Last updated 3:55PM ET
December 13, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
Spotlight On DIFF Part 3
(2008-02-19)
Director-Writers, husband and wife Andrea Nix and Sean Fine, and a scene from "War Dance." (Courtesy: War Dance)
(ksut) - JANE JULIAN: IT'S VERY UPLIFTING, EVENTUALLY, BUT IT'S A BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL FILM.
The movie Durango Independent Film Festival Program Director Jane Julian is talking about is War Dance.
Many of the more than 100 films you can see during next week's festival have won numerous awards.
However, War Dance, is one of two showing at the festival, that have been nominated for Oscars.
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War Dance was directed by the husband/wife team of Sean Fine and Andrea Nix.
Nix told me they were approached by an acquaintance about producing a movie to raise the awareness of the war in Uganda, and in particular it's impact on children.
It turned out to be a tough but rewarding assignment for all involved.
She talked about it.
NIX: WE TOOK IT ON AND SAID WE ONLY WANT TO DO THIS IF WE CAN DO IT IN A DIFFERENT WAY THAN IT HAD BEEN DONE BEFORE. YOU KNOW, WE HAD SEEN LOTS OF REALLY GREAT FILMS ABOUT CHILD SOLDIER SITUATIONS, BUT WE REALLY WANTED TO TELL A DIFFERENT STORY. WHEN YOU WATCH WAR DANCE, THE STORY ITSELF IS TOLD THROUGH THE PERSONAL EXPERIENCES OF THREE CHILDREN, THERE ARE NO NARRATORS, NO POLICY EXPERTS ET CETERA. THEY, THROUGH THEIR EXPERIENCES, YOU LEARN WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM AND THEIR FAMILIES DURING THEIR LIVES LIVING IN THE WAR ZONE.
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Spent 12 weeks of shooting, in dangerous areas of Uganda.
NIX: THIS IS AN INCREDIBLY DANGEROUS WAR ZONE. AND THE FIRST CHALLENGE WE REALLY HAD TO FACE WAS HOW ARE WE GOING TO WORK THIS, BECAUSE OUR OLDEST SON AT THAT TIME WAS TEN MONTHS OLD AND IT WAS FAR TOO DANGEROUS A PLACE TO HAVE BOTH PARENTS WITH A BABY AT HOME, SO THE FIRST CHALLENGE WAS HAVING TO WORK LONG DISTANCE, WHEN WE'D NEVER DONE THAT BEFORE. THEN THE OTHER PART WAS TO ACTUALLY HAVE THE CREW GET IN THERE SAFELY. THERE WERE ABDUCTIONS THAT WERE HAPPENING WHEN THE CREW WAS THERE. THERE WERE ATTACKS ON VEHICLES AND CONVOYS GOING UP INTO THE CAMP, FROM THE REBELS AT THE TIME. SEAN GOT MALARIA WHILE HE WAS THERE. SO THERE WERE LOTS OF CHALLENGES.
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NIX: YOU'RE REALLY TOUCHED BY THE BRAVERY AND COURAGE AND TALENT AND BEAUTY OF THESE KIDS. IT'S A VERY INSPIRING FILM, IT'S SOMETHING ACTUALLY YOU'LL BE CRYING I SUSPECT FROM BOTH THE SADNESS THESE KIDS HAVE GONE THROUGH BUT ALSO BY THE HEIGTH THEY CAN REACH, THEY ARE REALLY QUITE MOVING, THE KIDS IN THE FILM.
All proceeds from the film go to relief efforts to the children in Uganda.
Nix and Fine will learn Sunday night if War Dance will win an Oscar for Best Documentary, Features.
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Another Documentary showing at this years festival, entitled Salim Baba, is also a nominee for an Oscar for Best Documentary, Short Subjects.
Basically, it's the life story of Salim Muhammad told in 14 minutes.
The 55-year old Salim lives in North Calcutta, India, with his wife and five children.
And for 45 years, he's subsisted by assembling cutting room floor film scraps into films which he then displays on a hand cranked projector given him by his father.
His sons help him, with the hope they will carry on his legacy of showing films to the local children.
Both Salim Baba and War Dance are foreign films, with subtitles.
Festival Program Director Jane Julian says there are many other films tht aren't subtitled or dealing with issues halfway around the world.
JULIAN: ONE OF THE FILMS WE HAVE IS CALLED THE LISTENING PROJECT. AND THAT FILM IS A DOCUMENTARY. FOUR AMERICANS AFTER 9-11 WERE CONCERNED ABOUT HOW WE WERE PERCEIVED IN THE WORLD SO THEY TOOK THESE AMAZING TRIPS ALL OVER THE WORLD AND JUST POSED THE QUESTION "WHEN WE SAY AMERICA OR UNITED STATES, WHAT DO YOU THINK OF?" AND IT WAS REALLY INTERESTING, I FELT STRONGLY WE NEEDED TO HAVE THIS FILM IN THE FESTIVAL RIGHT NOW BECAUSE WE ALL ARE WONDERING WHO WE ARE NOW, AS AMERICANS. SO I THINK THIS FILM WILL BE REAL POWERFUL.
With this Spotlight on DIFF, I'm Victor Locke, for KSUT, Four Corners Public Radio.
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