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Sting Teams with Director Maya Sanbar for Refugee Tale ‘Footsteps on the Wind’

Footsteps on the Wind
Footsteps on the Wind

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Sting Teams with Director Maya Sanbar for Refugee Tale ‘Footsteps on the Wind’

One of the year’s Academy Award qualifying animated shorts, Maya Sanbar’s Footsteps on the Wind, tells the story of two siblings —  Noor and her little brother, Josef — who go on a mysterious journey far from home after tragically losing their parents in a devastating earthquake.

The 17-time Grammy Award-winning artist Sting gave his refugee-inspired song “Inshallah” to Sanbar so that she could create an animation film as a therapy tool for traumatized refugee children and to raise awareness of the growing refugee crisis around the world.

The first animated short film to be set to a Sting song, Footsteps on the Wind has won a variety of awards including the Oscar-qualifying Awards at Cinequest Film Festival and Flicker’s Rhode Island International Film Festival.

“To me, ‘Inshallah’ — which means ‘if God is willing, then it shall come to pass’ — sounded like a prayer that people in this situation may recite,” said Sting. “I imagined myself in that circumstance, wanting to bring my family to safety in a very dangerous situation.”

Filmmaker and multimedia artist Sanbar (Wajib, Freak Show, House in the Fields, The Idol, The Muslims Are Coming, The Time That Remains, Trouble The Water) has in her own family a history of refugee displacement, her father having fled Haifa, Palestine in 1948. Sanbar joined forces with co-directors Gustavo Leal and Faga Melo, the founders of the award-winning Brazilian film production company Dirty Work, to create Footsteps on the Wind, produced by her company Chasing the Light Studio. She also wrote the screenplay for the film with Pedro Paulo de Andrade.

Footsteps on the Wind was co-produced by Kristín Ólafsdóttir (Rebel Hearts, Against the Current, InnSæi), Gillian Gordon and Fernanda Zaffari. Olafsdottir’s feature films and documentaries have been nominated and awarded at many film festivals including Sundance and TIFF. Gordon has produced successful TV series for the BBC, and ITV, worked as a development executive at Film & General Productions, Make Waves Media and ITV. Zaffari is a journalist with over 20 experience who has secured coverage for The World Cups, Oscar Awards, Elections in Europe, the refugee crises and most recently, the COVID pandemic.

Screenwriter de Andrade’s films have accumulated more than 50 awards, including the Grand Prize of the Brazilian Film Academy in the Best Fiction Short Film Category. Recently, de Andrade wrote four episodes of the TV series Fathers, co-directed the short film Framed with Luiza Campos and wrote the manifesto for the Opening of the 27th Mix Brasil Film Festival. He is currently directing two feature films, The Remains and Open Rehearsal, in addition to writing the feature film screenplay Wide Awake.

The screenplay to Footsteps on the Wind was developed by Gordon and award-winning published authors Sita Brahmachari and Onjali Q. Rauf.

Footsteps on the Wind‘s upcoming festival screenings include the Oscar-qualifying Tirana International Film Festival (Sept. 24-30), Urbanworld Film Festival (Sept. 29-Oct. 3) and Encounters Short Film Festival (Sept. 1-30).

www.footstepsonthewind.com

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