New York City, New York | Film Short


Zainab Jah and Tim Naylor

1 Campaigns | New York, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $29,500 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

114 supporters | followers

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Isata, an African immigrant, discovers the child soldier who had wiped out her family, is now a best selling author living in New York City. Compelled to take action, will she go through with her plan to hold him accountable?

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

We are Black Tombla Films. As children born to parents from around the globe, living in the immigrant capital of the world, NYC, we aim to tell the cinematic tales found amidst the faces in the crowd - the stories that make us human.

The Story


  • With your incredible support and love for our project, we made our primary and stretch goals.

  • We are now deep in pre-production and going full steam ahead. It’s all because of you, our community, and your belief in our vision. Coming to the end of our campaign, we will continue to push on, not only with financial pledges to keep up with ever rising production costs, but in the equally crucial area of audience building.

  • So we kindly ask you  to continue to share this link with family, friends, colleagues and your social media platforms. Request they ‘like’, sign up and 'follow'. We need as many supporters and eyes on this film as possible!

  • With 500 supporters/followers or more, our project could unlock $9,000+ of products, services, rewards & festival waivers from @seedandspark and their incredible partners.

  • We'll be accepting pledges until July 9th. We'll make your support proud!



Isata, a West African immigrant, comes across a newspaper profile on best selling author of “Redemption of a Boy Soldier”, Mamadou Kargbo. A picture of him as a boy soldier unearths long forgotten childhood memories.

Convinced that Mamadou was once the child soldier who wiped out her family during their country's civil war, she decides retribution is her only choice. Finally, face to face, she learns he too has suffered as much as she and begins to question the morality of her plan.


A while back in Midtown Manhattan, a little girl waved at Tim as he was waiting for the lights to change. Where there should have been a hand, there was just a stump. This was a few years after Sierra Leone's civil war had ended. He wondered how this could have happened? 

Around this time, Zainab read an article in the New York Times about Sierra Leonean refugees in a Staten Island facility coming face to face with their antagonists. She wondered, what does one do in that situation. Do you resort to an eye for eye, seek reconciliation or offer forgiveness? 


Two years since the pandemic began, we’re ready to not just go outside of our homes but to look outside of ourselves. No matter where you’re from, New York City offers the opportunity to start anew and re-invent yourself. But can you ever fully escape the past? Through Isata’s eyes, we hope the audience can see immigrants like her and countless others as not just another face in the crowd, but as individuals not too different from you or I - united in our common humanity. 


With years of experience both in front and behind the camera, Zainab and Tim plan to shoot in the mode of the Coen Brothers, The Wachowskis and Sherman-Palladino. With influences such as Gordan Parks, Sidney Lumet, and Stanley Kubrick, they intend to capture the rhythm, grit and spirit of New York City. Renowned illustrator and storyboard artist, Vincent Spencer, will render the flashbacks in a style reminiscent of a graphic novel.


Ghanaian-American actress, MaYaa, is most known for her starring role in the Pulitzer Prize winning production, Fairview, by Jackie Sibblies Drury; and her multiple characters in the Public Theatre's Shakespeare in the Park production of Merry Wives. Other notable NYC theatre credits include Lynn Nottage’s Fabulation, Or the Reeducation of Undine (Signature Theatre)). On screen, MaYaa recurred on Netflix’s Orange is the New Black and the Showtime series, City on a Hill. MaYaa also starred in the final season of High Maintenance on HBO.



Trained at Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, UK, Obi, performed lead roles at the Royal National Theatre, the Old Vic, The Globe, The Royal Court, The Hammersmith Lyric, Edinburgh International Festival and the West End. Plays include Angels in America, The Brothers Size, Six Degrees of Separation, Titus Andronicus, Fabulation, and Antigone. In the US he has performed at the Kennedy Center, BAM, the Irish Rep and Cherry Lane/Lortel Theatre. He also appeared in numerous TV shows and films such as 21 Bridges, Blindspot and Billions


A longtime member of the storied Steppenwolf Theater Company, Kathryn has also performed on Broadway, winning a Tony as Mary in The Speed of Darkness. Starring in films such as What About Bob, Rich in Love, and Store of Echoes, she also starred as Detective Eames for eight seasons in NBC’s Law and Order:Criminal Intent


Avery Magras is a budding Actress and Model who loves being on camera! Her personality brightens up every room she enters. Avery started her onscreen work with background acting and can be seen in Evil, The Good Fight, FBI Most Wanted and others. She has been featured in a Casper commercial as well as Before Yesterday We Could Fly that is currently running at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Avery is excited to join the Cast of Reunion


Raised in Sierra Leone as a child, Zainab moved  to London at eleven. Graduating from London Contemporary Dance, she toured as a modern dancer, eventually trading dance for acting. She appeared in numerable plays, winning rave reviews for shows both on and off Broadway including: the Tony nominated play Eclipsed and won Best Actress from the Philadelphia Critic’s Circle for her portrayal of Hamlet at the Wilma Theatre. On film and TV, she played Harriet Tubman in Showtime’s The Good Lord Bird; appeared in the EPIX series Deep State; and starred in the Sundance hit, Farewell Amor. Coming up, she will appear in the Black Panther sequel Wakanda Forever and in the John Wick, spin-off mini series, The Continental


Tim has been a cinematographer for the last two decades shooting several indies, TV shows and commercials. He worked on the Emmy Award winning season of Inside Amy Schumer as a camera operator, and won Best Cinematography at the Madrid International Film Festival and at Action on Film Festival for his work on My Good Chinese Countrymen and Surviving Family, respectively. As a director, his recent short film, The Henchman of Notre Dame won several awards and screened in competition at three Oscar eligible festivals. As a music video director, his video, Love is Wicked, for Brick and Lace has garnered over 150 million views.


As a storyboard artist and illustrator for film, tv and graphic novels over the past two decades, Vincent has produced a compelling body of work. His illustrations include work on: Zombie Proof, Epitath, JG and BC Kids, Ghost Rider and more. Brooklyn resident and long time New Yorker, he illustrated Reunion’s storyboards and will also render the film’s flashback sequences.


Of West African and French descent, Djaka, an actress and director, started her career in theater and musical theater. Recently, she starred in HULU's episode of Black Stories Present, directed by Phillip Youmans, a TriBeCa FF 2019 Award Winner. In 2020, Oscar eligible Urban World FF, selected to screen her short film, Jazz in Wakanda. As a producer on the National Geographic documentary Hell on Earth, which premiered at TriBeCa in 2017, she received a DuPont Award. A human rights advocate, Djaka’s developing projects that celebrate multi cultural characters and is part of the BlackMagic Collective Initiative.


Mailing lists, blogs, press, social Media blasts
Interviews with Talent, Crew and Donors
Video updates

MAY 7th - JULY 28th, 2022 - PRE PRODUCTION
Casting secondary and background
Camera, wardrobe, makeup and lens tests
Shot design
Location Scouts


JULY 29th - AUGUST 1st, 2022 - PRODUCTION
Three day shoot with one day for weather contingencies.
Wrap party - Champagne, hugs and kisses.

August 15th-Rough Cut
August 19th - Sundance Submission
August  21st - Sound design, music and sound mix
Sept 1st - VFX, color correction and DCP

Screening for cast, crew and donors. Date: TBD
More champagne, hugs and kisses.
Mail out all incentive rewards by mid September.

Throughout the year, we’ll be submitting to the major festivals
Promoting the film through blogs, interviews, press and social
Actively focusing on distribution

Production will follow CDC, NYC and Film Industry protocols as well as supply all necessary tests and PPE.







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

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Design Studio

Costs $2,000

A key element in our story takes place where she works, a fashion design studio.

Cast Fee

Costs $2,000

This covers payment of our principal actors and their valuable contribution.

Crew Fees

Costs $3,000

Having worked in the industry, we can get the best for less, but still need to pay them something.

Lighting and Grip Rental

Costs $2,100

Nothing ups the production value like beautiful light and shadow.

TV Studio Location

Costs $1,500

The studio location is for Mamadou's interview with a famous journalist.

Production Insurance

Costs $1,200

Over a 150k of gear to liability and locations, insurance lets us sleep at night.

Post Production

Costs $1,700

A film gets directed 3 times: writing, production and the edit. Help cover the edit and color grade.

Bookstore Location

Costs $2,000

This is where Isata attends Mamadou's book signing, seeking revenge.


Costs $800

We need to move people and gear to various locations throughout NYC.

Food for Cast and Crew

Costs $1,500

We need to feed a cast and crew of about 20-30, 3x a day, to keep the movie making machine running.

About This Team


Current Team