Kansas City local actor, Tosin Morohunfola, currently resides in Chicago while trying to gain traction for his career, while he continues to work toward producing and directing his own script for a movie to be shot back in his hometown of Kansas City.
In a conversation Monday, Feb. 16, Morohunfola said from Chicago, that with only a few days left in his funding campaign, he met his initial goal of about $10,000. He said the positive response allowed him to begin his push toward the final funding goal of $15,000 to finish the projected needs of a new film he wrote and will direct. The film is scheduled to begin in late February, he said.
“With three days left, we have been very successful, in that we have raised over $11,000 of our base goal of $10,800, Morohunfola said. “A more realistic goal, however, is $15,000, so we’ve still got some work to do. That final total is what it will actually cost to make the film. So, we’ve gotta keep pushing and asking people to contribute and join the project with us. I am hopeful that my Kansas City family and friends can help me achieve that, so I can concentrate on the project.”
While waiting for the filming to begin, Morohunfola works in Chicago where he has booked upcoming plays at Victory Gardens and Creede Repertory Theatre. He said rehearsals begin for “An Issue of Blood” at the Victory Gardens Theatre, next month. On his acting horizon, he has inked a deal to perform in Kansas City for a New Theater production in the fall. That will be his first show for New Theater. He will appear in New Theater’s production of “You Can’t Take It With You,” he said.
His short film, “On Sight, ” will, hopefully, begin filming in Kansas City around Feb. 20, Morohunfola said. The piece means a great deal to him and targets American culture at-large because Americans are beginning to have conversations about the police/civilian relationships that he wants to discuss through his art.
“I am overwhelmed with gratitude. More than anything, reaching our base goal tells me that people believe in this project. The 115 funders (so far) tell me that an eager audience is already brewing. And with that base goal met, we can get the project started. Now all we need is to push to that Stretch Goal of $15,000 to be able to finish it. We are on our way. And I couldn’t be ,” Morohunfola said on Monday, Feb. 16.
Aside from money, Morohunfola said, what has been the most encouraging part of this whole process is that people are joining in–and not just monetarily. He said that more than 82 persons have helped with the funding to date with a week to go. The Facebook page has over 280 “likes” and is still generating interest and circulating. Morohunfola encourages people to visit the website and help spread the word.
“Folks are getting enthusiastic about the project and see a need for something like ‘On Sight’ to fill the void and start a conversation. People want challenging material. And that has been an incredible source of encouragement for me,” Morohunfola said.
Plus, most impressively, he said, almost 800 people have watched our promotion video and distributed it to others. There is a hype building. The video can be viewed at its website.
“People are coming out of the woodwork offering advice, their opinions, their film equipment, and their support. So, that has been lovely. One challenge we are running into is getting the appropriate police equipment that we need–namely a police patrol car for a couple days–and a corner of a police station for one day. But I have no doubt that someone or some solution will avail itself soon.”
Morohunfola said that he hopes that the word of his project continues to spread and grow. He said it is important to reach both monetary and artistic goals. By doing such, he said he hopes to plant more seeds and encourage more creators to undertake projects like the one he is doing.
“On Sight,” written and directed by Morohunfola, is a psychological thriller that follows a middle-age patrol officer who pulls over a young black motorist and gives him a speeding ticket. That’s just the beginning, he said.
When discussing his project, Morohunfola said that providing a synopsis for his creation is perplexing without giving away the entirety of the plot. The issue brings the idea of racial profiling into a sharper focus in hopes of helping point toward solutions to a social problem plaguing America. He said that the film brings the concepts of “Duty vs. Jurisdiction” into sharper focus as well. That’s the biggest examination in the piece.
“The only synopsis that I’ve found that I can give without ruining everything is this premise: A seasoned white patrol officer pulls over a young black motorist. Then the officer can’t stop seeing the same man. The question he must consider is ‘How far will he go to find the truth?’ Unfortunately, I haven’t found any way to tell any more of the story without giving it away. I hate being so mysterious, but that’s just the way the story is,” Morohunfola said.
The short film will, hopefully, begin filming in Kansas City toward the last of February, Morohunfola said. The piece means a great deal to him and targets American culture at-large because Americans are beginning to have conversations about the police/civilian relationship that he wants to discuss through his art.
“If there was ever a time that I could use the support of my friends and community, it’s now,” he said.. “I believe ‘On Sight’ would be a game changer for getting this kind of relevant piece in front of the public. I watch the news, I see stories of police brutality and it makes my stomach turn. That’s part of what birthed this project. I cannot stand on the sidelines. I felt compelled to write.”