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Told through the experiences of an American mother who operates an orphanage in postwar Sierra Leone, this documentary film sheds light on how a government rife with corruption allows its most vulnerable citizens — orphaned children — to be used as pawns by crooked officials, illegal adoption agencies and human traffickers. Since 2004, Erica Stone-Rust has adopted five children from Sierra Leone, and the process opened her eyes to how orphans are routinely neglected, abused and, in some extreme cases, allowed to die by a system that has utterly failed to protect them.

This film follows Erica and her husband Jason as they navigate a labyrinth of corrupt cops, spineless “child advocates” and tribal traditions that combine to threaten the very lives of the children they seek to help. Hanging in the balance is the orphanage itself — in many cases, the only home its orphans have ever known — as Erica’s enemies in the Sierra Leone government routinely harass her with charges of human trafficking and child harvesting. Finally, the film will also reveal the reason Erica is so determined to fight for Sierra Leone’s most helpless citizens: the death of one of her own adopted daughters at the hands of a negligent orphanage. Hounded by the police and targeted by serious accusations of international crimes that could threaten both her freedom and the future of the orphanage, it’s her daughter’s memory, and Erica’s promise that her death would not be in vain, that motivate her to take on challenges that can seem insurmountable.

The film is directed by Greg Campbell, author of the nonfiction book Blood Diamonds, which investigated the trafficking of conflict diamonds from Sierra Leone and how the trade led to its bloody civil war in the 1990s; that book inspired the 2006 Oscar-nominated Leonardo DiCaprio film BLOOD DIAMOND. Campbell is also the director of HONDROS, winner of the coveted Audience Award at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival. Campbell received a Special Jury Mention during the festival's Best New Documentary Director competition.

Please watch the fundraising trailer and continue reading below for details on how you can help make this film a reality.

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How you can be a part of this film

You can continue to help bring this film to life with your generous contribution.

All donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law thanks to our partnership with the nonprofit Denver Film Society* and all donors will be graciously thanked in the film's credits.

The Denver Film Society is our fiscal sponsor on this project, meaning that all donations to the film are considered to be a charitable donation and tax deductible. Please keep your email donation receipt as your official tax record / The Denver Film Society's EIN: 84-0771070.

How to Contribute

Your contribution is critical to getting this project finished. We have raised an initial $50,000 in private donations that have allowed us to begin production on location in Freetown, Sierra Leone, and to develop a short fundraising trailer. The balance of funds will finance future trips to Sierra Leone and to Erica and Jason’s home to continue filming. Donations will also be used to fully fund postproduction, including editing, coloring and sound mixing. Our budget also includes festival expenses so that Erica’s story —  and those of the orphans she fights for —  can get wide exposure and attract broadcast, cable and/or online distribution as a documentary.

 

Donate

 

OR — make out checks to the Denver Film Society and be sure to put the project title, Sierra Leone Documentary, in the memo field.

Checks should be sent to:

Denver Film Society
3rd Floor
1510 York St.
Denver, CO 80206

Please note: No matter how you donate, your contribution is 100% tax deductible.


About US

Fox Tale Films is an Emmy-nominated independent film production company based in Denver, Colorado and Malmö, Sweden. We specialize in telling nonfiction stories in a compelling visual manner. Our first feature-length documentary film, HONDROS —  executive produced by Jake Gyllenhaal and co-executive produced by Jamie Lee Curtis —  had its world premiere at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival and its International Premiere at the 2017 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. We have two other internationally-set documentaries in the pipeline, one focused on Sierra Leone and another on the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is executive produced by Nick Fraser of Yaddo, formerly of BBC's Storyville. Our work appears in the New York Times, The Guardian, The Economist, The Atlantic and other major news outlets.

Please explore this site for examples of our work, our biographies and our documentary style, but for a quick look at what we're all about, click the video below.

Thank you for your time and for your generous donation.