A documentary film revealing untold stories from the 20 year long war in Northern Uganda between Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and the Ugandan Government Under Current President Yoweri Museveni
BioPic Entertainment has joined forces with Caspian Pictures to co-produce indie drama “Girl Soldier,” with Uma Thurman to star and Will Raee to direct.
The film will depict the true-life plight of 30 Ugandan girls who were abducted by rebel soldiers. Project’s been in development since 2009, when Caspian announced it had attached Thurman to the project (Variety, July 21, 2009).
Story’s based on Kathy Cook’s book “Stolen Angels,” which follows the 1996 raid at a boarding school in which armed rebels abducted young girls to turn them into soldiers and sex slaves. A teacher tracked the rebels back to their camp to demand the girls’ release; 110 were returned to the nun, who then began a crusade over the next few years as she rallied parents, the government, the U.N. and the pope to aid in rescuing not only her girls but other children in rebel captivity.
Producers are aiming to begin shooting in March in South Africa.
BioPic Entertainment, founded by Michael Hennessy, Brian A. Bullock and Robert G. Edner, is focused on TV and film based on iconic personalities and historic events. BioPic also recently announced the development of Wendy Randall’s “Mahjong Wives,” a series set in the 1960s about the five Jewish mob wives who covertly ran Las Vegas through their husbands, as well as “Black Rangers.” Latter is the untold story of the U.S. Army’s only all-black company of elite Airborne Rangers who helped turn the tide of the Korean War.
Child Troopers director Ebony Butler has taken her human rights documentary project to the United States of America, where she has found a whole new host of supporters and interested parties.
Ebony is currently working from Hollywood Los Angeles with her local crew where she is working on Child Troopers second phase of production. She is also being mentored by some leading industry players. The impressive list of international film and TV professionals she has mustered include Shine Global CEO Mark Fennessy and Australian born, LA based director Rod Hardy. Ebony’s has 5 official mentors who have each signed on as industry specific advisors to the young director for her debut feature documentary film Child Troopers, slated for release in 2012.
As of next week Ebony will leave Los Angeles for New York and Washington DC where she has scheduled in meetings and on camera interviews with some of the world’s leading humanitarian organizations, NGO‘S, political figures and other child soldier and human rights lobby groups. The line up includes: the United Nations, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, OXFAM and Resolve (formerly known as Resolve Uganda). There are a number of other key players, analysts and experts in the arena of international and African politics, American foreign policy and geopolitics set to meet with Ebony over the next month to discuss her film and offer unique insights into the conflict in Uganda and beyond.
We will be back with more information about the progress Ebony and her crew are making soon.
Excited times ahead so stay tuned and if you like what we are doing please sign up to our blog and share this with friends or on your favorite social networking site!
Child Troopers is currently in pre-production, with principal photography scheduled to begin next month in the United States of America. Director of Child Troopers, Ebony Butler, will be traveling to Los Angeles next week where she will work with Child Trooper’s U.S Producer, Alec Pedersen (The Cove; Unity). She will then head across to New York and Washington DC to conduct interviews and further research issues related to the film.
Does Senator Inhofe’s amendment of the USNational Defense Authorization Act, directed towards ending the LRA conflict, have any real power? Is it implying the government use direct military action to reach its goals? What efforts are in place from December;’s comprehensive strategy released by President Obama? The LRA are still operating freely, and this year attacks have increased across east and central Africa. I just hope the US are actually being active in their attempt to resolve the issue and bring Kony and those responsible to justice, otherwise there would be no cause to be pro-active.
Justice won’t be served when and if Kony is caught. That would be just one small step toward justice. And will Joseph Kony‘s elimination from the equation even stop the atrocities from the LRA’s brutal insurgency? In the meantime however, it could be an idea to focus on healing the current victim’s of this war, as there is no uncertainty there – they clearly exist and are still suffering, awaiting help from the outside world. The LRA bill has been successful at harnessing popularity, however, what ever happened to the Northern Ugandan Recovery Act? It’s not as catchy I guess.
Olara Otunna, the former United Nations Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, is dedicated to taking a stance against human rights violations and protecting children affected by war and conflict.
There are not many people that speak out about the role of Museveni and the claims of genocide in Northern Uganda, however Olara Otunnu speaks openly and compares the the situation in Northern Uganda, sometimes regarded as the ‘Forgotton War’, to that of the systematic genocide in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge. Other United Nations officials have stated that the forced relocation of close to two million Acholi, into ‘protected’ Internal Displacement (IDP) camps,should be compared to modern day concentration camps.
According to Otunnu “An entire society – the Acholi – is being systematically destroyed –physically, culturally, socially and economically – in full view of the international community. This has been going on non-stop for almost 20 years but Western governments have turned a blind eye to a pliant regime and dictatorship under President Museveni that practices genocide.”
One year ago today, President Obama signed into law a bill that committed to put an end to the LRA’s brutal atrocities and abductions.
President Obama stated that: “[This] legislation crystallizes the commitment of the United States to help bring an end to the brutality and destruction that have been a hallmark of the LRA across several countries for two decades.”
Today, LRA attacks continue and activists are urging the President to robustly implement his LRA strategy (Resolve).
In Congo today, LRA atrocities are still occurring, on a near-daily basis. Resolve‘s on the ground partner, Fr. Benoit Kinalegu stated:
“Many of us believed that President Obama’s commitment to addressing the LRA threat would finally help stop our suffering. Yet one year later, we continue to live in fear as the LRA’s attacks have shown no signs of decreasing.”
Progress has been made, but that is not enough to end the suffering and to bring about justice. Confronting this injustice needs much more global support and commitment from international actors, but more so, from the people.
Uganda: Post-war youth vocational training (Chris Blattman)
To increase employment and reduce poverty, government and NGOs commonly train youth as carpenters, tailors, mechanics, welders, cooks and other vocations. Evidence is thin, however, on the worth and effectiveness of such spending.
We are working with Uganda’s Office of the Prime Minister and The World Bank to evaluate Uganda’s largest youth vocational training program. The evaluation will answer several key questions, including:
How does the program impact the lives of beneficiaries?
How many start up and sustain a business?
What is the impact on income, employment, assets, and savings?
What are the determinants of success (and failure) in vocations and entrepreneurship?
How do any economic gains spill over into other areas of life:
physical and psychological health;
social and political participation;
investments in children’s health and education; and
OCTOBER 4, 2017 – followed by Panel Talk with Milton Allimadi, Helen Epstein and Ogenga Otunnu
BELOIT INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Screenings on February 25 and March 1st, 2017.
THE INTERNATIONAL UGANDAN CONVENTION
The Hague, Netherlands
February 24, 2017, 7.30pm
Many thanks to Moses Atocon, The Hague Peace Projects and The Ugandan Diaspora P10 and EU Diaspora. Also, we must extend our thanks to the honourable Dr. Kizza Besigye and Olara Otunnu for their attendance and their support with the film and wider justice project.
WE THE PEOPLE’S FILM FESTIVAL
November 10 at 7pm and
November 13 (at the Official Award’s Ceremony)
LONE STAR FILM FESTIVAL
Sundance Square Cinema 1
Fort Worth, Texas
November 11 at 3pm
DOCUMENT INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS FILM FESTIVAL
CAMBRIDGE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
October 22 and October 23
LONE STAR FILM FESTIVAL
November 10 – 12 (TBC)
RAINDANCE FILM FESTIVAL
Best Feature Documentary Nominee
September 27 at 3pm and
September 30 at 9pm
Piccadilly Circus, London
LONG BEACH INDIE FILM AND MUSIC FESTIVAL
Long Beach, California USA
SCREENING September 3rd
VOICELESS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Oakland, Bay Area, San Fransciso CA
September the 11th of 9pm Sharp
Q and A following screening hosted by Journalist Ann Garrison from KFPA Bay Radio.
WILLIAMSBURG INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Brooklyn, New York
Q & A to Follow with special guests Milton Allimadi and Helen Epstein
RAINDANCE Film Festival UL
Director Ebony Butler will be attending.
KITZBUHEL FILM FESTIVAL
August 22 – Aug 28, 2016
ESPERANZA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
August 18 – 25, 2016
LIGHTHOUSE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
LongBeach Island, New Jersey
Saturday June 11th at 3:30pm followed by Panel Q and A http://liff.festivalgenius.com/2016
DC INDIE FILM FEST
Hollywood Independent Documentary Awards
WINNER OF BEST DOCUMENTARY
LA Women’s International Film Festival
L.A LIVE Cinema, Hollywood
WINNER OF BEST FEATURE DOCUMENTARY FILM!!
Universe Multicultural Film Festival
Palm Beach International Film Festival
April 7 and 14
NOMINATED FOR BEST FEATURE DOCUMENTARY!
Julien Dubuque International Film Festival
Carmarthen Bay Film Festival – Wales
Cinema A The Edge (CATE) Film Festival
Santa Monica, L.A
Saturday 21st of May, 2016 at 9pm
Tickets at cinemaattheedge.com
Polish Film Festival
ESPERANZA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL