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War Refugee Story ‘Brother Man’ Receives $41,000 In Prizes
(Whistler, BC) – December 9th, 2019. The Whistler Film Festival announces that writer-producer Hedyeh Bozorgzadeh has won the top prize at the Power Pitch competition for her war refugee feature in development, Brother Man. Award-winning director Patricia Chica (who is a former war child refugee herself) and executive producer Giuliana Bertuzzi are also attached to the project.
Power Pitch is an unprecedented opportunity for producers to pitch their projects to some of the top sales agents, broadcasters and distributors in the industry. Selected among 7 national projects, Brother Man takes home $1,000 in cash and $40,000 in production and post-production services from Sim and Encore Vancouver. Other sponsors include Creative BC and the Canadian Media Producers Association – CMPA.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Whistler Film Festival, our amazing pitch mentor, the Power Pitch jury, and everyone involved in this incredible program,” says the winner Hedyeh Bozorgzadeh. “The last few days at WFF have been like a roller coaster ride and incredibly emotional. I loved every moment of it! You are all teachers and thank you for helping me to learn and grow as a storyteller and filmmaker. Thank you WFF for supporting emerging artists and for putting us on the map,” she adds.
The Jurors for the 2019 competition were Mehernaz Lentin, senior director of CBC Films; Will Machin, CEO of Metro International UK and Noah Segal, co-president of Elevation Pictures. The workshop mentor and facilitator was Carole Kirschner, an L.A.-based industry veteran and pitch master, director of the WGA Showrunner Training Program and CBS Diversity Writers Mentoring Program.
Brother Man is inspired by the true-life story of Antonio Joao, a 16-year-old “accidental” refugee from war-torn Angola who finds himself as a stowaway on Canadian soil, orphaned, scared, and desperately needing to be loved. In an attempt to survive street life in Africa, he finds a new home and family in Canada where he becomes a high-school superstar runner only to come face-to-face with his deepest fears off the track: When you’ve been running all your life, how do you stop?
Hedyeh Bozorgzadeh has been working on developing the script of Brother, Man as a labor of love since she first read the story about war child refugee Antonio Joao in the local newspaper a decade ago. After she was able to track him down and obtain his permission to tell his story, Joao became very involved in the development of the screenplay. Bozorgzadeh and Joao have through this process developed a friendship of trust. The first phase of the script development was financially supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.
To know more about the Brother Man team, please click on these links:
Hedyeh Bozorgzadeh (writer/producer)
IMDb: Hedyeh Bozorgzadeh
Giuliana Bertuzzi (executive producer)
IMDb: Giuliana Bertuzzi
Hashtags: #WFF19 #BrotherManMovie #AntonioJoao