LOGLINE

Religious forms unite to launch a secular peace.

SYNOPSIS

A Syrian refugee girl and a European boy combine religious symbols to create a functioning secular peace.

Production dates: September 1-14, 2017

Running time: 7:44

Hardware & Software: Canon 6D, DJI Mavic Pro (drone), Adobe Premiere Pro CC, DaVinci Resolve, After Effects

Languages: Spanish, English, French, Portuguese, Catalan, German, Italian, Dutch

Subtitles available: English, Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese, German, Catalan

Shot on location in: Collsuspina, La Sala de Sant Llogari & Barcelona (Spain)

Formats available: digital files (.mov, .mp4), Blu-Ray, DCP, DVD

Director’s Note:

More people were forced from their homes by conflict last year than any time since World War II. "The relentless civil war in Syria and a surge of South Sudanese fleeing the collapse of peace efforts in their country helped propel the global population of displaced people to a record in 2016, [per] the United Nations refugee agency: 65.6 million — 300,000 higher than in 2015, which had been the highest since World War II.” (N.Y. Times' Rick Gladstone)

However, now when the need is the greatest, ‘first world’ governments in Europe and the United States have become increasingly resistant to accepting these refugees. SHAME ON US.

My film relies heavily on drone cinematography, to represent the terrors that so many people in Syria have had to endure “from on high”…from the Assad regime and both its allies and its foes who have all ordered strikes from the air, affecting “good” and “bad” Syrians indiscriminately.

After our protagonist SANAA (the name means “Brilliance” in Arabic; “Art” in Swahili) finds a new life in Europe, she soon learns that not all things “from on high” are to be feared. One day, she looks up to see a rainbow kite in the sky! It’s being flown by ORIOL, a European boy. When the kite catches a bad current and ends up crashed against a fence, Sanaa runs to help Oriol rescue his toy. Unable to make the rainbow kite fly again, Oriol takes Sanaa with him to a manual arts school where he knows they might have the tools to fix the kite. There, they come up against a group of teachers who speak/understand a variety of European languages but who unfortunately represent the fear and prejudice that have blocked so many Syrians from finding peaceful refuge. Frustrated with the childishness of my own country’s president, I was moved to make a film celebrating the ingenuity of the childlike. Using imagination uninhibited by adult dogma, Sanaa & Oriol combine forms from their respective ancestral religious traditions to create a new kite that brings them peace and joy, and which, perhaps, represents the beginning of a long friendship.

Artistic Note:

We made the choice to NOT subtitle the hate speech of Donald J. Trump, President of the United States, Matteo Salvini, Leader of Liga Nord Party in Italy, Marine Le Pen, President of the National Front Party of France, or Geert Wilders, Leader of the Party for Freedom in The Netherlands. Their words, and those of others like them, provide no solution to today’s issues. By not translating them, we were hoping to point out that they are just background ‘noise’ that we must endure as we try to find new solutions to the age old problem of “man’s inhumanity to man”. We did translate the unenlightened art teachers’ dialogue to underscore the comparative ingenuity and progressive spirit of Sanaa & Oriol’s next generation.

For more information:

Dawn Westlake, Ron de Cana Productions, Inc.

E: dawnwestlake@gmail.com