CRIES FROM SYRIA
Evgeny Afineevsky presents an overarching account of the impact of Syria’s civil war on its people.
Sundance Program Description:
A strikingly intense portrayal of a dire situation, CRIES FROM SYRIA serves as a potent record of the events that have transpired there since 2011. Inspired by the Arab Spring, Syrians were hopeful they could end their country’s 40-year reign of brutal dictatorship. Instead, their efforts yielded horrific consequences as the government swiftly punished those in opposition, demonstrating their ruthlessness by targeting and torturing children. As peaceful protests were held, the government retaliated with extreme force, resulting in a full-blown civil war. From cutting off the food supply to the use of chemical weapons and targeted airstrikes on hospitals and schools, those fighting for freedom have endured a grave humanitarian crisis.
Incorporating gripping firsthand accounts from activists, child protesters, and a former army general who joined the uprising, director Evgeny Afineevsky has created a powerful and immediate depiction of the recent and current situation in Syria. This compelling documentary bears witness to the resiliency of the people in the wake of their exposure to unthinkable crimes against humanity.
Afineevsky’s fourth doc feature is his first at Sundance. His most recent film was the Oscar-and Emmy-nominated WINTER ON FIRE: UKRAINE’S FIGHT FOR FREEDOM.
Tolmor has produced all of Afineevsky’s documentaries.
Past Sundance docs:
CRIME AFTER CRIME (2011, consulting editor)
Butler also serves as the film’s editor. He previously edited Sundance narrative I AM MICHAEL (2015).
Tulaganova is a journalist and news producer. Zhuravsky worked on Afineevsky’s most recent films. Sharbaji is editor-in-chief of Enab Baladi, a Syrian revolutionary newspaper founded in 2011. This marks the first Sundance credit for each.
Recent past Sundance docs:
UNLOCKING THE CAGE (2016)
JIM: THE JAMES FOLEY STORY (2016)
MAPPLETHORPE: LOOK AT THE PICTURES (2016)
BECOMING MIKE NICHOLS (2016)
NOTHING LEFT UNSAID: GLORIA VANDERBILT & ANDERSON COOPER (2016)
GOING CLEAR: SCIENTOLOGY AND THE PRISON OF BELIEF (2015)
LARRY KRAMER IN LOVE & ANGER (2015)
KURT COBAIN: MONTAGE OF HECK (2015)
THE JINX: THE LIFE AND DEATHS OF ROBERT DURST (2015)
The HBO Documentary Films head regularly debuts projects at the festival.
Industry vet Dinerstein of D² Films held top positions at Paramount Classics, Lakeshore Entertainment and LD Entertainment, working on the marketing and distribution of numerous past Sundance titles. He also served as an executive producer on WINTER ON FIRE.
This is the husband and wife producing team’s first documentary credit at Sundance. Dubiecki previously co-produced Sundance narrative alum THANK YOU FOR SMOKING (2006), and was Oscar-nominated as a producer of UP IN THE AIR.
This is Srovnal’s first Sundance credit.
Sarkis is the co-founder of independent Syrian news agency SMART. This is also his first Sundance project.
Batruch is the CEO of international distributor B&H. He was also an executive producer of WINTER ON FIRE.
Recent past Sundance docs:
NOTHING LEFT UNSAID: GLORIA VANDERBILT & ANDERSON COOPER
LIFE ACCORDING TO SAM (2013)
MANHUNT: THE SEARCH FOR OSAMA BIN LADEN (2013)
MARINA ABRAMOVIC THE ARTIST IS PRESENT (2012)
Abraham is a longtime HBO Documentaries senior vice president.
Why You Should Watch:
As he did in WINTER ON FIRE, Afineevsky profiles frontline activists, protestors, and other revolutionaries, locked in a deadly standoff with the repressive Syrian regime for the future of their nation. The film provides a stark look at the experience of civil war and the lives it has upended. The doc is one of three at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival – together with LAST MEN IN ALEPPO and CITY OF GHOSTS – offering multiple perspectives on the Syrian civil war.
For Sundance screening dates and times, click the film title in the first paragraph.
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