A Buckhead native is bringing the sounds of Africa to Atlanta with a performance by the Grammy Award-nominated African Children’s Choir at the Buckhead Theatre, as the group of young singers is the subject of her upcoming documentary.
Erin Levin, a former CNN producer turned independent filmmaker, said she got the idea to produce “Imba Means Sing,” a documentary detailing the power of music and its impact on education, on a 2008 trip to Uganda where she met the choir.
After filming for 14 months, Levin said she still has about four months left of shooting that involves a return to Africa with the children this fall to begin school. She said the July 25 event, a play off the film’s title called “Embagga Means Party,” will allow family and friends to see how far she and the rest of the film crew have come since the beginning.
Attendees will get a sneak peek of the documentary and enjoy performances by local favorites ATL Collective, who will perform “Under African Skies” by Paul Simon with the choir, as well as NBC’s “The Voice” finalist Chris Cauley, the Shadowboxers, Chinua Hawk and the Amerson brothers.
“Since we’re all from here, we really wanted to have [the party] be here,” Levin said of the documentary’s producers and director. “It’s an opportunity to just really bring Africa and Atlanta together in a night of culture, music and celebration.”
In addition to the performances, there will also be a silent auction featuring donations from local businesses and artists including Monday Night Brewing. Proceeds from the event will go to the choir as well as to help fund the film.
To begin working on the documentary, Levin started an online fundraising campaign through Indiegogo, which so far has raised $180,000, with $230,000 still needed to complete filming. Levin said 100 percent of proceeds from the film will be donated to the choir and education nonprofits.
Following the event, the kids will have two more local appearances singing the national anthem at the Braves game the following Thursday and Friday before they head off to camp in North Carolina.
Eventually, Levin said she would like to bring the documentary from the screen to the classroom and develop a curriculum to go along with the film.
“I really want to engage young people,” she said.
The VIP event runs from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., with the doors open to all ticket holders at 7:30 p.m. The show begins at 8 p.m.
If you go:
o What: Embagga Means Party
o When: July 25 at 6:30 p.m. for VIPs, 7:30 p.m. doors and auction open
o Where: Buckhead Theatre, 3110 Roswell Road
o Cost: $45 for general admission; VIP tickets start at $200
o Information: www.embagga.com