Saturday, February 28, 2015

HEART OF AFRICA: Co-founder of Sundance Film Festival (Sterling Van Wagenen) to direct new film set in the Congo

Sterling Van Wagenen, co-founder of the Sundance Film Festival and producer of Academy-Award winning film Trip to Bountiful, is scheduled to direct a new independent film titled Heart of Africa.  The film, with a script written by novelist and documentary-maker Margaret Blair Young, is set in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and is based on real events.  With some B-roll shot, funds for the next stage of production are currently be raised through Kickstarter.  According to the film's Kickstarter page:

"Heart of Africa" is a feature film set in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country consistently misrepresented. We will show it in its dignity and beauty.  The film is based on experiences of  missionaries there, both African and Anglo. One of the missionaries is a Congolese former revolutionary and another a young man from Idaho who has heretofore not seen black people. Aime Mbuyi, who was a revolutionary before he became a missionary, has provided the screenwriter with full descriptions of the revolutionary meetings, including the songs sung at the boarding school where the revolutionaries lived.
The film will be bi-continental, much of it filmed in South Africa using the "Out of Africa" production team, with portions shot in Kinshasa, DR-Congo.

In  addition to co-founding the Sundance Film Festival, Van Wagenen was the founding executive director of the Sundance Institute in association with Robert Redford, He has directed four feature films as well as several documentaries and television episodes, and has produced over fourteen feature films, documentaries, and television series, including The Trip to Bountiful, co-produced with playwright Horton Foote and starring Geraldine Page and John Heard. He collaborated again with Foote on Convicts, starring Robert Duvall and James Earl Jones. In 1986 he and Foote were nominated for an Independent Spirit Award as producers of The Trip to Bountiful, and in 1987 they won a Wise Owl Award for the film. In 1992 he won a Crystal Heart Award as director of Alan and Naomi.

For more information on Heart of Africa, see and

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