From 2004 through 2005, former U.S. Marine Captain Brian Steidle served as an unarmed military observer with the African Union in Darfur, Sudan. During that time, Steidle had access to parts of the country that no journalist could penetrate. Unprepared for the atrocities he witnessed and unable to intervene, this 27-year-old military veteran began recording what he saw with his camera, pen and paper. Brian spent over a year in Sudan, six months of that in Darfur, gathering evidence of the emerging crisis and amassing over 1,000 uncompromising photographs. Determined to end the violence that has left 400,000 dead and forced more than two million from their homes, and stymied by the bureaucratic inaction of the international community, Steidle resigned his post and returned to the U.S. There he began contacting journalists like Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times to show them his photographs, and in early 2005, award-winning filmmakers Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern began to collaborate with Brian as he planned his return to Africa - the refugee camps in Chad. On this journey, Brian made the decision to speak to people all around the world about what he had seen. Drawing on the haunting photographs of a witness, this unique and inspiring documentary is an amazing record of the potential of one individual who, buoyed by his own sense of justice, made it his mission to shine a light on the horrors of this conflict and force the world to take notice. Copresented with the Human Rights Watch Film Festival
ANNIE SUNDBERG and RICKI STERN codirected and coproduced The Trials of Darryl Hunt, which debuted at Sundance in 2006 and was nominated for Best Documentary at the 2007 Independent Spirit Awards. The film, which is centered around a wrongful conviction in the American South, will be released theatrically in June '07. Sundberg has also produced the feature film Tully and the Academy Award winning One Survivor Remembers for HBO. Stern has directed the documentaries In My Corner and Neglect Not The Children (hosted by Morgan Freeman) for PBS. They are currently developing The Trials of Darryl Hunt as a feature film and will soon to start on their next documentary.