Justice for All
International Rescue Committee
Languages: English, Karen, Karenni, Burmese
Film 01: English Film 02: Karen Film 03: Karenni Film 04: Burmese
CLIENT - International Rescue Committee
BUDGET RANGE - US$15,000 +
DURATION - 12 min
GENRE - Information & promotion
FILMED, DIRECTED & EDITED - Timothy Syrota
SCRIPT - Patrick Kearns
AUDIO RECORDING, SOUND MIX & COMPOSITION, 2nd CAMERA - Jack Chance
Target audience: refugees in the Thai-Myanmar border refugee camps. Film's objective: to inform refugees about, and encourage them to use, the IRCs Legal Advice Centres. These had been set up to give refugees access to impartial, independent and accurate legal advice regarding legal matters both within the camps as well as potentially involving Thai citizens or authorities.
Sitting on the our porch and I have received a go ahead for filming. It is Sunday evening and the go ahead is for tomorrow morning. A somewhat maniacal smile and a shake of my head is the best I can come up with. Resignation. We co-ordinated auditions in a frenzied rush which included having a script ready two days after the yesterday before which the contracts we had not received were due. That was three months ago and trusty Jack, sound and audio magician and all round do anything and everything media colleague, has left and come back to the border twice in anticipation of a starting date which had failed to materialise. Until now. Tomorrow is the day. Deadline for filming completion is in five. There are only two actors left of the 30 odd we had originally cast. So we will have to find a new cast before we start shooting on a tighter-than-tight schedule in a refugee camp, with both actors that have never acted before and a director that has never worked with so many actors, multi camera set ups, and storyboards before (me), and all in four languages. No choice but to burl right into it. And that's why the resignation and the somewhat looney smile. Not a forgettable Sunday night.
They rocked. The cast blew it away. Respect. And what a pleasure they were to work with. Ian from the UN, with whom I had clashed over Nothing About Us Without Us, was to later describe the film as one of the best camp based films he had seen in his career in international aid. And huge thanks to script writer Patrick Kearns: culturally astute, empathetic, and inclusive. Simply, a great grasp on knowing how to communicate with refugees. And the Karen spaghetti western tune. Wikid, Jack. Super people with whom to work.