Catherine Mullins (Zambia/USA) 53'

Theirs is no normal childhood. They are the millions of children whose parents have died of AIDS. They have no time to grieve. They are the parents. Filmed over a seven month period, Their Brothers‚ Keepers goes inside Chazanga Compound, a shantytown in Lusaka, Zambia and follows the day-to-day struggles of two child-headed families. We see how Benny, Dorris and Paul cope with a lack of food, water, health care and schooling. They scramble for piecework to buy mealie-meal for their younger siblings. Local aid and community workers give support but lack the necessary resources. Foreign aid is too thin to trickle down. The film alternates between the broader view and the personal detail, between tragedy and hope. Stunning photography and an exquisite musical score contrast with the surreal lives of these heroic kids. Excerpts from speeches by Stephen Lewis˜UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, are interspersed throughout the film. „This pandemic has done something dreadful to our instinct for compassion. What is wrong with the world? One might also ask, what will happen if a generation of Africans grows up without parents, social structures or the basic necessities of life?

A thirty-year veteran of the film industry, Catherine Mullins heads Montreal-based Green Lion Productions Inc. Mullins directed and produced the documentary Their Brothers‚ Keepers: Orphaned by AIDS in association with Télé-Québec and HDNet. Other documentaries include A Bridge to Mars about three extraordinary Canadian scientists conducting groundbreaking experiments at a NASA base camp in the High Arctic and Untangling the Mind: The Legacy of Dr. Heinz Lehmann, about the remarkable Montreal psychiatrist. It won several prestigious awards including the Golden Sheaf Award for Best Documentary at the Yorkton Short Film and Video Festival. A Bridge to Mars was nominated for a Golden Sheaf and for France‚s prestigious Jules Verne Award. Both documentaries were produced in association with Discovery Canada. Catherine Mullins also produced the award-winning series The Human Race: A Species at the Crossroads. This four-part mini series received fifteen prizes and awards, including two Gemini Awards for Best Writing and Best Photography. Before launching Green Lion, Mullins was a staff member of the National Film Board of Canada for seventeen years where she produced numerous documentaries including the three-part series Defense of Canada.

Contact Information:
John Hoskyns-Abrahall, President
Bullfrog Films
PO Box 149
Oley, PA 19547

©2005 United Nations Association Film Festival (UNAFF)