The Making Of

Dr. Carpenter was inspired to make “Born in Goma” to humanize the stories of people whose lives often feel unfathomable to those of us raised in developed countries. We often feel distant from the suffering of others in faraway places. We have our own struggles with money, family or health and it can be challenging to empathize with people or problems that seem so foreign. It may be difficult to regard the sick, malnourished kid on the cover of a magazine as being similar to our own child or sibling.

To help bring these stories to life, Dr. Carpenter used his savings; purchased a camera, audio and lighting equipment; researched “how to film a documentary” online and headed to Goma. Once on the ground, he hired a local cameraman and began filming.

Within days of arriving in Goma, Dr. Carpenter met Isaac, a dynamic and fun-loving 11-year-old. At first, Isaac was shy in front of the camera, but after a few days, he became much more comfortable. The attention of the film crew made him feel special and he was often disappointed when they took a day off.

A few months into filming, Gisele came to the hospital for her first prenatal visit. She was a mature young woman who wanted to tell her story. Over the following months, the crew visited her remote home in the mountains around Goma many times.

Then, two weeks after Gisele gave birth, Dieume was brought to the emergency room with six gunshot wounds. He initially declined participating in the film but changed his mind after he was stabilized. He, too, wanted to tell his story. After Dieume left the hospital, the camera crew had a difficult time keeping up with him. On three occasions, they had to search for many days to track him down.

There were many challenges creating a film in Goma. The crew was frequently threatened with physical violence or death, the cameraman was assaulted twice and robbed at gunpoint once, and they were regularly extorted by police or military. They were involved in two serious vehicle accidents and stranded in remote areas for hours or days.

After six months of daily filming, Dr. Carpenter returned to the United States with 110 hours of footage. He hired an editing team and began the long post-production process.

The Team

Chris Carpenter Writer, Director, Producer and Cameraman
Lisa Dickey Associate Producer
Todd Dayton Editor and Associate Producer
Karen Everett Story Editor
Slykiz Kizito Nkoranyi Cameraman and Translator
Willian Ryan Fritch Original Score
Carlo Flores Animation
Dave Nelson Rerecording Mixer and Sound Design
Miik Dinko Dialogue Editor
Journeyman Pictures Archival Footage
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