Sunday, June 24, 2012

Kimberley Duband: actress, writer, film maker and braveheart. The huge amount of talent packed into the small package that is Kimberley, is astounding. She always has several projects on the boil, but this week she is talking to The Scout about her documentary The Road to Tumaini.

So, you're a writer, actor and filmmaker? How do you put food on the table?

How do any of us do it? ...With a lot of hard work and perseverance. When you decide to make a life living off the things you create, you discover that working isn’t a 9 to 5 Monday to Friday gig… and that no one is going to just hand you your dreams on a golden platter!  ‘Making-it’ in this industry demands dedication even when there seems to be no payoff in sight, taking every “No” and turning it into a “Yes” and making a concerted effort to not just talk about your great ideas, but to take action and turn those ideas into something tangible.

It’s a feast or famine industry, the tough part is staying at the top of the food chain.

Tell me about The Road to Tumaini?  

Tumaini is the Kiswahili word for ‘hope’ and The Road to Tumaini is a documentary that follows four Australian architects, passionate about the education of girls in the third world, who respond to a request from a remote Kenyan community to help them build a girls school. After years of careful planning and fundraising, the architects arrive in Kenya excited and ready to start work. But things don’t go to plan, and when their lives are threatened, they have no choice but to leave Kenya with their dream unrealized.

It was a bizarre turn of events that lead me to discover this story.  I happened to meet one of the architects a couple of weeks before she went to Kenya. She told me about the non-profit organization bricks+cartwheels and their upcoming adventure. I was really inspired by their courage and asked if I could go along to document their journey and help them raise awareness. They agreed, and I set off with them, excited by the prospect of following the process over a 6 year period; from the initial building, to seeing the first grade of girls go through the school and graduate.

The hope that everyone had, from the Kenyan girls and women in the community, to the architects in Australia and all their supporters worldwide, was infectious. However, when things didn’t go as planned, and they saw their dream of creating the school crumble before their eyes, I too saw my documentary going to pieces. Life rarely goes to plan, and this was one of those moments that no one could have predicted. But I believe it’s how you recover from those unexpected bumps in the road that matters. And so, The Road to Tumaini was born. A story now, that is more exciting and more real than anything I had originally planned. On the surface, it still highlights the plight of the girl child and how important education is in bringing a people out of poverty, but it also shows how helping others is often much more complex than it seems.

I am currently in post production on The Road to Tumaini, which is scheduled to be completed this year. 

What other projects are you working on at the moment?

A couple of really exciting projects are in the pipeline at the moment, I have just come back from Los Angeles where I have been talking with a couple of production companies about a television series I have co-written with an incredible young Australian writer by the name of Anthony Roberts. The script and concept were received really well over there, so hopefully it wont be too long until I am back over there for development season. The other project is a feature film which I won't talk about now, it’s very much in it’s early stages, so that will have to wait a while.

How do you find time to create?

I just have to be focused and schedule it into my day. Just like making time for lunch, or yoga or facebook! I schedule in time to create. A wise man told me once that anyone can be a writer, or an actor or a filmmaker, the hardest job is staying one. I always feel that my greatest limitations are fear and time, and they are also my greatest gifts because they propel me forward. Sometimes life is that thing you get bogged down in whilst you’re procrastinating the life you really want to have, and so the daily struggle is being mindful of this and just committing to making the time, or push through the fear barriers in order to pursue the thing that you love most. 

What inspires you?

So many things inspire me, and it’s not always the obvious things that have the greatest impact. A conversation with a friend, watching other films, spending time with motivated dedicated people (who help you strive harder) walking the dogs, other people’s stories (never be too busy to listen to someone if they are prepared to tell you never know where you’re next great idea will strike), traveling, running on the beach, horse riding, books, being in love…the list goes on. They all inspire me in one way or another to do better, think more creatively, challenge the boundaries of what I think I can and can’t achieve, and remind me that it is the journey that is just as important as the destination.  

Kimberley is still taking donations for the final stages of post-production and release on The Road to Tumaini. The project is approved through Documentary Australia Philanthropic Foundation to accept tax deductible grants and donations. If you want to contribute visit: 
or contact The Scout to get a direct line to Kimberley. And pass this on to anyone else you know who might be interested - its a project worth helping from a director worth admiring.

(photos of Kimberley by Asia Upward)

Thanks Kimberley, your energy is always inspiring.... The Scout.

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