MTV Documentary Films Acquires Hunger Ward Doc on Yemen Famine – Deadline


EXCLUSIVE: MTV Documentary Films Adds Skye Fitzgerald Hunger district to his portfolio of Oscar-nominated films.

The MTV division headed by Sheila Nevins announced on Tuesday that it had acquired the short film, a devastating look at children suffering from famine in Yemen as a direct result of the war in the Middle Eastern country. Hunger district, which was on the Oscar’s short documentary list earlier this month, will air on Pluto TV on March 1.

“The biggest humanitarian crisis exists in Yemen. Children are starving before America’s eyes, ”Nevins noted. “Filmmaker Skye Fitzgerald has made a documentary that says ‘no more’. This is a must see for anyone with a heart.

Hunger district marks the third installment in a trilogy of short films by Fitzgerald exploring the plight of refugees and other people displaced by conflict. His 2015 film 50 feet from Syria made the list of documentaries at the Oscars and its 2018 Rescue boat got an Oscar nomination.

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Hunger district director Skye Fitzgerald
Courtesy of Matthew Carey

“I am honored that MTV Documentary Films brings Hunger Room ‘s urgent message of the humanitarian crisis affecting the children of Yemen to a broad and engaged audience, ”said Fitzgerald. Nina L. Diaz and Liza Burnett Fefferman of MTV Documentary Films commented, “Skye has made a powerful and heartbreaking film that has the power to save the children of a country from malnutrition. We are honored to bring this incredibly important issue to the forefront and to raise awareness of this devastating humanitarian crisis. “

Among the children presented in Hunger district is Abeer, a six-year-old girl who weighs only 12 pounds and Omeimi, a 10-year-old girl who weighs only 24 pounds. Fitzgerald filmed his documentary at two medical clinics that treat malnourished children, one in South Yemen, part of the country controlled by the Yemeni government backed by Saudi Arabia, and the other in North Yemen, an area controlled by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.

Earlier this month, President Biden called for an end to the ruinous war in Yemen and announced that his administration would no longer support Saudi Arabia’s military operations in the country. Biden’s predecessor, President Trump, has been criticized for continuing to sell arms to Saudi Arabia despite its bombing campaign in Yemen and the naval blockade he imposed that disrupted emergency food distribution.

According to a report released on February 12 by several United Nations agencies, more than two million Yemeni children under the age of five are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition this year. Among them, 400,000 young children could die of hunger, according to the report.

“I wake up every morning knowing that there are children dying from lack of nutrients, when our planet has a lot of nutrients for everyone… It’s one thing to know something like that intellectually, and it’s a whole different thing to have witnessed it, and recorded it and documented it, ”Fitzgerald told Deadline. “It lives with me all the time. It’s something that we can actually do something about because it’s a man-made tragedy, and it’s a tragedy that can be resolved by humans.

Hunger district joins another MTV Documentary Films film in the Oscar race. 76 days, Hao Wu’s documentary on the early days of the Covid-19 epidemic in Wuhan, China, was selected for feature films. Saint Louis Superman, MTV Documentary Films’ very first film, was nominated for an Oscar last year for Best Documentary Short.

Hunger district was produced by Fitzgerald and Michael Scheuerman. Jody Allen and Hayley Pappas are executive producers of the film. The documentary is a production of Spin Films, Vulcan Productions and RYOT Films.

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