Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars
(80 minutes) Sierra Leone/USA
Directors/Producers: Zach Niles and Banker White
Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars are a band of six Sierra Leonean musicians who have been living as refugees in the West African nation of the Republic of Guinea. A brutal civil war (1991-2002) forced them from their homes in Sierra Leone. Many of their family and friends were murdered in the violence, leaving them with physical and emotional scars that may never heal. Despite the unimaginable horrors of civil war, they were saved through their music. Through music, Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars have found refuge, purpose, and a source of power by giving a voice to the experiences of so many struggling to survive. Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars is a character driven film that chronicles the band over three years, from Guinean refugee camps back to war-ravaged Sierra Leone. Amidst the tragedies of their incredible losses, the band triumphs by realizing the dream of recording their first studio album. Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars reveals unique and inspiring personal stories of survival and rebirth through the universal language of music. As violent conflicts multiply around the globe and the worldwide refugee crisis deepens, this film is a humanizing tribute to all the innocent survivors of war whose brutal realities are often dismissed by surface mass media sound bytes.
Zach Niles comes from a music industry background and has been fortunate to be a part of the production and promotion of some of the largest rock-n-roll tours (The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Madonna, Simon and Garfunkel). This is his first film.
Banker White is a multi-disciplinary artist who has written and directed
many short films including I am Your Appetite, which was featured
on San Franciscoís KRON 4 show Bay Area Backroads. This
is Banker's documentary feature film debut.
©2006 United Nations Association Film Festival (UNAFF)