(Image provided by the NFB)
November 21, 2018 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)
A trio of National Film Board of Canada feature-length documentaries will bring powerful explorations of human rights issues to the screen in Paris from December 5 through 18—as Andrea Dorfman’s The Girls of Meru, writer David Hare and director Cam Christiansen’s animated WALL, and Laura Marie Wayne’s Love, Scott premiere at the Festival International du Film des Droits Humains.
Dorfman’s The Girls of Meru will make its European premiere in official competition at France’s premiere human rights film fest, as the acclaimed Halifax filmmaker follows the heartbreaking yet uplifting story of Kenyan girls leading a fight for justice.
Making its Paris debut in competition, WALL is a Hot Docs award-winning exploration of the reality of the wall separating Israel and Palestine—a collaboration between Calgary filmmaker Cam Christiansen and David Hare, a renowned British playwright, screenwriter and two-time Oscar nominee (The Hours; The Reader).
The festival also hosts the French premiere of Love, Scott, Laura Marie Wayne’s acclaimed feature debut, which follows the journey of a young gay musician who’s attacked and paralyzed, in a film that has garnered three honours to date, including Best Canadian Feature (Narrative or Documentary) at the Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival.
About the films
The Girls of Meru (88 min.)
Dec. 6 at 2:30 p.m. (students), Les Grands Voisins, 74 avenue Denfert-Rochereau
Dec. 11 at 8:30 p.m., Cinéma Saint-André des Arts, 30 rue Saint-André des Arts
Dec. 16 at 6 p.m., Institut du Monde Arabe, 1 rue Des Fossés Saint-Bernard
In Kenya, one in three girls will experience sexual violence before the age of 18, yet police investigations into the crime are the exception rather than the rule, leading to a culture of impunity around rape. But a courageous group of girls has helped set a legal precedent for child protection worldwide.
In Andrea Dorfman’s The Girls of Meru, a multinational team led by Canadian lawyer Fiona Sampson and Tumaini Shelter head Mercy Chidi Baidoo builds the case of 11 girls to pursue an unheard of legal tactic. They challenge the Kenyan government to uphold its highly praised constitution and to hold police accountable.
It’s the third NFB film for Dorfman, whose 2010 animated documentary Flawed earned a News & Documentary Emmy nomination. The Girls of Meru is produced and executive produced by Annette Clarke for the NFB’s Quebec and Atlantic Studio.
WALL (82 min.)
Dec. 9 at 4:30 p.m., Les Grands Voisins, 74 avenue Denfert-Rochereau
Dec. 15 at 3:30 p.m., Centre Louis Lumière, 46 rue Louis Lumière
Best known for works that explore socio-political issues both at home and abroad, David Hare travels to the Middle East in WALL to examine the impact that the wall separating Israel and Palestine has had on the people of the region.
Using advanced animation tools and 3D motion-capture footage, Christiansen employs a distinctive handcrafted approach that conveys the reality of the 708-kilometre barrier as no film has before. WALL takes an in-depth look at the “fence” that has forever united, divided and changed communities, and features insights from renowned Israeli novelist David Grossman, Professor Neill Lochery of London University, Professor Sari Nusseibeh of Al-Quds University and Ramallah-based attorney Raja Shehadeh.
Cam Christiansen is a Calgary-based director and animator whose films have screened at the Sundance Film Festival and twice made TIFF’s Top Ten list of Canadian short films (I Have Seen the Future and 5 Hole: Tales of Hockey Erotica). WALL is his first feature-length film and his second NFB project, after the 2009 short The Real Place.
WALL is produced by the NFB’s David Christensen and Bonnie Thompson. North West Studio head David Christensen is the executive producer.
Love, Scott (75 min)
Screening: Dec. 8 at 2 p.m., Les Grands Voisins, 74 avenue Denfert-Rochereau
While walking one night in small-town Nova Scotia, Scott Jones, a gay musician, is attacked by a stranger he encountered earlier that evening and becomes paralyzed from the waist down. What follows is a brave and fragile journey of healing and the transformation of this young man’s life. Directed by his close friend, Laura Marie Wayne, making her feature documentary debut, Love, Scott was filmed over three years, from Scott’s very first raw moments in the hospital to a trip back to the place he was attacked, as he’s faced with the choice of losing himself in grief or embracing love over fear.
Set against a stunning score by Sigur Rós, Love, Scott was named Best Canadian Feature (Narrative or Documentary) at the Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival and Best Feature Documentary at its US premiere at the North Carolina Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, in addition to receiving a Special Mention at Ireland’s GAZE International LGBT Film Festival.
Love, Scott is produced and executive produced by Annette Clarke for the NFB’s Quebec and Atlantic Studio.
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Electronic Press Kit | Images, trailers, synopsis: Love, Scott | The Girls of Meru | WALL
Festival International du Film des Droits Humains