It has been announced that Hunger Ward, Oscar/Emmy-Nominated Director Skye Fitzgerald’s film on the tragic war and famine in Yemen, will be the screened at BendFilm Festival on Saturday, October 24, 6:30-8pm. The screening will be held at the BendFilm Drive-in, located next to the Deschutes Brewery facility, at the corner of Shevlin-Hixon Road and SW Columbia Street in Bend. The event site opens at 5:30pm, with food trucks onsite, and tickets are $20/car and available at the BendFilm Festival website here. The screening will be followed by a discussion and Q&A with the filmmaking team.
Filmed entirely in Yemen earlier this year during the war, Fitzgerald covers the devastating impact of the crisis on the people of Yemen, especially children, in this 40-minute film. The film was recently announced in Variety.com and will also be featured as an opening night film at the virtual HollyShorts Festival in Hollywood, California, on November 9.
The United Nations announced in September that they have to cut 75 percent of their programs in Yemen — programs that 80 percent of the population (24+ million people) depend on to survive during the war — due to a drastic decline in funding from member nations. Subsequently, the UN’s World Food Program (WFP) just received the Nobel Peace Prize last week for fighting against food being used as a weapon of war, which is the subject of the film. The Spin Film team is working directly with the UN to spread the word about the crisis in Yemen.
Where: BendFilm Drive-In (next to Deschutes Brewery facility, corner of Shevlin-Hixon Road and SW Columbia Street in Bend)
When: Saturday, October 24, 6:30-8pm (gates open at 5:30pm for food trucks and distant socializing)
Q&A: Discussion with the filmmaking team will follow the screening
Opening Film: 80 Degrees North (15 minutes)
Tickets: $20 per car. Order them here at the BendFilm Festival site
ABOUT THE FILM:
Spin Film, a Portland-based film production company founded by Oscar-Nominated director Skye Fitzgerald, creates films that bear witness to unfolding crises around the world with a cinematic eye. By rendering contemporary tragedies watchable, we deepen empathy and understanding and marshal human and financial resources towards mitigating the pressing emergencies of our day. More information is available at hungerward.org.
Three Bend residents have volunteered significant amounts of their lives to create and release the film to bring awareness to the crisis in Yemen in the U.S. and around the world:
- Michael Scheuerman (producer) — After retiring from 25 years in tech (last few at Facebook), met Skye at the 2018 Bend Film Festival and helped with the later stages of the promotion of Fitzgerald’s last film, Lifeboat, before and during its Oscar’s run. Skye and Michael have been working on Hunger Ward together for the past 18 months.
- Robb Mills (sound design) — BAFTA-winning sound designer, helped with sound design in post-production. You can get more info from Robb on his involvement at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 415-425-0989.
- Newer to the team is Chelsea Callicott (PR director)
WHY THIS FILM AND CONFLICT ARE NEWSWORTHY:
- Oregon-made film by an Oscar & Emmy-nominated documentary film director with an Oregon-based team — director, producer, editor, sound designers, PR. Film was co-produced by Paul Allen’s company, Vulcan Productions, from Seattle.
- Hunger Ward is the third story in Spin Film’s Humanitarian Trilogy following Lifeboat (2018, Oscar- and Emmy-nominated), and 50 Feet from Syria (2015, Oscar-shortlisted).
- Hunger Ward documents the harsh realities of the ongoing war and escalating famine in Yemen and its devastating impacts on children and families.
- The UN World Food Program just received the Nobel Peace Prize for fighting against food being used as a weapon of war, which is the subject of the film.
- The film team has been working with the United Nations and the International Rescue Committee on helping the crisis in Yemen. Donations will be gathered at film screenings for the healthcare facilities featured in the film that treat malnourished children.
- The conflict in Yemen is often called The Forgotten War, as most people in Western countries haven’t heard of the crisis or our involvement in it (U.S., UK, France, Canada and others).
- With 24 million people, including 12+ million children, currently relying on international food and medical assistance, the UN has warned that Yemen is facing the worst famine the world has seen in 100 years — and that was before COVID-19 and the steep decline in Western aid in 2020.
- The situation there is declining rapidly due to:
○ thousands of airstrikes on civilian targets
○ displacement of 3.5+ million people from their homes
○ food and medicine used as weapons of war
○ environmental disaster — abandoned oil tanker, flooding, lack of water
○ economic collapse
○ the loss of 50 percent of healthcare facilities
○ the worst cholera outbreak in modern history
○ the highest COVID-19 death rate in the world
- The UN announced in September that they have to cut 75 percent of their programs in Yemen — programs that 80 percent of the population (24+ million people) depend on to survive during the war — due to a drastic decline in funding from member nations. Fourteen (14) million face imminent famine.