Par ramps up Sudanese 'Lost Boys' project
The Lost Boys of Sudan are about to take another meeting with Hollywood.The team behind Paramount’s “Lost Boys of Sudan” feature project will meet this weekend in Phoenix with more than 500 refugees now living in the U.S. as adults, after their journey to this country as orphans from Sudan’s civil war. The Par crew will help the Lost Boys continue their efforts to become a community stateside and get more background for the pic. The project took form after the airing of a “60 Minutes II” segment about the Lost Boys, survivors who fled hundreds of villages burned in Sudan during the late 1980s and who journeyed for years to refugee camps in Kenya. The real-life Lost Boys live together in small groups in major U.S. cities, mostly holding minimum-wage jobs. The confab will cover such areas as the Lost Boys & Girls national Web site, establishing a local center, voting on a constitution, fund-raising, poetry, singing, political advocacy and the status of the film. The update will be provided by producers Bobby Newmyer and Damon Lee, director Brad Silberling, screenwriter Margaret Nagle and Paramount senior VP Wendy Japhet. “We want to be sure that we have the full cooperation, support and participation of the Lost Boys,” said Newmyer, whose Outlaw Prods. is developing the pic with Silberling’s Reveal Entertainment with hopes of starting to lens next summer. Much of the meeting’s focus will be directed toward the tragedies from the ongoing Sudanese conflict. The conference has scheduled appearances by Sudanese rebel political leader John Garang, Sudanese elders who have been living in exile in Egypt and experts on Sudanese politics. The event in Phoenix comes after a meeting in November in Kansas City with 20 Lost Boys leaders, the project’s team and a rep from Amnesty Intl. and aims to help the refugees create the semblance of an organization. A documentary, “The Lost Boys of Sudan” by Megan Mylan and John Shenk, was released in the fall and is still being screened.