Wê (“Eyes”)

A trip inside paintings.

“The projector beam lit up a portrait of an ancient man on the classroom wall. We sat down on cushions spread around the floor, whispers subsided, and the professor slowly began to speak. For a student interested in the arts it was something magical. The image flickered, brush-strokes faded and I felt my imagination travel. I was now inside the incredible adventure of the man in the painting, the Greco-Egyptian writer Πτολεμαῖος, my eyes fixed on the sky in search of stars, wandering through the night.

I've felt the same at art museums, mesmerized by the voice in the headphones, fascinated by stories inside artworks. As the storytelling professor had taught me, wake canvases to life, and we create new ways to experience art, understand and learn from it.”

— Kris Haamer

This was the birth of Wê.

***

Here's the Earth's heart: at the crossroads of the 0-meridian and the equator lies a 14-million-year-old volcanic island that's never been part of any continent.

It's half the size of Rhode Island. In her mids, 6500 feet of steepness, towers mountain Pico de São Tomé, surrounded by the ancient Ôbo rainforest, due to its isolation, one of the most important endemic biodiversity hotspots in the world. The uniqueness of São-tomean nature is the topic of California Institute of Sciences' biologist Bob Drewes's TEDx talk.

The first chapter of Wê focuses on ornithology and the endemic bird species Celêlê-mangochi. The next three capture resistance against violence, a love that conquers all, and the creativity that can overcome any obstacle. Stories told through the characters born in the paintings of Alex-Keller Fonseca and Catita Dias.

*

Chapter 1

Me & My Friend Slingshot

Me & My Friend Slingshot

Based on the painting "Slingshot" by Alex-Keller Fonseca.

1

1º Chapter:Gil Neves (13) lives with is mom at the edge of a forest and often skips school to roam the Ôbo (rainforest) and hunt birds with his only friend the slingshot. One day he meets an ornithologist. Together they set on a search looking for an endemic bird species, the reclusive Celêlê-mangochi.

Starring Paulo Jorge Neves, Vivalda Prazeres as the mother, and Octavio Veiga as the ornithologist. Written by Gilberto Ceita, original music by Guilherme de Carvalho.

*

Chapter 2

Love For One Day

Love For One Day

Based on the painting "Mãe Africana" by Alex-Keller Fonseca.

2

2º Chapter:One day in math class, Mariana Lopes (17) receives an unexpected love letter from an unknown admirer. Days later at her birthday party the school's playboy takes the responsibility. But was it him?

Written by Edneyse Coelho. Style by Katya Silva.

Example wardrobe for Mariana's character style from Katya Silva 2014. collection.

*

Chapter 3

Elsa Figueira

Elsa Figueira

Based on the painting "Domestic Violence" by Catita Dias.

3

3º Chapter:Elsa Figueira (22) denounces the abusive man she loves and goes on a quest against violence. Her motto: “What eyes can see, we can change”.

In the leading role Regina Fereira as Elsa, and Valery André Menezes as the violent husband. Story and music by Pekagboom.

"I suffer silently, do everything to please you and all you do is respond with violence." — A phrase from the film music

*

Chapter 4

Blue

Blue

Based on a painting by Alex-Keller Fonseca.

4

4º Chapter:Painters Alex-Keller Fonseca and Catita Dias walk the streets of São Tomé, meeting their friends, the artists Dio Lima, Olie Ribeiro, Jesus Quaresma, Leonel Varela, et al. having artistic discussions. Written by Kris Haamer and Alex-Keller Fonseca.

“My life is the thoughts that circulate my mind. Through my paintings I try to express the everyday life of Mother Africa and her rebirth. With all her suffering and insecurity whose traditions will be reborn in the world through children.” — Alex-Keller Fonseca

***

Writing Stories

The first story focused on Alex-Keller Fonseca's character began in 2010. The subsequent stories were written in the summer of 2013 by Gilberto Ceita "Me And My Friend Slingshot" and Edneyse Coelho "Love For One Day" who won the Wê writing contest. The musician Pekagboom wrote the story "Elsa Figueira". On the picture me and Gilberto Ceita after the prize-awarding.

*

When Gil returns from the Ôbo, he's no longer aimless and wants to study biology in order to better understand the birds. Gil's transformation in the movie can be an inspiration to other children his age. The bird-researcher's role in the story is to encourage adults to appreciate the nature and birds, and to take care of the rich endemic diversity in São Tomé. The fowler part is played by Ocatavio Veiga, who has worked with bird scientists for the last 20 years and knows a lot about the Sao-tomean bird species.

Octavio Veiga

Octavio Veiga catches birds with a tennis-net-like trap to take a blood sample and attach a sensor.

*

Pictured here writers Sofia Santos, Edneyse Coelho, Marlucy Bandeira, Gilberto Ceita, Wilme Dias, painter Dio Lima, visiting the city of Angolares on tour interviewing artists (here Nelito Pereira). Akaisa Borges behind the camera.

*

The next step was to create a storyboard to visualize each chapter, characters, scenes, locations, and the dramatic story arc. Will Ferlack responsible for storyboarding.

*

Actors & Actresses

To find the character Gil Neves — "Me And My Friend The Slingshot" — we conducted a casting where 30 boys from locations around the country competed. The lower picture shows Paulo Jorge Neves who won the part with his mother in the film played by the local television star Vivalda Prazeres.

For "Elsa Figueira" we tried a number of different actors until we found that Regina Fereira and Valeri Menezes have explosive chemistry. On the picture actors surrounded by fans in the city of Angolares.

*

The Team

Me and Alex Keller-Fonseca, authors of the Wê project.

35 people have worked in various roles for Wê. Style by Katya Silva and Roselyn Silva; assisted by Cintya Gracias; makeup effects by Mery Pinto. Written by Kris Haamer, Alex Keller-Fonseca, Percio Silva, Gilberto Ceita and Edneyse Coelho. Story feedback by Sofia Santos, Akaisa Borges, Wilme Dias and Marlucy Bandeira. Research by Dulcineia Barros and Ismael Sequeira. Camera Elzo Trovoada, Erikson Barroso, Paulo Garcia, Bruno Gonçalves and Pedro Resende. Trailer assembly by Claudia Silvestre. Casting organized by Fatima Almeida. Production secretary Daena Neto.

*

Edneyse Coelho, Elzo Trovoada, Alex-Keller Fonseca, Pekagboom and Roselyn Silva talk about the project.

*

The Why?

  1. Promote São Tomé and Príncipe.

  2. Inspire and attract new audiences to art.

*

iPad App

*

Funding

The project has been supported by a number of people standing behind previous Estonian success stories with 15,000€. To finish all four chapters of Wê we're raising 50,000€.

For more information get in touch.

*

Call To Action

Here's an open invitation to help make this project happen. We're available 24/7 to respond to all possible questions. Call +372 53073123 or write kris@haam.co

Kris Haamer is the founder of 🐙, a startup on a mission to create meaningful entertainment for the digitally-native, globally-minded z-generation.

***

EestiPortuguês (Portugal)Português (São Tomé e Príncipe)Português (Angola)Português (Brasil)在中國Bahasa MelayuDeutschFrançaisItalianoEspañolSuomiSvenskaNederlandsDanskNorskÍslenska