Hope you are well. I’m writing to let you know about a new project that we have in development right now. It’s called Boy from War, and it’s an animated feature documentary – a coming of age story of a young Arab American punk ricocheting between a war-torn Middle East and 1980s American Midwest. Please see below for a complete description of the project.
We need help getting the word out to fund the demo, which will be used to send out with grant applications and show to investors. The final budget is the largest we’ve embarked on yet, but you can help in a small way to get it off the ground with this two to three minute clip. Animation takes a lot of time and arduous effort, and we want to show that we have already committed to doing the work.
Please take a look at the pitch video we put together, which includes a brief snippet of animation to give you an idea of the look and feel of the project:
Every day in the news, we are seeing the impact of civil wars, uprisings and outside bombings on populations forced to emigrate, creating hordes of refugees. As the crisis in the Middle East grows, it becomes more and more important to keep a human face on those most affected. This is part of the goal of Boy from War – to be a reminder that those whose lives are rocked by constant danger, especially children, are just trying to live life and get through the challenges of growing up.
We watch as Usama navigates his tumultuous youth while moving around – Iraq, the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and Abu Dhabi. Woven throughout the narrative is the boy’s dog that gets left behind in Basra, and at one point is abandoned in the war torn streets.
The protagonist’s road to adulthood has some of the usual bumps and wrong turns of most young people. There are sex, drugs, bullying, family tensions and finding ways to make friends. However, this coming of age story is repeatedly shaken by war and steered through a myriad of geographical and cultural turns.
By using animation, while extracting stories from interviews with family members and Usama’s own recollection, this film is attempting to make sense and find meaning in a scattered childhood filled with war, migration and the struggles of finding oneself in the world.
Thanks for helping us get the word out! Without the support of our friends, making films is nearly impossible. So thanks for being such an important part of the process!
Kristie and Usama Alshaibi