Kickstarter users right now have a chance to back the very first Tuareg-language fiction film. Better still, the movie about the guitar-loving nomadic African people is a rock-u-drama modeled after Prince's Purple Rain. In fact it's titled Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai, which cheekily translates to "Rain the Color of Blue With a Little Red in It." Also inspired by The Harder They Come, the story follows a young musician who's trying to "make is against all odds."
American abroad Christopher Kirkley is directing — the self-described "gentleman explorer" has been archiving music in the Sahel region since 2009 — but the tale was written by Tuareg youth, and the movie is being produced for a Tuareg audience, filmed in Niger with a Tuareg cast and crew. It stars guitarist Mdou Moctar, a popular wedding singer in real life whose gained wider fame as his music spread locally through music-sharing cellphone networks.
In Akounak, Moctar's character "must battle fierce competition from jealous musicians, overcome family conflicts, and endure the trials of love — all while coming to terms with one of the biggest barriers: himself." If made, the feature will be subtitled in English and French. A modest budget of $12,000 has been set (it does not include gear, post-production, promotion, or payment for the Kirkley). The rewards include Moctar's music, Tuareg jewelry, and film credits.
Check out the Kickstarter clip above, and catch Moctar in action below.