Director’s Statement

Who am I?

Kris Haamer

How many years does it take to write a book? 3 months but 30 years. It takes 3 months to put the words on paper. It takes 30 years of life experience.

How long does it take to direct a film? I‘m taking my life in 3 countries and travels in 25 with me on the journey of film directing. I’m telling a story that’s personal.

People in the slums, favelas and bairros, the neighborhoods of Europe, South America, and Africa live with my imagination every day. Tomé is my directorial debut. I make this film in my own image.

Director’s History

In 2005 I created documentary photography project about dancers in the North of Argentina. I studied Audiovisual Media in Tallinn University Baltic Film and Media School. I’ve worked on a number of short films and music videos in Estonia and Portugal. This is my thesis project.

Director’s Influences

I was inspired to write Tomé was by a multitude of sources in cinema, the web, radio, television, and literature. And experience from my own life.


During the preproduction of Tomé, I viewed films for inspiration. Ideas from the following media were the most helpful.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona (Woody Allen)

Episode 3: ‘Enjoy Poverty’  (Renzo Martens)

Cidade Dos Homens (Paulo Morelli)

Land Of Look Behind (Alan Greenberg)

Relentless (Andy Amadi Okoroafor)


I don’t accept the division of BIG screen cinema and small screen YouTube. For me (and perhaps my generation) it’s “content”. Independent of where it’s consumed. We travel and live in the Internet. These sites are an inspiration: Africa On YouTube and Kickstarter.

    Radio & Television

    I am inspired by news and current affairs programs such as the BBC & CBC Dispatches and Documentaries and the BBC World Have Your Say (WHYS).

    Director’s Statement

    I conceived the idea for Tomé two years ago. The more I researched the country, the more I realized how little known São Tomé & Príncipe was to the YouTube audience. There was no information out there about the story I was going to tell. It’s the entrepreneurial story of becoming an artist in a little known country and finding one’s confidence.

    As a documentary filmmaker, I am constantly seeking out stories for the global audience. There are stories with the potential of being authentic and universal with ambitious characters.

    At the same time, I am exploring Africa beyond the news headlines, sound bites and statistics. I use contemporary images and I believe mine is not a colonial eye of the Portuguese of Spanish of old age. I give my best to be engaged and participative. It’s about looking at Africa with my own eyes, from my contemporary point of view.

    I look at Africa with a new intensity. The form of the images is a vital element of the film. I celebrate the sensuality, the joy, the jokes and the laughter. I am making a stylized and entertaining film that’s busting with creativity.

    Call To Action

    I’ve put thousands of Euros into making this film. I’ve donated a couple hundred hours of my time doing research and interviews.

    For 17 000 Euros I can complete the production of Tomé. I am trying to balance a tight budget with doing this story justice. The money I raise over my target amount will allow me to strengthen the film.

    By supporting Tomé, whether it’s in spirit or a financial donation, you are expressing your care about this inspiring but under-reported story. To reach the wide audience that this story deserves I need your help.

    My voice becomes lauder when you join me. Be in touch.Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and our website’s comments. You can add your contribution even if you cannot become a backer. If you have any questions, comments or ideas, and spread the word about the Tomé Project.


    Who’s endorsing this project? Continue reading endorsements by the author of the Bradt Guide to Sao Tome & Principe Kahtleen Becker and the Portuguese novelist Joao Lopes Marques.

    – Kris Haamer


    Kickstarter coming September 2011. Or Pledge now.