Ana’s Playground has a Hudson connectionAna’s Playground, a short film about children living in areas of armed conflict will screen at the UW-River Falls as part of International Education Week. Jillian Nodland, a Town of Troy resident and principal at the Picture Factory, Inc is a co-producer of the film.
Ana’s Playground, a short film about children living in areas of armed conflict will screen at the UW-River Falls as part of International Education Week. For the short film that has been seen around the world and is presently being screened in Ireland and the United Kingdom, this is the film’s first public screening in the Midwest.
Filmed in Minneapolis with a cast from the Twin Cities, Ana’s Playground has won critical acclaim and awards including “Best Short Drama” at the 2009 New Hampshire Film Festival, “Best Short Film” and “Best of Fest” at the 2009 Norwich International Film Festival (Norwich, England) and ‘Best Short Film” at the Cenflo Film Fest. Ana’s Playground is based on a script that also won the best screenplay award at the 2006 Los Angeles International Short Film Festival.
Jillian Nodland, a Town of Troy resident and principal at the Picture Factory, Inc is a co-producer of the film.
“Its intent is to be in a location that is intentionally unidentifiable,” said Nodland. “It is a statement about children growing up in war zones.”
Set in a non-specific, war-torn country, Ana’s Playground is an examination of children living and dying in a world of armed combat. Told through the eyes of 11-year-old Ana, the story opens on a group of children playing soccer surrounded by the signs of conflict. When their soccer ball is kicked into a sniper zone, Ana is sent in to retrieve it. Once inside, a dangerous game of cat and mouse ensues, as Ana becomes the sniper’s target.
“It is a narrative and an allegory about children’s lives anywhere in the world where war and conflict affect them,” said Nodland. “It is a great project and I am proud to be a part of it.”
The filmmakers are interested in partnering with corporations, foundations and individuals who can help sponsor Ana’s Playground at film festivals and screening events to help audiences learn more about war-affected children and organizations helping them.
Locally the production effort was supported by LouAnne Reger and her company J and L Steel Erectors and Electrical Services.
Faculty and students at UW-RF recently participated in these synergistic efforts by delivering 150 soccer jerseys to students at slum schools in Nairobi, Kenya via a study abroad program by the Global Connections Office. The jerseys were donated by Mazamba, an early and strong supporter of Ana’s Playground. To help support the mission of Ana’s Playground, Mazamba has committed to a total donation of 10,000 soccer jerseys for distribution to children in need.
The objective of Ana’s Playground is to raise awareness about how war and violence affect children by communicating with the largest audience possible. There’s also an opportunity to provide information about organizations working to improve the lives of children living in violent conditions.
Producers Marsha Trainer and Jillian Nodland worked hard to pull together and organize resources to shoot the film in one cold November week in the Twin Cities.
Production of Ana’s Playground was made possible entirely through charitable donations. George Lucas’s Skywalker Sound provided all sound engineering post-production; and the Coen brothers’ latest production A Serious Man donated much of the physical set support. A long list of other industry insiders also shows up in the film’s credits.
For details on Ana’s Playground or more information about war-affected children, child soldiers and the organizations that support them, please visit: www.anasplayground.com.