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    Council Member M Payson's Avatar
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    Default "Son of a Lion" opening in UK - a glimpse at Pakistan's tribal ways

    "Son of a Lion" will open in the UK on November 6th. Fascinating glimpse into Darra Adam Khel, bordering Pakistan's tribal areas.

    ‘This is one of my favourite films ever’- David Kilcullen, author of The Accidental Guerrilla


    Screening Venues and Dates:


    • Glasgow Film Theatre: November 12th followed by Q&A by director Benjamin Gilmour- www.gft.org.uk

    • Additional Screening dates and venues TBA


    In Pakistan’s tribal weapon-making village of Darra Adam Khel, a young Pashtun boy Niaz Afridi defies his father’s expectation to carry on the family’s gun making business and demands an education instead. Son of a Lion is the feature film debut by Australian film-maker Benjamin Gilmour.

    The idea behind Son of a Lion was conceived while Gilmour was working as a set nurse on ‘The Bill’ and ‘Murphy’s Law’. After being turned down by major UK media corporations to produce the film, Gilmour elaborates on his unique experience- “I ended up in the wilds of tribal Pakistan and was befriended by ethnic Pashtuns facing aerial attacks from US drones and ground attacks from their own army. While sheltered by the locals and constantly pursued by secret service and the military, a local clan collaborated with me to make this film at a great risk to their own lives. The original script for Son of a Lion changed remarkably as numerous Pashtuns contributed to make it a story of their own, a story they are desperate for the world to hear. It is without a doubt the first feature film of its kind, written and directed in close collaboration with the Pashtuns themselves.”

    Comprising of a cast of newcomers, Son of a Lion has drawn critical acclaim at international film festivals and is a 2008 Independent Spirit Award Winner. With its focus on groundbreaking and innovative films from South Asia, Mara Pictures is proud to present the film to audiences in the United Kingdom. “Son of a Lion is exactly the kind of film that audience across the world need to see in today’s political climate – it provides invaluable insight on a region that is continuously under attack,” says Roopa Saini, Head of Acquisitions for Mara Pictures.

    “As the UK struggles to make headway in Afghanistan and frustrations about the militants in Pakistan increases, an insight into the Pashtun mindset is timely. Through this story of a boy resisting his traditionalist father and breaking away to embrace the idea of education, we are able to realise that true change is only possible from within,” states Gilmour.

    “Son of a Lion” packs emotional punch and engaging political discussion’ - Richard Kuipers, Variety

    ‘This gritty drama affords rich insight into little-documented aspects of life in the wake of the Afghanistan conflict. The film features strong, relaxed acting across the board...’ - Jonathan Romney, Screen

    ‘This is one of my favourite films ever’- David Kilcullen, author of The Accidental Guerilla

    For further information please contact:
    Sanam Hasan, Head of Marketing and Public Relations, Mara Pictures
    sanam@marapictures.com

    Roopa Saini, Head of Acquisitions, Mara Pictures
    roopa@marapictures.com

  2. #2
    Council Member M Payson's Avatar
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    Default Guns, guns, and more guns - Guardian review

    Here's a short review of Son of a Lion http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2009/...-a-lion-review. It's a gem, in its own quirky way.

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    Great job! Next, the producer should convince someone with birds or stars on his/her shoulders to buy the Afghan distribution rights, burn the darn thing on a DVD and send it from village to village with a large white sheet, a projector, laptop and power source... don't forget speakers. Possibly a great opportunity for a budding pashtun movie mogul and an even greater opportunity for NATO to deliver it's message without being heavy-handed. Besides, everyone likes a good story.

    M Payson, what's your involvement with this project?

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Use the film in Afghanistan

    Jarod,

    I've emailed a friend who visits SACEUR, so they can pick-up your suggestion and perhaps MEH can do the same in DC (PM'd him). Melissa is in the UK for another week, PM her and she'll pick up the question.

    davidbfpo
    davidbfpo

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    David, thanks a lot for getting the ball rolling on this. I will definitely go ahead and PM Melissa. The ability of the people on this board to get things done never ceases to amaze me.

    Film Trailer on YouTube

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    The trailer looks good. Why isnt this DVD already in Afghanistan and Pakistan?

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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JarodParker View Post
    Smith and Wesson 9mm? Looks like a Colt .45

    Quote Originally Posted by JarodParker View Post
    Great job! Next, the producer should convince someone with birds or stars on his/her shoulders to buy the Afghan distribution rights, burn the darn thing on a DVD and send it from village to village with a large white sheet, a projector, laptop and power source... don't forget speakers.
    Why? Why would you do this? How do you know most folks wouldn't side with the father against the child? OK. Nice story. So what?...and I see no reference to an Afghan writer? I may be wrong but wasn't it actually written by Ben Gilmour? If I was the local Taliban, that would be reason enough to dismiss it.

    Not being cynical, but SWJ is about war and warfare. Maybe an excellent film, and I wish it luck, but I cannot see how this film changes anything in a practical sense or is relevant to us here on SWJ.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Well, it was...

    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    Not being cynical, but SWJ is about war and warfare. Maybe an excellent film, and I wish it luck, but I cannot see how this film changes anything in a practical sense or is relevant to us here on SWJ.
    Then it added political and social commentary. Still more professional than any other I've seen. Thus far...

    To which I'd add that no Film has ever added much to the pursuit of anything -- except for the provision of some fairly good one-line quotes.

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    Council Member M Payson's Avatar
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    Default Knowledge, security, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    I cannot see how this film changes anything in a practical sense or is relevant to us here on SWJ.
    I think it's relevant to SWJ folks because Pakistan's tribal areas are deeply relevant. And there's not much exposure to or working grasp of the area among the people who need it - in both the military and humanitarian fields - including those who are based in country. Three Cups of Tea is a valued resource for the same reason.

    In terms of changing anything in a practical sense, probably no - on ground initiatives and contact are the best way to do that. But we haven't mastered that yet for FATA. Fingers crossed, we're devising more subtle ways to interact than drones. The options are out there, and gaining a nuanced understanding is useful. So again, perhaps Son of a Lion can contribute something.

    Per showing the film in Pakistan, that's being discussed now. There are some local security concerns for the participants, given the volatile environment at the moment.
    Last edited by M Payson; 11-16-2009 at 02:33 PM. Reason: Security...

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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M Payson View Post
    I think it's relevant to SWJ folks because Pakistan's tribal areas are deeply relevant. And there's not much exposure to or working grasp of the area among the people who need it - in both the military and humanitarian fields - including those who are based in country. Three Cups of Tea is a valued resource for the same reason.
    Always true in most parts of the world. No argument there... and the movie?

    Per showing the film in Pakistan, that's being discussed now. There are some local security concerns for the participants, given the volatile environment at the moment.
    If that is the case, then this really annoys me. Films are made to make money and provide entertainment. That's why this one got made. I'm am/was a novelist. No one "needs" to tell a story to the extent it risks life.

    I think the entertainment industry needs to stay out of this stuff.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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