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After making his promise to Mama Jackey and her students, Charlie brought his friend Kip on board to help produce the film. They then recruited Charlie's 16-year-old brother, Willie—who had shot a few films in high school—to direct the documentary. Documenting Mama Jackey's inspirational story and her students' struggles was truly a family affair for the Ebersols. Dick financed Ithuteng, while Susan acted as assistant editor.
Charlie, Kip and Willie raised enough money to pay for their plane tickets to South Africa and left for a 17-day film shoot.
When they arrived at Mama Jackey's school, Willie says the enormity of the project began to sink in. "It never really set in until we got to that school and realized that our cameras weren't charged and our lights weren't ready...and all of a sudden we were making this movie," he remembers.