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November 25th, 2017

Reese Witherspoon & Cast Interview, The Good Lie

Love, faith, survival and triumph take center stage in Oscar nominee Philippe Falardeau’s thought provoking film, “The Good Lie,” about the young victims who were orphaned and displaced by the brutal Sudanese Civil War that began in 1983. Lost Boys, as well as Girls, fled thousands of miles on foot through treacherous territory in search of safety. Fifteen years later, a humanitarian effort would bring 3600 of them from the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya to a new life in America. The inspiring drama stars Reese Witherspoon, Arnold Oceng, Ger Duany, Emmanuel Jal, Corey Stoll, Kuoth Wiel, and Sarah Baker.

At the film’s recent press day held in Nashville, Tennessee, Witherspoon, Oceng, Duany, Wiel, Stoll, Baker, screenwriter Margaret Nagle, producers Molly Smith, Thad Luckinbill, Trent Luckinbill, and UNICEF’s Kent Page spoke about the importance of honoring the Lost Boys and Girls and telling their story with integrity, the exhaustive research involved, the 11-year development process, the struggle to secure financing, finding the right actors for the film’s central roles, Witherspoon’s trip to South Sudan and the impression it made on her and her daughter, the creation of The Good Lie Fund, and their hope that the film will raise awareness and promote positive change.

“The Good Lie” opens limited October 3rd and goes wide October 24th. Here’s what the filmmakers had to say:

QUESTION: Reese, this is a spectacular season for you with Oscar talk, this movie, producing “Gone Girl,” and reuniting with Joaquin Phoenix in “Inherent Vice.” Was this all planned?

REESE WITHERSPOON: No, it wasn’t planned. For a few years, I was a little bit lost as an artist not being able to find what I wanted to do and making choices that I wasn’t ultimately very happy with. What started this whole string of things that I was doing personally was just getting back to wanting to play interesting, dynamic female characters. When I read Margaret Nagle’s script, I was so moved, and I enjoyed the idea that when I met with the director, the first thing he said to me was, “This movie isn’t about you, and I just wanted to be really clear about that.” I’d never had a director say that to me before. It actually made me happy because I didn’t want to make a movie where I was a white American girl coming to save African people. My character is as emotionally distraught, as lost, as without family as they are. I thought it was a beautiful opportunity to talk about how family is where you find it. As for all the rest, it’s just I’ve made these movies and they all seem to be coming out within three months of each other. I have a little bit of a traffic jam, but hopefully you’ll be able to see all of them and see them for their different qualities.

Q: For Arnold, Ger and Kuoth, can you talk about how you got cast in this movie?

ARNOLD OCENG: I was cast from London. It’s a funny story. The breakdown came through of the script and then my agent sent my picture to the casting directors. I got turned down. I wasn’t even allowed to audition for it because they said I was too short. Standing next to him (referring to Ger Duany), you can see why. (Laughs) So I didn’t pay any mind, and then a month later, they contacted my agent and said, “We can see him now.” Then I went up for the casting. I put myself on tape, and they sent it to L.A., and I didn’t hear back from them for maybe a month and a half. Then my agent called me and said that my tape was the only tape they liked in Europe. My agent asked me, “Are you available to fly to L.A.?” I was like, “Dude, even if I’m not available, you’re crazy! I’m flying over!” Then I came over and I had more castings over here. That’s when I got to meet Reese, and we cast it together, and then everything came together from there.

GER DUANY: I came across this story ten years ago through a man that I met. His name is Bobby Bonwyan (sp?) and his family was here somehow. I met Bobby Bonwyan (sp?) and he told me that he wanted to make a movie about the Lost Boys story. On the other hand, I was among the kids that fled the country in 1987 by foot to Ethiopia, and then back again to South Sudan, and then back to Ethiopia again. There was too much gambling with my life. I don’t know why I’m here, but maybe it’s that I had to talk to you guys. When I heard that Bobby died in 2004, I thought this story died with him because he was the only person I had met at the time and the only guy I knew that this story remained with. When he died, I said, “Now we have to go forward to the next thing.” Then, in 2013, I came across the script that was written by Margaret, and I read it, and I was blown away. I made sure I sent an email to the casting director, a lady named Mindy Marin, with my head shot. She said, “I found your head shot already through one of your colleagues. His name is Bryan Odell (O’Dell sp?).” I was like, “Okay.” Then, she sent me a part where I had to audition for it, and I taped myself as well with my own camera, and I sent it in. That’s how I ended up here.

KUOTH WIEL: For me, the story had somehow made its way to me through social media. A friend of mine had told me about the audition on Facebook. At first, I was a little taken back by it because I had never seen the script that was specifically looking for South Sudanese people or South Sudanese actors. I saw it as something special because of the fact that this is not so regular. At that time, I was still in university at Oxford College, and I knew that doing this movie was going to be a sacrifice for me because I had to give up getting my degree in that time. Mindy Marin made a point to me. She was like, “We like you, but if you choose to do this movie, you’re going to have to give up your life and leave school.” So, I made that sacrifice to leave school and to go do this movie because it’s my history. It’s the story of my country. I felt that it was a valid sacrifice for me and that’s why I did the film. Eventually, I got to graduate.

Q: Reese, what was it about this story and the message of the movie that made you want to do it? And having three kids, how are you juggling all this?

WITHERSPOON: You should see my hotel room this morning. It was chaos – pancakes and milk and fruit and teenagers. It was madness. I thought the script was so beautiful. Margaret did an incredible job. You could tell there was so much research involved, because when I started watching documentaries, it was all completely accurate. Every story that you heard the Sudanese refugees tell was somehow in the film and in the script. So, we met and we talked about it. I met with Margaret and Molly Smith and Philippe Falardeau, the director, and we thought it was wonderful. There are so many times you think you appreciate your life, but then you see someone else’s perspective on our privileges and the opportunities we have, whether it’s education, healthcare, food or running water. One of my favorite scenes is when he’s running his hands as he’s turning the water on and off after they’ve walked through the desert and been without water and food. I thought it was a great message also for families. It’s important to say that I think it’s great to take your kids to see this movie. It brings up a lot of dinner table conversations that we should all be having. And yeah, I’ll take my kids.

Q: For Corey, you also have been on a tear. You’ve got “The Strain” going on, and you have “This Is Where I Leave You” out, and “Ant-Man” on the way. Can you talk a little bit about why you wanted to do this film and how you fit this into your schedule?

COREY STOLL: Well, like Reese, I was really attracted to how it wasn’t about her. (Laughs) No offense. I was very excited to work with Reese, but I think there is a problem in Hollywood with making stories about the white savior coming in, and this was so not that movie. Just reading the first 30 pages that Margaret was so courageous to keep in the story, that we don’t come to America for 30-35 minutes, which takes a lot of courage in the writing and then in the directing and producing to maintain that running time just with the kids, I was really sold on that. In terms of fitting it in, I don’t need that much time off. (Laughs) I like to work. It stops me thinking too much about real life.

Q: Sarah, this is a bit of a departure from some of the roles we’ve seen you in. Can you talk about how you got involved with this project and what the experience has been like?

SARAH BAKER: It’s been incredible. I mostly do much more lighthearted fare than this. A lot of my friends and people I work with are like, “What’s the movie about that you’re in?” and I’m like, “The Lost Boys of the Sudan,” and they’re like, “You’re in it?” and I’m like, “I know, I know.” My part is not super serious in the movie. It’s great to be involved with something [like this]. I love all that I do, but this movie is such a special story. It’s an honor to be a part of something like this that tells the story of so many people and a story that a lot of people haven’t heard.

Q: Reese, it must have been an incredible challenge to play a character where you don’t get the backstory and you have to discover it along the way. How did you avoid the process of researching this, and what did you learned about South Sudan and the Sudan in general?

WITHERSPOON: I came from a place of not knowing, so other than a random newspaper article or something, I knew very little about the story. There were a lot of interesting documentaries and some stuff on “60 Minutes” that was very interesting. And still, I didn’t know. A lot of the things that I learned were from talking to Emmanuel (Emmanuel Jal who plays Paul) and talking to Ger. Sometimes we’d be doing scenes and I’d say, “Did that really happen?” Ger would tell us stories about being a young boy and walking all that way and what it was like. It’s hard to even conceive. Then, at the very end of the film, we got to go to the Kakuma refugee camp. Even though I didn’t shoot any scenes there, I didn’t want to just do the part in Atlanta and be done and go home to my life. I really wanted to see what the experience was like. So, I took my teenage daughter and we went. It was very emotional seeing over 250,000 people displaced and sleeping on concrete slabs and the sprawl of that many people living, and twelve different languages being spoken, seven different kinds of religions, very little healthcare, very little food. It brought it all home to me that this is an opportunity to raise awareness, but it’s also an opportunity to create change. I was talking to Rick Warren yesterday who’s an amazing religious leader. He said, “Sometimes we assume that if people are poor, they’re not intelligent, or they don’t have anything to offer to society.” These are people who were at the top of their field. They’re doctors, they’re educators, they’re community leaders, and they’ve essentially been displaced. It’s been amazing through this process, and even two days ago to be in D.C., and how all these wonderful men and women from the Sudan are there and they’re doing incredible things in America. One of them is a war veteran from Iraq and Afghanistan. One is a community leader. It’s been very educational for me to learn about refugees and their contributions to society and how we can hopefully lift more of them up out of those situations.

Q: What did you guys learn about Reese?

DUANY: Oh there’s so much to learn about Reese.

OCENG: Maybe I can speak for all of us when I say this. When we found out we’d be working with Reese, you can’t really get bigger than Reese. I was nervous thinking I’d be on the same screen as her. But to be honest, we weren’t ready for the humbleness and the strength, and just her whole entity, and how great she was with us. We probably haven’t said it before, but at least we all get to say it now. We thank you because you made the experience so much easier. It was a hard journey for all of us, but just knowing you were there to support us and to help us through, we really appreciate that.

WITHERSPOON: Thank you.

DUANY: I wanted to relay a little story. Mindy Marin called me and told me, “Hey Ger, there’s a lady named Reese. She’s going to be in the movie with you.” I said, “Who is Reese?” She sent me a link, and I said, “Of course, I know this lady.” I watched all her movies since I came to America, because I learned English through watching movies. When I knew that it was Reese that I’d been watching for many years, I was excited. It’s incredible to work with Reese because she can turn things into something that brings all of us together. We couldn’t find another person that could really tell the story of the South Sudanese people who have been suffering for decades. Reese was the perfect person who helped us to get this story to you.

Q: Margaret, this has been a journey for you alone as well. Can you explain how this project came to you and what you went through to get it to where it is today?

MARGARET NAGLE: This was an open assignment at Paramount with the producer Robert Newmyer 11 years ago. I had written a spec script, Warm Springs, and I’d just become a screenwriter. I really wanted this job. They were like, “We’re seeing big screenwriters. You’re not even in the Writers Guild.” Every week I would call my agent and say, “Get me a meeting with the kid who gets the coffee. Just get me in the building. Get me in the office.” So one day, six weeks later, I finally got in and I met the baby development executive. I went in and I had the whole movie planned out – Theo and Mamere, the first 30 minutes are Africa, they come to America. Literally, I thought, I have this one shot. I have to have the whole thing done. He just kept passing me up and went, “Okay, hang on. Let me get my boss.” And I’d pitch it again and they’d go, “Let me get my boss.” By six o’clock, I was pitching to Bobby Newmyer, and then a week later I went to Paramount and I got the job. With Bobby, we worked on it for two years and then he sadly, tragically passed away. Bobby and I had gone all over the country and met Lost Boys in every city. At his funeral, the Lost Boys gave the eulogy. It was really hard. And then, Paramount put the movie into turnaround and wouldn’t let it out. I was able to get it back out five years after the last time I worked on it through a Writers Guild reacquisition rule. I took it to Ron Howard and Brian Grazer and worked on it. It was an 18-month option. We worked on it for 12 months there and then we lost our financing. We went out to look for new financing and we found it in Molly and the Luckinbills, and it was the very final day of the 18-month option. We got a cashier’s check to Paramount at five o’clock. I’m not kidding you. It was so funny because Molly called and she goes, “I’m going to give you a check today. Put it in your account and then you go write the check to Paramount.” I’m like, “I can’t write a check to Paramount. I don’t have that much in checking. That check’s not gonna clear. The check’s gonna bounce.” We were racing around town calling Paramount saying, “Don’t lock the doors. We’re gonna get the check in.” So, we bought it and then we were shooting ten years to the day I was hired. I had written the part of Carrie Davis with Reese in mind from the beginning. They called me and they said, “You’re going to have a meeting with Reese Witherspoon.” I was like, “No way! This is crazy!” It took a long time, but good things take time.

Q: Why did you think of Reese for that role?

NAGLE: She’s so strong and she’s got light and dark going in. And she’s got a strong sense of the feminine, but she’s got this strong sense of the masculine. She’s incredible. You look at her and there’s so much going on behind those eyes. I love that she surprises you when she’s on screen, and there’s fierce intelligence in what she does, and yet she’s every woman. I just love her work and she’s just perfect for this role. Even the name Carrie, I went, “That’s a good name for Reese.” I was very lucky. There was just no one else.

Q: For Margaret and Reese, why do you think it’s hard for us as Americans to grasp what’s going on in the Sudan and the current humanitarian crisis there, and how will this movie change that?

WITHERSPOON: I think there’s not a lot of media coverage.

NAGLE: There’s not a lot of media coverage. It’s died off. It’s a hard story to tell. But I also think what’s great about this story is that it doesn’t matter. The boys survived because they were family. They made friends family but they worked together. We live in a country right now that’s very separated by religion and location and politics. I believe Sudan and South Sudan is a story we all agree on, that we can all come together on, and that those divisions don’t count here. It brings us up to our higher self. It’s the kind of story that Hollywood, even though it doesn’t always want to tell stories like this, tells best, because we can tell the story of South Sudan and what’s going on very quickly emotionally and everybody can grab it. You watch a film and you can grab it. Film is a language that doesn’t need language or culture to understand. It’s very universal and that’s very powerful. And the fact that Reese went over to the Kakuma refugee camp with her daughter is such an incredible thing. That is a risky thing to do and she wanted to see that. We’re hoping to start a big conversation because South Sudan is in a lot of trouble right now. They’re going into a famine. The civil war is back. People are in these camps and they need aid, so we’ve created The Good Lie Fund to raise money to bring humanitarian aid and education. We’re working with UNICEF. We want to take this movie to a whole other level than just being a piece of entertainment.

WITHERSPOON: A lot of people are making comparisons with Hotel Rwanda that it wasn’t a situation a lot of people knew a lot about. Once you see the film, it makes you want to go home and look it up and get more involved.

Q: For Margaret and Molly, sometimes with inspired films you lose the integrity of the real life story, but this film doesn’t. How important was it for you guys to truly capture the reality of what’s going on in the Sudan and the heart of that place?

NAGLE: Our director, Philippe Falardeau, had been to the Sudan and was making a documentary in 1994 and literally had been chased out by gunfire. A warlord came into the area where he was shooting the documentary. As he flew away in his plane and he saw the people on the ground waving, “Take us!,” he was like, “I have to finish what I started.” He directed “Monsieur Lazhar” and was up for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film two years ago. For him, he used this incredible kind of restraint and integrity, and when he got the script, he had this first-hand knowledge of these stories. He had seen them up close. Then he brought this incredibly beautiful restraint to telling the story that I think is so important to make it work, so that instead of seeing something really violent, you see these kids actually drink their urine at one point. You see Abital play dead and get up to survive. You see different ways how children worked to survive. We feel really lucky — and Molly, I’m sure you can speak to this — that he was the director. It’s the way he interpreted those things in the story.

MOLLY SMITH: Absolutely. Philippe is so talented and approached this from day one with pure authenticity. From the casting to every detail, he wanted to tell this in the most authentic way. I do think when you tell a story that’s inspired by true events, there’s a lot of pressure because you want to tell it with integrity and honor and make sure you’re honoring the story of the Lost Boys and Girls. We’ve met so many Sudanese refugees in the making of this film, and they have all come up to us and said, “Thank you for telling our story. Thank you for sharing this.” I don’t think there’s any greater compliment to Margaret’s screenplay. It’s her attention to detail for everything from their journey to their transition to America and these fish out of water moments which really happened for them. When we were making the film in Africa, the children obviously in the film are all children of real Lost Boys and Girls. I remember one of the mothers on set turned to us, and the producer was standing there when they were crossing the river, and she said, “I did that with a baby on my back. I’m so happy for my son to do this and know what I went through.” That was a really powerful moment. I remember looking back and thinking we’re all doing something here that’s so much bigger than us. It’s very rare that you get to make a film that is that powerful, that is bigger than all of us, and everyone came and joined hands to be a part of telling their story.

Q: Thad and Trent, can you share a little bit about what this experience has been like for you?

TRENT LUCKINBILL: We hosted a screening for 50 Lost Boys in L.A. last week. Just to hear their story, it was painful for them and they admitted that, and at times they laughed and they cried. They thanked us for being able to take the time to tell the story and find a way to tell the story. For me, personally, I feel such pride and such appreciation that we all got together to be able to do this for these guys. It was a great experience.

THAD LUCKINBILL: We learned so much from these guys. You fall in love with them as characters in the movie, and then you get to meet them in real life and they’re that way. They’re those kind of people. That experience alone has been a real treasure for me throughout this movie.

NAGLE: I want to say Molly has an adopted brother who is a Lost Boy. And then, we have brothers who are producers. We all share a link as siblings. It’s no accident.

Q: Have you heard from the Sudanese government and have they been able to see this? Also, what take away would you like for audiences to leave with that is a permanent keepsake about this film?

SMITH: We’ve not screened it yet for the Sudanese government, but we’re working with amazing organizations that are going to be helping us work with the Sudan. Obviously, UNICEF is here today. We’ve got a lot of ambassadors for this film, and one of the biggest goals for this film is to be able to give back, and we’ve set up a fund called The Good Lie Fund. The other night we were in Washington, D.C. doing a huge fundraiser for the refugees specifically in the Kakuma refugee camp because the crisis is so bad there right now. That’s our goal with this film, to be able to shed a light and use this film as an educational tool to tell the story of the Lost Boys and Girls. Someone said the other day that the film was like a call to action. It makes you want to go do something and give back. We’re hoping with our film that we can use this for humanitarian educational needs. There are so many of the Lost Boys and Girls living here in America that are building schools and hospitals back in the Sudan. They’re incredible. So, we’re working with all of those in various cities and doing small fundraisers for them to help give back.

DUANY: I’m glad you got to see the movie. Our life is really set against the backdrop of a long civil war in the Sudan. In the middle of it are our life experiences as the Lost Boys of Sudan. Two weeks ago, I came back from the South Sudan. I went to the border of South Sudan and Ethiopia where the refugees are. Now that we are doing a movie about the refugees, the country is being plunged into a terrible civil war that we have never seen before. I went to find my family that I found in 2010 for the first time in 18 years, and now my life is coming back. I’ve got to go back home to go and find this member. I’ve got to go find this sibling. I went to Kakuma and I went to Ethiopia trying to collect my direct siblings. So, I’ve seen a lot of suffering. Here I am talking about The Good Lie, but the same people that survived the previous civil war are dying now. I’m sure even things that I’ve seen, even the President of the country of South Sudan did not see. He didn’t see how much the people are really struggling outside of the country. With this movie, we want to reach out to the world. We’re not dealing with the government of South Sudan. We’re dealing with an organization like Molly was saying. This is a humanitarian story so we need help. We need to help those who are still in the refugee camp. This is not just a movie. It’s more than just a movie.

Q: Were you able to find your siblings?

DUANY: I have, but some of them are missing still, so maybe next year we’ll find some more.

Q: For the producers, there’s a terrible universality to this movie as we’ve seen in northern Iraq with the Yazidis and the Christians. How does this movie speak to very recent events as well?

TRENT LUCKINBILL: I think it underscores what is going on around the world. Obviously, this is something that not only is happening in the Sudan, but it’s happening in other parts of the world. There’s a universal appeal and understanding of this community that speaks to people that are going through this across the world. We’re hoping that people connect with it in that way as well.

Q: Margaret, can you talk a little bit about your research and how you went about that process in bringing out the authenticity and the specifics of the story?

NAGLE: For me, as I was a struggling screenwriter, I had a small business and two of the people I was working with in my business, their grandfathers were from the Sudan and they had been relocated to Senegal. They were adjusting to life in Los Angeles from Senegal. One of them, his father had been a chief and he had eleven wives and he had a hundred brothers and sisters. I was watching them make this adjustment. When I heard about this film, a friend of mine was a lawyer and she got me into her LexisNexis source, and I printed up every single article about the Sudan in the last ten years. I’ve watched so much research at my house, but I have these binders that are just massive, and I read every single article in them, sort of like an anthropologist. Then I went, “So here’s the spine of it and here’s how you do it.” The whole point is they walked this walk and survived because they went together and they helped each other. If I had taken four Lost Boys who really lived, I would be pulling them out of the whole. The idea was always to do this composite story that was representative of all the Lost Boys and then create a fund that would help them and that they could govern any way they wanted from the movie. That was the deal we originally made, which was that we would create this fund. So that was the research.

Sometimes I don’t like to see things up close. I like to read about them and interpret them before, because I write a lot of true stories, and I don’t always want to meet the people. I want to give my imagination and intellect first shot at it. So, after I had sold the story of it and was writing the script, then I went around the country, to Phoenix twice, Kansas City four times, San Jose, San Diego, Atlanta, and I met Lost Boys. We even had a Lost Boys convention in Phoenix and we got about 1,600 Lost Boys there. They all needed to be vaccinated for something they’d gotten through their feet walking through the water. We got the Center for Disease Control there to come and give them all these vaccinations that we knew we wouldn’t get [otherwise]. We kept developing. We kept using this as an opportunity. It was massive. It was interesting to redevelop it again with Ron Howard, because when I’d been at Paramount, there kept being these shifts in leadership at Paramount and they wanted more of this or more of that. So, when I worked with Karen Kehela Sherwood and Ron Howard, I was able to redevelop the script in 2010 back into what my original intention had been. And then, for Philippe, when he came on, he had me do more drafts of the script because it had to be the way he wanted to shoot it. He also speaks and reads French, so we had to go through every moment in the script to make sure he understood what that was. His cameraman (Ronald Plante) and everybody were speaking French, so it was a whole other process of translation. It makes you get really specific and think about it and it’s good for a writer.

THAD LUCKINBILL: He also speaks English.

NAGLE: He does speak English. You could call it English. (Laughs) So I have about 40 drafts of the script.

Q: Reese, how did you arrive at Carrie’s look? Was it written on the page and did you have some input into that?

WITHERSPOON: Molly called me and she told me she wanted me to be a brunette. (Laughs) I was like, “Okay. Well alright. I’ve done that before.” We did it. I’d just had a baby. That’s the reason I was like I didn’t know if I wanted to make the movie because I was still nursing and taking care of this little one. Then, when I read this script, I was like, “Oh my Gosh, I have to! How am I going to do this?” You know how your brain is just confused right after you have a baby? I was really confused. I just worked with the hair and make-up people. It’s always nice to sort of depart from yourself. I was covering all my post-baby weight, too.

Q: You mentioned earlier that you brought your daughter to the refugee camp. Why was it important for you to take her there?

WITHERSPOON: She’s a wonderful, socially conscious girl, but even a kid that reads a million books about a situation doesn’t understand it until they see it themselves. I was very lucky that they organized for her to be there, because she is a little young to be on one of these trips. It was last year. She‘d just turned 14. It was amazing. She didn’t say a word the whole day. Then, she really didn’t talk about it until a couple days later. We saw women giving birth on metal tables with their infant sitting there with no clothes on, kids that were sick, and babies like her brother’s age sitting on concrete slabs and sleeping with seven other brothers and sisters. I think seeing the conditions was one thing, but the other really remarkable thing about it is the joy and the determination of these people to rise above and their determination for them to have a better life for their children. Their spirit was just incredible. They greet you with smiles and laughter and hugs and dancing. It’s definitely going to affect her for a long time as it did me as well. It was amazing. It was very emotional to be there with Ger and his family members. Many family members of his are there at that very camp. I like the part where Corey’s character in the movie is so reticent to get involved and he says, “Let’s not get involved. We’re probably going to get sued.” Back to your point, one of the things I think is so great about this story is that you don’t have to be a perfect person to do something great for somebody else. The imperfections in your life might be helped through the process of meeting and helping and creating community for people who are displaced. It’s not just for the saints of the world. We can all do something.

Q: What do you think she gained from the experience?

WITHERSPOON: Just consciousness, awareness, and hopefully a feeling of wanting to give back. Also, I think travel is the antidote to any kind of selfish behavior. Service really breaks them. It’s not their fault. I mean, kids nowadays, we get them all these technologies and access to things that disconnect them. So, as much as you can show them of the world is great.

NAGLE: The Lost Boys are taught in schools all over the United States. The Lost Boys themselves go and do school visits and have been doing them for quite a while. I know my kids’ Lost Boys came to their schools in 6th, 7th and 8th grade. It’s a big time to teach this story. It’s very much part of the curriculum. We don’t know so much about it but kids coming up know about it.

Q: Kent, as UNICEF’s Emergency Expert who’s worked in South Sudan this year, what’s it been like for your organization to be one of the ambassadors for this film?

KENT PAGE: I just wanted to say we’re very pleased to be here. (to the filmmakers) You’ve done an amazing job. It’s a very inspiring story, very authentic, and you’ve told that story with integrity. So thank you very much. UNICEF also hopes that this film will help draw attention not only to the story of the Lost Boys of Sudan but the current humanitarian crisis that’s happening in the South Sudan that is affecting millions of people right now. The other thing I’d like to add very quickly is that we have some Lost Boys of Sudan who work with UNICEF as child protection officers, and we really rely on their experience, their expertise. They’re working to reunify children that are separated from their families and they do a terrific job. So, UNICEF is very pleased to be here and congratulations on an excellent film.




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