Spin Film and Vulcan Productions announced on Wednesday that Oscar-nominated director Skye Fitzgerald is in the last stages of post-production on “Hunger Ward,” a short documentary about the war in Yemen.
“Hunger Ward,” filmed in Yemen in early 2020, follows two female health care workers, Dr. Aida Alsadeeq and Nurse Mekkia Mahdi, who are fighting in opposition of widespread starvation in the country. The crisis has affected children due to the ongoing civil war in Yemen, which the documentary follows closely.
“Though the war in Yemen has recently fallen off the front page, violence, hunger and heartbreak continue to be the norm throughout the country. The fact that children are dying from malnutrition and outright starvation in 2020 is an outrage and an indictment of the entire global community,” said Fitzgerald in a statement. “The COVID crisis is only exacerbating the situation and making it even more dangerous for local doctors and aid workers to function effectively.”
He continued, “My hope is that this film will bring the sobering reality of contemporary child-starvation to a broad audience and remind the global community that using food as a weapon of war is explicitly prohibited by Article 54 of the Geneva Conventions. Our elected officials and corporations are complicit in this humanitarian disaster and action can be taken to rectify it.”
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Despite the challenges of finishing the project during the COVID-19 crisis, filmmakers were able to complete principal photography before the shutdown in March when commercial flights were cancelled to and from Yemen. “Hunger Ward” is the last film of Fitzgerald’s trilogy. “50 Feet From Syria,” released in 2015, focused on doctors working at the Syrian border and was voted onto the Oscars Shortlist. “Lifeboat,” released in 2018, follows search and rescue operations off the coast of Libya and was nominated for an Academy Award and a News and Documentary Emmy Award.
“Once again, Skye has made an important and necessary film, and as with the first two films in his trilogy, ‘Hunger Ward’ is essential viewing,” said Ruth Johnston, General Manager for Vulcan Productions. “The children of Yemen deserve our attention, our respect, and our help. It’s our hope this film will catalyze viewers to action.”
Executive producers for the film include Jody Allen, Ruth Johnston, Matt Milios, Jannat Gargi, Hayley Pappas and Matt Ippolito.