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Drinking from the Well captures the real lives of Ugandan youth struggling to create a positive future in an environment that tests every ability to survive. Nabalagala, the Kampala slum where they live, is populated with broken lives, crumbling homes, and bleak prospects. The sun’s heat suppresses emotion. Dust from the red clay cakes every surface. Malaria-carrying mosquitoes jab at unprotected skin. Homemade alcohol, glue, and other drugs, substances that offer a brief reprieve from the misery, have turned people into empty shells that occupy the shadows of this slum. Day in and day out, the next generation of Kampalans must surmount these obstacles in order to begin thinking, dreaming and hoping about the future. Somehow, Happy, Shamirah, B-Start, Kenny and Jajaneli, have done much more than this. Under the umbrella of the Amagezi Gemaanyi Youth Association (AGYA), a community center where they live, these five have united to push against the odds and forge a future rich with possibility. Despite a debilitating heart disease and the responsibility of scrapping together enough money for rent and food for herself and her sick mother, Happy finds the time and energy to teach English to women in the slums and foster her dream of being a film editor.After following around a foreign journalist who reported on the dire situation in her slum, Shamirah decided to become a photojournalist. Usually her hands clench, stretch and flash as she scrubs, sweeps, stirs, but when her hands get hold of a camera, magic happens.B-Start’s parents died of AIDS when he was five. Relegated to the streets, he grew up around drug dealers, addicts, and thieves. Avoiding the allure of street life, B-Start kindled the hope of being a rapper. When he is not practicing his flow, he scrapes together enough supplies to silkscreen shirts for sale.Ostracized from his family, Kenny grew up alone in the slums. Along the way, he had a transformative encounter with a paint brush. After years of practice, Kenny paints rich stories of traditional African life, depicting the human will to survive amidst the greatest turmoil.Jajaneli seems wise well beyond his years. Yet he is one of the youngest leaders at AGYA. From rapping to knitting hats to thinking about opening up an internet business, Jaja has a rare sophistication and leadership quality. He uses these talents to beat back a past filled with abandonment, betrayal, and desperation.The lives of these five youth meld with the stories of the other slum citizens to tell the compelling story of people who will not quit. People who will survive. People who will flourish. Disease, death, and other difficulties are pushed aside as the youth gather around to drink deeply from the well.

Scoring the film

As we head into the studio to score our film a few thoughts cross my mind.  Will I be able to deliver the proper music since I'm tied so closely to the project and what kind of music should I write?  To kind of get past that I enlisted the help of a good friend of mine who is an amazing drummer and producer.  We realized that film needed music to be subtle so that it would fit the pace of the film. We came up with a great idea of writing one long piece and breaking it up into parts so that th...


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