Documentaire Orlando Pantera: la comète venue du Cap-Vert

Help me to make a documentary on the story of Orlando Pantera, a musical genius from Cape Verde who tragically died in 2001 at age 33

Project visual Documentaire Orlando Pantera: la comète venue du Cap-Vert
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Documentaire Orlando Pantera: la comète venue du Cap-Vert

Hello! I'm extremely excited, proud and nervous to present you my first ever documentary project and to do this campaign to achieve this little dream of mine.

Thank you for taking the time to be here and to read !

A few words on the project 

Who was Orlando Pantera, awaited as the next rising star of Cape Verde in early 2000, who tragically died two days before recording his first-ever album? I want to tell you the story of a unique person, whose talent and genius has revolutionized music. Humble in the heart and generous for his people, Pantera was more than a musician: he was a star! 

How did it all start...

One year ago, three music scavengers went on to start fulfilling their crazy dream: visit all the former Portuguese colonies to discover their musical heritage and new trends. Our sights for this first trip together landed on Cape Verde. Before going there, I have heard stories and tales about a musical precursor that changed Cape Verdean music forever. Until today, the only way to listen to his music that is said to be of great quality is to copy it from the materials that remained dispersed.

His name? Orlando Pantera.

Later on, we got to know that he suddenly died two days before recording his first-ever album in Paris. Our curiosity was driven to discover more about this tragic fate and to find out that who he really was and what he did. We didn't know it yet, but he would become the leitmotiv and the lucky star of our trip. Coming back with dozens of testimonies, materials collected from people met on streets, countless shivers felt and tears cried listening to his music, I knew we had something to do as a way to give back. We realised that the joy and emotions that I felt listening to his music were shared by, not only the whole Cape-Verdean community but by whoever had the chance to listen to his music.

An idea emerged from this: 
Tell the story of Orlando Pantera, his life, music and heritage he left, through the lens and the testimonies of the people that knew Pantera, in a documentary that will be released in August 2020.

And here I am today, a few weeks off from starting the most adventurous and exciting human and musical project that I am presenting publicly and proudly. And I need you to help me realize this dream.

Who am I?

I'm Alexandre (call me Alex), I'm 25 and nothing drives me more than to transmit, pass on and tell stories. This desire manifested itself at an early age when I animated a music show at the radio station of my school with two of my closest friends. Later on, this passion would continue and lead me to create my own radio station next to my studies in economics, to share with everyone my musical trip through the discovery of sounds and rhythms of the world. This track led me to become actively digging further into traditional, folk and popular music and eventually sharing them to get people dancing at night. Never did I think that it will bring to right here, right now, to do what I'm passionate about, telling stories and sharing music, but in a completely different context and manner. 

Who was Orlando Pantera? 

01st of March 2001. Cape Verde is plundged into deep sorrow and sadness. One of his most prominent prodigy, Orlando Monteiro Barreto, commonly known as Orlando Pantera, died brutally of a acute pancreatite at the symbolic age of the Christ, 33, leaving Cape Verde orphan of who was considered to be the next revelation of the country and beyond. Multi-instrumentalist, composer, writer, but also a devoted teacher for the children of his island, Pantera cherished his culture, his people and made it a cause to strive for. He elevated the genre of batuque, originally played and sang by women, on the guitar and added his own authenticity and jazzyness touch to it, talking about the daily life and struggles of the men and women of the fields, love and its disillusions, birth and funeral rituals - " I am Cape-Verdian" he recalled. Two days after his death, Pantera was supposed to take off for Paris to record his first-ever studio album, titled "Lapidu Na Bo". This album was awaited as Pantera's breakthrough, finally exposing his talent and his music to the world: it, unfortunately, never happened.

What has remained from Pantera today, who transcended the traditional genres of music and who's influence inspired an offspring of artists such as Mayra Andrade, Vadu, Tcheka to become spokespersons of the "Pantera Generation"? 

It was almost pathetic, his talent was so immense... Cape Verde will not birth an artist like him for the next 50 years. Like Pelé, for football, we are still looking for one of his level of genius..."

Elísio Lopes, editor of Morabeza Records, with whom Pantera was supposed to record songs for his album "Lapidu na Bô"

19 years later, his memory and his legacy are fading away. Only a handful of spontaneous recordings and videos remain, a couple of photos and interviews here and there, and one documentary on his work for a theatre group. Few are the artists that still sing the couple of songs that are engrained in the conscious collective, and Cape Verde mourns its lost prodigy, relying only on the scarce memories they have of him. 

"Wherever he goes, he impresses, he pierces, he moves to the core, his music and his lyrics shake the numb souls. But it goes beyond the surface, it sinks in the skin. The most prominent musicians of the era are in awe in front of his talent: Pantera has that little something more of soul than others don't"

Mic Dax

Pantera was like a comet: he made a sudden appearance on Earth to bring the light and to guide. He left an unprecedented impact on the people and land of Cape Verde that will last forever, clearing the path for the following stars to glitter and be torches of his legacy. This project is about relightening that torch.

Listen to his music

A few articles to read:

Why is it so important to tell his story? 

This project goes beyond telling a story. Its purpose lies deeper. Every nation strives and fights to protect their culture and heritage as a way to cultivate and form its own proper identity. Cape Verde is a young country that gained its independence from the Portuguese 45 years ago and their quest to define their identity is a necessity. Art and music are the motors that make Cape Verde run every day and what makes the people in the different islands connect. Remembering Pantera is retracing what defines Cape Verde as the nation it is today, and the identity their shaping for themselves.

Time is not on our side, the more we wait, the more the memories will vanish, forever. Taking action is urgent - sadly, Pantera's producer of the album died a few days ago, taking with him precious and cherished memories of Pantera.

This is a project that comes and is made from the heart of humans and the souls of music passionates.

The filming and the team

Starting 16th of February, we will shoot for two-weeks in Cape Verde, on different spots and islands (Ilha de Santiago, Ilha de Sao Vicente & Ilha de Santo Antao), and come back home the 2nd of March. Jan, sound technician, and Leo, cameraman, script and editor, will accompany me throughout the trip: they will be the ears and eyes I'll be relying on for capturing the testimonies, the scenes and the emotions to transcribe on the magnetic band. My trip to Cape Verde last year allowed me to get acquainted with the terrain and to meet the majority of the sources and people that will be part of the documentary, which is a very positive point. Our focus will be driven mainly towards the quality of the interactions, but we will let ourselves free to capture the daily life and joie de vivre of this archipelago. We will have the chance to stay for the entire period of the Carnaval of Mindelo (21-25 February), a unique event deeply rooted in the traditions of Cape Verde.

Allocation of funds

What are the numbers?

Realistically, such a project involves big sums that is virtually impossible for one to bear on its shoulder and to finance fully independently. Jan, Leo and I are giving our time and energy voluntarily to make this come true, but we still need fundings to cover transport, equipment and day-to-day costs. Every single of your contribution will help me to get closer to my goal. This is when you kick in!

Hereby is a detailed list of the needs and costs involved with the two-week filming trip in Cape Verde:
⦁    Flights two-ways Brussels - Praia (Cape-Verde): 900€
⦁    Visa (x3): 90€
⦁    Internal flights two-ways Praia-Mindelo (x3): 540€
⦁    Boat between Mindelo - Santo Antao (x3): 48€
⦁    Housing: 280€
⦁    Food: 300€
⦁    Equipment for video and audio + Insurance: 500€
⦁    Hard drives to stock the footage and audio: 130€
⦁    Costs linked with the platform: 247€
⦁    Buffer: 300€

TOTAL: 3335€

What if we outreach the goal and what if not? 

The campaign for funding this filming in Cape Verde is the first step of a longer and bigger goal. The project will continue during the next couple of months, with filmings planned in Lisbon, Paris, Brussels and Rotterdam, meeting the people that knew him and sharing their stories on the camera.  If we would exceed the goal (that would be a twist!), those extra resources will go into the funding of the following productions and trips for the documentary. This will be communicated in a very open and transparent manner to you, such that you will be updated on the following steps and decisions of the project. 

The most important for now is to reach that target! If we cannot reach the objective, the filming in Cape Verde and the whole project might be at stake. Independent and self-produced enterprises like these bear some high risks, because of the little resources available and the degree of responsibility taken by the project holders. Me and my comrades accept it and are aware of the ambition we set for ourselves. We're crazy dreamers, determined, agile, stubborn and optimistic that we can make a good film. But the biggest motor of this project is you, and the trust you're giving us boosts us to give the best of ourselves. Without you, none of this can happen! 


This is when you kick in!

Let's be honest: I need your support to make it happen. This is an independent project inspired and guided by love and reciprocity. Getting involved in this project is getting involved in an adventure with me and my friends. It is also a direct way of taking action to preserve and enrich the culture of Cape Verde. 

I am eternally grateful of your help, support, love that you're giving me right now! Whether you can participate in this campaign or not, there are many others ways that you can support the project, by making the most noise around you and tell people why you think we should be supported, sharing it with your friends and family if you dare, sending us messages, tips and suggestions: everything counts and is immensely valued! Every single push is a step further, tiny or big. Thank you, thank you, and thank you again!

Love and thankfulness,


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