imba means sing

  1. Happy Everything from Imba Means Sing!

    Happy Everything

    We hope 2014 brings you singing angels!

    And we can almost guarantee that the New Year will, indeed, bring you that splendid wish*. Check out all of our exciting updates and year-in-review below. Thank you for your continued love, encouragement and support! 

    Webale nyo,
    The Imba Means Sing Cast (the 39th African Children’s Choir) & Crew (Erin Levin, Danielle Bernstein, Jason Maris and an array of awesome audio mixers, Production Assistants, interns, volunteers, mentors and donors!)

    *Singing angels included.

    After two years of filming the Grammy-nominated 39th African Children’s Choir from being selected in Uganda, to their tour around the world and back again, we are thrilled to share that we have successfully wrapped principle photography and are beginning to edit this incredible story!

    Click the photo above to watch our 27-minute rough cut. The rough cut is simply a stringing out of a few of our main characters and themes and shows a glimpse of the beautiful camera work in our feature film. Please note that the film itself will be much more a work of art and a very character-driven story (think Beasts of the Southern Wild). Most importantly, the rough cut does not include any footage from our favorite and final shoot - we just returned from spending the Choir’s last week on tour with them in the UK and their first three weeks home in Uganda - MAGIC!

    That’s right, y’all. Where our precious Choir kids come from, painstakingly caught, plucked and fried grasshoppers are a Christmastime delicacy. Our crew was brave enough to try them a couple weeks ago with Nina’s family. They’re actually quite good and the heads taste like yummy popcorn. Pictured is her friend Matty enjoying a fresh and crispy catch.

    You’ll learn in Imba Means Sing that for these children, happiness really comes from friends, family and faith. Not from material possession or even running water or electricity. Nina, Matty and their friends live in Kampala’s Katanga slum - one of the most impovershed places we’ve experienced as social impact filmmakers. But they are some of the most joyful and loving people we’ve ever met. 

    If you are in a festive holiday panic about last minute Christmas gifts and are too nervous to give grasshoppers, you’ve opened the right newsletter! You can give your loved ones a donation to sharing this story with the world in their honor. Just click the donate button below, enter the name of your giftee and we’ll send them a special e-card from you!


    We’ve got some great news to share! This year we won two prestigious awards which came with financial support for the film. At the Sundance Collective we were honored with Best Social Impact Film In-the-Making and we also just found out that Erin, the film’s Producer, was named Female Filmmaker of the Year by the Speranza Foundation. 

    The greatest gift of all, however, is how the children have lifted us up all along the way and we are so thankful to be sticking with our commitment to donate 100% of film profits to help continue their education (and hopefully thousands more) in Africa. It is our hope and goal for these incredible kids to uplift millions more lives through Imba Means Sing

    Angel’s dream is to be Uganda’s first female President. We are confident she can achieve this ambitious goal - thanks to the Choir and to the awareness our film will raise. But first we need to get her story out in the world — and we NEED YOUR HELP! 

    We have raised $230,000 and have $217,000 more to go. Please consider making a year-end tax-deductible donation to our film. Thanks to our amazing sponsors at the Creative Visions Foundation, we will be able to get you a tax-receipt before the clock ticks midnight

    If you’d like to buy an #AngelforPresident t-shirt, proudly made for us by Spanx, email erinjlevin@gmail.comHere’s a photo of these awesome tees. 

    This year has been full of dreams come true for our film. And they are very much thanks to YOU! Please click the photo above to hear these awesome young ladies thank you on behalf of all of us behind Imba Means Sing

    We are eager to make you proud. Our distribution, outreach and marketing strategy is almost as ambitious as Angel’s plan to be President. But we know that the world is hungry for this thought-provoking, mind-changing, heart-opening content. Our goal is for the film to release late summer/early fall of 2014 and for at least a million people to see if before year-end. We are confident that with a community like y’all around us, it will be!

    Imba Means Sing has already caught the attention of leading innovators and influencers like TEDxWomen, CNN and Plywood People. We look forward to ringing in this new year with even more sparks alongside you!


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  2. One Month till the Rough Cut!

    Dear fabulous friends, family & fans, 
    I am thrilled to be sharing this update. 
    It has been a long journey. Many of you have been riding by my side throughout it. Thank you! 
    Imba Means Sing has been a dream in my heart since the moment I met the African Children’s Choir just over six years ago. I took the giant leap of faith almost two years ago to leave a fun, comfortable job as a paid journalist to follow my heart and create this film so that the world can experience the power of music, the importance of education and the dignity and potential of these children (ambassadors for a better future for all our world’s children). 
    After 17 months of shooting across Uganda, the US and Canada… capturing over 2,000 hours of incredible footage… facing illness as a crew and Choir but preserving since the show must go on… not knowing how we would afford the next day but then miracle donors like yourselves stepping up with heart-melting generosity… a whole lot of literal blood, sweat and tears… but even more belly-laughs, opened minds and world-changing conversations turned into actions… we are almost ready to show the world our work! 
    Well, a piece of it at least :). It just so happens that the most important shoot of the entire film happens last - the children’s return to Uganda. This November, we will film the Choir’s last week on tour (in Northern Ireland) and then travel with them back to their home where we will spend three weeks following the dramatic climax of this very character-focused story driven by Moses and Angel. 
    However, we have hit a fundraising crossroads. We’ve raised $200,000 in cash. $200,000 in-kind. And have $200,000 in cash left to raise. These crucial finishing funds are hard to raise without a rough cut. So, ladies and gentlemen, we are editing that together right now! 
    One month from today we are going to premiere Imba Means Sing: The Rough Cut! And we want you to be part of it. Every single donor will be sent the link with a password to watch it online. And we will have an in-person event at the SOHO House in NYC. Our hope is that in seeing our vision turned into reality, a reality that we truly believe will make our world - and education systems - much better, you will know you made the right choice in supporting us. And that in watching the story unfold, a fire will be ignited in your soul to help us cross the finish line. To tell everyone you know about the film. To get them to like us on Facebook and to follow us on Twitter. To make the media-funding world know that we’re worth it. And the distribution world know we have fans. With your help, we can finish the film and get millions of people to watch it and then to take part in solving the global education crisis. Are you in?
    Thank you so much for reading this email and for continuing to support us with your prayers, time, connections, funding and encouraging words. If you know anyone in NYC that we should invite to the small, private screening who may be interested in supporting us with finishing funds or distribution, please let me know so I can invite them. And if you have any friends that you think would want to be part of this special donor-only release in one month, please let them know all they have to do is give. Even $10 helps! 
    Many thanks & lots of love,
    Erin Levin and the rock star Imba Means Sing team
    PS: We just updated our website! 

  3. Epoch: an event or a time marked by an event that begins a new period or development

    When you work 100 hours a week and rarely get to see the fruits of your labor, anytime someone seems to recognize your passion it makes you smile. That’s what happened when my sweet friend Christina Buchanan nominated Imba Means Sing for an Epoch Award. I smiled. And then I wondered what it meant?

    So as the inquisitive journalist I am, I went to the website and learned that it’s an honor and grant for “unsung heroes in ministry.” I watched the story of how Justin from Care for AIDS turned his dream into reality thanks to this generous gift. But I wanted to know more. I knew I had heard this word before. Long before. Like in middle school history class.

    Here’s what Merriam and Webster have to say about this great word, epoch. An epoch is “an event or a time marked by an event that begins a new period or development.” We need Imba Means Sing to win this Epoch Award because we are ready to for an epoch to happen to our film. We need to begin a new period, a new development.

    Let me explain. This has been the hardest year and a half of my life. MakingImba Means Sing has taken everything I have and has made me rely on God more than ever. It’s been a massive gift and also quite a burden. Every day the crew, the Choir and me face new and difficult challenges. Not enough money. Not enough time. Illness. Tornadoes. You name it, we’ve overcome it together. But our tumultuous time of filming is almost over. Dramatic music plays… our epoch is around the corner! Come 2014, we begin edit and then the world finally gets to be inspired by the incredible story of Angel and Moses. But we need help reaching that epoch, and are hoping Epoch can bolster the support! 

    So far we have raised $200,000 for the film. The whole production, from start to your screen, will cost $400,000. So we’re halfway there! We urgently need another $60,000 so we can finish shooting this incredible story. So winning $10,000 from Epoch would be a massive help.  Massive. And winning $500 right now just for telling the world about this awesome award? Yeah. That would be icing on the cake. We love eating icing before the cake J. $500 today will pay for us to get to our next shoot in NC… gas for there and back so we can film these amazing kids and turn that $500 into millions for their education. Bam! Let’s do it Epoch. Thank you! 


  4. erinjlevin:

    When you work 100 hours a week and rarely get to see the fruits of your labor, anytime someone seems to recognize your passion it makes you smile. That’s what happened when my sweet friend Christina Buchanan nominated Imba Means Sing for an Epoch Award. I smiled. And then I wondered what it…


  5. We <3 the News!

    We are super thankful for how the whole city of Atlanta has gotten excited about the Choir coming to our big town this week. 

    Here are some of the great press hits we’ve gotten so far. Thanks for checking them out — please share and buy tickets. See y’all Thursday!

    Atlanta Journal Constitution - African choir inspires film

    Paste Magazine - The African Children’s Choir Joined By The Lone Bellow & More

    Encore Atlanta - Open your hearts, ears to African Children’s Choir

    Plywood People - Erin Levin - One Year Later

    Conscious Magazine - Imba Means Sing. Film on Africa, Education and Music

    Northside Neighbor - African Children’s Choir to perform at Buckhead Theatre

    Scoutmob - What to do this week

    Buckhead Patch - Monday Essentials



  6. The Greatest Music Event — Just Two Weeks Away!

    The Grammy-nominated African Children’s Choir will be performing at our event just two weeks from today! 
    Music-lovers, get excited for one of the most incredible line-ups in Buckhead Theatre — well actually, Atlanta, history:
    The hippest group of Atlanta musicians united as the ATL Collective performing the greatest hits from Paul Simon’s “Graceland”… The Shadowboxers, who just returned from tour with the Indigo Girls… Little Tybee, who awed the drenched masses at the Shaky Knees Festival… Very, very special guest stars The Lone Bellow, who recently sung their hearts out on NPR and perform with Brandi Carlile the next night under the stars at Chastain… Chris Cauley, Atlanta’s very own “The Voice” finalist… Chinua Hawk, Drew and Luke Amerson, Dave Claassen, Emily Weeks… and of course, the African Children’s Choir all the way from Uganda who have shared the stage with none other than Elton John, Annie Lennox, John Legend, Daughtry, Dispatch, Jars of Clay and now, Atlanta’s finest! 
    Inline image 2
    Plus, we will have an unbelievable silent auction showcasing Atlanta’s most yummy restaurants, cutest boutiques, sweatiest spinning gyms… and much more! Some highlight silent auction donors include:
    Monday Night Brewing 
    Yacht Rock Revue 
    Lamon Luther 
    Annie Griffin & Lissa Mar 
    The Braves & Falcons
    Gorgeous local artwork 
    Get your tickets today! General Admission and VIP tickets can be purchased through our All event profits will be split between the Choir and Imba Means Sing, an independent documentary feature film being produced by an Atlanta-based crew about this Choir. VIP tickets are tax-deductible. 
    6:30-7:30 - VIP Cocktail Hour (Six Feet Under & Bold American Catering) including Choir meet & greet
    7:30 - Doors Open
    8 o’clock - The Show Begins! 
    We are super grateful for our sponsors and still searching for more! Please email if you are interested in getting a tax write-off by advertising your awesome company at Embagga Means Party. 
    Don’t forget to get your tickets right now before you open your next email, and to share this event with all of your friends & family in Hotlanta by FWDing this email and posting about it on your favorite social networks.
    Thank you so much and have a very happy Thursday!

  7. Choir Raffle

    Hey y’all! We cannot believe the awesome kids from the Grammy-nominated African Children’s Choir will arrive in Atlanta two weeks from today! 

    We hope you’ve all purchased your tickets to EMBAGGA MEANS PARTY for Thursday, July 25 at Buckhead Theatre. If not,  you can do so now right here

    For you awesome folks coming to the event, we wanted to let you know another fun way you can help these amazing children. Our event is one of their last shows in America before they head home. And they need lots of stuff to bring back to Uganda for themselves and their families. Below is their wish list. They welcome these items new or slightly used, like new. So clean out your kids closets on our next rainy Atlanta day! 

    Each person that brings an item from their wish list to the Choir’s merch table at EMBAGGA will be entered in a raffle to win a free ACC t-shirt, CD or DVD. Thank you so much for your continued love and support for our film, crew and the Choir kids! 

    Boys Wish List
    1. Jeans sizes 10-16 and also small adult sizes 
    2. T-shirts sizes 10-12 and also small adult sizes 
    3. Shorts sizes 10-16 and also small adult sizes 
    4. Toiletry bags 
    5. Flip-flops

    Girls Wish List
    1.Dresses sizes 10-16 and also small adult sizes 
    2. Skirts sizes 10-16 and also small adult sizes 
    3. Jeans sizes 10-16 and also small adult sizes 
    4. T-shirts sizes 10-14 and and also small adult sizes 
    5. Toiletry bags
    6. Flip-flops

    Photo credit: Uncle Vic


  8. Don’t forget Mother’s Day is THIS SUNDAY. We think your mom would adore a donation to our film in her honor. Simply email and we’ll make a custom card just for your mom!


  9. Every child has a story which deserves to be told. Help us share Angel’s! #africanmusic #kidsmatter #indiefilm


  10. Win glory for yourself and loads of funding for your favorite non-profit - hopefully imba means sing - by taking part in this awesome #MarchMadness from the millennial-led One Percent Foundation.