A new Kickstarter project, launched this week by Wayne Benjamin (Jamaica), looks to raise $7,000 by April 19, for the production of a TV series, based on the life of Juhst Enoch, a Hawaiian based Rastafarian and reggae artist and tells the story of how his faith and the choices he has made because of it, has impacted his life.
Through the campaign, Wayne and Juhst hope to raise the funds needed to produce an entire season of the series (13 episodes). Since Wayne’s skill set includes writing, directing, cinematography, and editing, they are able to save on the costs that would make this type of project prohibitively expensive.
We “talked” with Wayne and Juhst to get a better understanding of the inspiration behind the project and learned the details of the connection between Wayne and Juhst, as well as how Juhst’s Rastafarian faith has been a blessing, as well as a curse:
CaFA: What is the essence of the story behind this project?
Wayne: This is a story about a Caucasian Rastafarian from Missouri, who lost his wife, kids and job all because of his beliefs, and his bulletproof respect for what’s right, and in his opinion fair and just. He then moves to a new place filled with completely new experiences – some downright bizarre – ranging from drama filled ones to action packed ones. “All Roads Lead,” is neither a soap opera, documentary or an action flick, but will have the same “entertain, enlighten and educate” vibe such productions bring, all in one.
CaFA: What inspired you to create the series?
Wayne: My Inspiration is first my hunger to create, then Enoch Wiseman. On my recent trip to Hawaii I met Enoch, he hired me to create a music video for him for a song he did called “New Life”. New life as far as I know is a song about Enoch’s battles, victories and enlightenment. It speaks in his own way of his separation from his wife, his kids, his job and hometown. It speaks of the pain he feels because of these separations, particularly his kids. It speaks of his journey towards a new life.
When I got to Hawaii, meeting Enoch for the first time we immediately clicked, there was an immediate chemistry. So from there forward we spoke a lot about his past and what not, he pretty much told me interesting things every day. As my two week stay in The Big Island progressed, being the person I am, a story began to unfold in my mind … a movie. But because of how profound Enoch’s story was, I knew I could not confine it to one movie – it had to be an ongoing series. The more time I spent with Enoch, the more his fascinating story unraveled and the more I realized this had to be done.
Juhst: I main inspiration with this and all of the works I put forward, is the idea that I can get information to my youth about the truth, as I have experienced it. I want them to know I still think about them daily and I love them more than can be expressed. I am from a twice divorced family and the worst part for my self growing up, was the hate I held inside for my biological father for the pain that I witnessed him create in our lives. The best part about that experience is that my mother never told me bad things about him or made me think negative about him.
My youth, like so many others, have been part of a custody battle that has left them unknowing of the truth and they have been misled while living in an abusive situation. The court system has allowed this to be, based on the idea that I walk Rastafari and I am not healthy for them until I get away from this path. Therein lies the dilemma, as I am, who I am, so there is no way of “getting away from this path”. I know life gives hurdles along the way, to each one, but I hope that my youth will be able to witness, through the works I take part in, that with faith and conviction to do what is right, all things will manifest properly in Jah time and that truth is the foundation to all things.
CaFA: Once the series is made, what do you hope people will gain by watching it?
Wayne: My hope is that people will take several things away from this series. For the casual viewer who’s just looking for something new to watch, entertainment – entertainment of a unique kind, since we don’t exactly see a story like this being told every day. Then I also want like-minded people to be able to relate to this series – fathers who lost their kids to the judicial system in a very unjust way; men whose marriages crumbled not for the stereotypical reasons like a cheating spouse, but because of a deep clash of beliefs; people who for one reason or the other were treated like outcasts because of their search for what they truly believe is right. Then I also want persons who might not be able to relate to any of this, to learn some of what takes place on the other side of the coin.
Juhst: I would like people to bear witness to how actions based on ego, undermine the very foundation, we as hue-mans, try to uphold. Ego is about self-preservation, but as more ego-driven thinking is lived, it ends up limiting what people can experience in life, thus cutting off any expanded ideas on how to preserve the self or future generations of the hue-man race. I hope ones can see that it is time to end corruption and hate and that we must be warriors for what is right in this time. At some point, we all have to take responsibility for our fellow man, as we are all one and share the same air and energy. Get forward to the basic principles of love, respect, support, kindness, honesty, ethics, etc. It is time for ones to come together…to stand firm when people are seeking to abuse others…to stand firm in the face of the corruption…to stand firm for our rights given by the Creator…to stand firm in our own strength! There is no greater price to pay than the weight on one’s own heart for our actions…so live upfull and follow the truth inside, even if it appears to cause you pain. You cannot hide from the truth, for truth is the light of the world. Strive to be the voice for those unable to be heard. Be thankful for the life given and walk in the most honorable way possible.
As we all know, it is difficult for artists in the Caribbean to raise the funds needed for their projects – and in the spirit of supporting our fellow artists, we join with Wayne and Juhst in asking for your support. Visit the project on Kickstarter and contribute what you can – let’s see it get the green light.
Thanks for your time.