Category Archives: News
Forest Whitaker on Better Angels: “The movie asks, When is the right time to step in?… The journalist gets captured by the Lord’s Resistance Army and is taken to a camp where he finds their leader, Joseph Kony, who hasn’t been seen for years.”
Forest Whitaker Reveals Plot Specifics For “The Butler” + Talks Kony Project & More…
Was reading this Vanity Fair profile of Forest Whitaker and picked up some items worth repeating here on S&A; specifically about projects Whitaker is attached to star in/direct.
First, The Butler – Lee Daniels’ drama based on Eugene Allen, an African American who worked as a butler in the White House for over 34 years, serving 8 presidents from 1952 to 1986.
All we’ve really known about the project is what I wrote in the last sentence, and many of you have expressed your disatisfaction with seeing another film about a black person in a “service” position.
By the way, it’s inspired by a 2008 Washington Post article by Wil Haygood titled A Butler Well Served by This Election (read it HERE); it pretty much summarizes Mr Allen’s many years of service in the White House, leading up to President Obama’s election.
In the Vanity Fair piece, here’s what I think is a crucial bit of info on the project that I haven’t seen reported anywhere until now; Whitaker states:
“It’s a movie about the issue of how you protest… My son [to be played by David Oyelowo] is an activist who is repeatedly arrested. My character is a conformist, but in his own way, he influences presidents. Eugene becomes more active, particularly at the end of his life, when he makes a decision to fight.”
The aboriginal ‘Tent Embassy’ directly opposite Parliament House in Canberra is an interesting and vibrant place, where Australian Police are not even allowed to enter, nor stand on a piece of their land, unless given permission by the elders. I happened to be in Canberra for a climate action summit, and spent two days at the ‘tent embassy’ with the elders who took a liking to me. The police crossed the line onto aboriginal soil that day and I captured a rare piece of footage, the filming insisted by the elders and leaders of their ‘tent embassy’.
Late next month we will be returning to Africa to complete filming for our documentary, Child Troopers, which has been three years in the making.
We will be spending most time in Uganda again, however are trying to get access into the DRC or South Sudan. It’s not going to be easy but we feel it is important to get closer to the war and current rebel activity.
Thanks to an amazing supporter and dear friend who is helping out financially, Sanne Kurz, an award winning cinematographer from Berlin, will be joining our team and shooting for us in East and Central Africa.
Wish us luck… Hopefully all goes well and we’ll be back in Australia or the US for post production around April/May!
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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!