A version of this story first appeared in the March 20 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
When the filmmakers behind Revolt, director Joe Miale's alien-invasion movie starring Lee Pace and Skyfall Bond girl Berenice Marlohe,
shot for a day in a township outside of Johannesburg, South Africa,
they were struck by the generosity of the residents — and the staggering
hardships of life in Ward 48, including AIDS, drugs, poverty and lack
In a first for Hollywood, the film's backers, Voltage Pictures, Automatik and 42 Productions, are giving back to the township by launching a $15,000 crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.
They decided to match dollar for dollar in the hope of raising
$30,000 for a soccer field, drug counseling, a car wash (for jobs) and
an irrigation system for a community garden, among other ventures.
Within hours of launching the campaign Wednesday morning, they achieved
their goal. "As filmmakers, we fly in and out of communities around the
world," says Automatik's Brian Kavanaugh-Jones. "I've been thinking about how we can have a long-term impact in those places that help us." Adds Voltage production president Zev Foreman, "It's not about donating money; it's about addressing people's needs."
Kavanaugh-Jones, Foreman and executive producer Josh Horsfield hope the Indiegogo campaign can serve as a model for the rest of the film business. In setting it up, the Revolt team worked closely with Betty Ryngani, Ward 48's town counselor.
Recalls Pace of filming there: "We did a big driving stunt, and the
whole community came out and helped, keeping the road clear of kids and
dogs. They were as curious about us as we were about them."