school I began taking writing classes and honing my skill. I also began learning about all aspects of film making, rather than just screenwriting. I quickly discovered that the reason I wasn't feeling accomplished was because I was only acting. I wanted to make a film all my own, and be involved in every step from writing to distribution. And this is where our story begins. 

 

I started this process alone, with a single idea and nothing else. I was living in Korea at the time I wrote this screenplay, which meant I couldn't really go anywhere with it. I returned to the US on Christmas Eve, and began work on this film. Once I finished editing the script and began pre-production, I took to the internet to find my crew. 

 

After sifting through dozens of phone calls and hundreds of emails, I selected my skeleton crew. The first person I hired was Travis Rademacher, my Director of Photography.  We spoke mainly through email, and I saw his previous work online. Next was Alex Nelson, my Assistant Director. I also spoke to him mainly through email, and we bonded quickly through our shared love of long shots in film. My third and final crew member hired was Jonathan Adams. I actually hired him fairly late notice, as we had a production meeting the day after he was hired. My previous sound recordist had dropped off of the project, so I was scrambling to find someone to replacec him. Jonathan showed me some of his previous work in sound, and he was hired!

 

Below, I have given each of my crew members the chance to write a little bit about themselves. 

Current Team

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