Official Selection Sheffield Doc/Fest 2016
Winner Best Documentary Phoenix Film Festival 2016
Winner Best Feature Film Rwanda Film Festival 2016
  Educational License
Official Selection Wisconsin Film Festival 2016
Official Selection Reelheart Film Festival 2016
Official Selection Newport Bearch Film Festival 2016

The Story

"My only love sprung from my only hate," reveals Juliet in Shakespeare's beloved play about star-crossed lovers. Director Ben Proudfoot explores the thin line between love and hate in a new, surprisingly charming and uplifting feature documentary set in Kigali, Rwanda the epicenter of the genocide that left a million dead two decades earlier.

Camera crews follow a small American theater group led by a retired Dartmouth Professor Andrew Garrod as they journey to Rwanda expecting to mount a reconciliatory production of Romeo & Juliet with an all-African cast. These self-realized millennials, most orphaned by the horrors of violence, form the unorthodox company drawn from the contentious Hutu and Tutsi population divisions. The cast members' stories are as emotionally rich as the characters they are portraying. For the young woman playing "Juliet," the ethnic divisions are personal her father and many of her family members were murdered 20 years ago by Hutu perpetrators. This production marks the first time many of the Tutsi have interacted closely with anyone of Hutu background, and vice versa. The Oxford-educated Garrod believes the parallels between Shakespeare's classic tragedy and the lives of these students who grew up in the wake of genocide will serve as the foundation to "reconciliation" for the entire country. He gets anything but. No amount of academic study could have prepared Garrod for what he is about to endure.

The beautiful, passionate, and headstrong Tete catches the attention of Garrod who casts her as Juliet. After a funding source suddenly falls through, Garrod doubles down and empties his personal pension fund to float the production. When the cast learns that they will not be paid for their work, Tete leads a rebellion against the Westerners, arguing that Rwanda has already achieved "reconciliation," and that as rich white men they have no business in Rwanda, blind to the fact that more than healing ancient wounds, the cast is struggling to rise out of poverty and pay for their education. The strain between the director and his star leads to a deep divide between the cast, and the unyielding Garrod is on the brink of mutiny. The result is a moving myriad of hopes and heartbreak, as expectations, personalities and cultures collide with opening night drawing ever closer.

Filmmakers

Ben Proudfoot

Director & Producer

Director and producer Ben Proudfoot was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia. At the age of 15, Proudfoot began studying sleight-of-hand magic and over the next three years, won both the Canadian and International Championships for legerdemain. Proudfoot's passions shifted to filmmaking, and he was subsequently accepted to the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles. In 2012, Proudfoot founded Breakwater Studios Ltd. and established a production office in Los Angeles in the building where Walt Disney first started his company in 1923.

Andrea Batista

Producer & Executive Producer

Andrea Batista grew up in West Berlin, Germany, eventually moving to the United States and working in the legal industry. Over the course of the last few years, she has focused her energies on entrepreneurial endeavors, becoming a business owner and investing in those companies and ideas about which she is most passionate. In her free time, Andrea enjoys traveling the globe, reading mystery novels, playing bridge and tennis, and serves as a court appointed child advocate. She currently lives in the Silicon Valley with her husband, adult son and three step children.

Doug Burgdorff

Cinematographer & Associate Producer

Douglas Burgdorff studied film at Emerson College in Boston. He is from the tristate area, going to schools in both New Jersey and Connecticut growing up. Rwanda & Juliet was his first feature documentary as a camera operator. He is eternally grateful that the Breakwater team took a chance on him. He is currently a Los Angeles resident where he shoots, edits, and directs projects for himself and others.

David Bolen

Cinematographer

David Bolen is an award-winning Canadian cinematographer based out of Los Angeles, California. An alumnus of the prestigious USC School of Cinematic Arts, David has shot several feature-length documentaries, including the award winning film The Drop Box which was released in over 800 theaters in March of 2015. David has filmed over 30 short films, 20 music videos, 15 commercials and numerous behind-the-scenes for several hit shows including It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Glee. A live event he shot for Mel Brooks was recently aired as a special on HBO. Working for Breakwater as a cinematographer and director, he has shot several live-action opening title sequences along with Rwanda & Juliet. Their newest project, entitled Life's Work, is another feature length documentary about struggling craftspeople in Nova Scotia. David looks forward to many future collaborations with Breakwater Studios as they move in the realm of Narrative Feature Films.

Michael Fallavollita

Editor

In a career spanning more than twenty years, Boston native Michael Fallavollita started in the motion picture industry as an assistant editor for Steven Spielberg onHook, Jurassic Park, and Schindler's List, graduating to feature editor on Interstate 60 for director Bob Gale (Back to the Future) and Komodo for Director Michael Lantieri (Jurassic Park). In recent years, Michael also edited Alfonso Cuaron's short film Possibility of Hope, alongside Academy Award nominated director Roko Belic on his documentaries Dreams: Cinema of the Subconscious and The Batmobile, as well as editing several other documentaries for feature films including Man of Steel,Dark Knight Rises, Inception, The Dark Knight, Batman Begins, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, and Interstellar.

Nicholas Jacobson-Larson

Original Score

Nicholas Jacobson-Larson is a Los Angeles-based composer, conductor, and orchestrator who has written music for the concert hall, feature films, TV shows, documentaries, commercials, shorts, web series, musicals, and plays. Nicholas provided concert orchestrations for composer Michael Giacchino's Star Trek Into Darkness: Live In Concert, which premiered at Royal Albert Hall, as well as score preparation for the feature film Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. He also wrote the score for the documentary Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine, which is currently in theatres. As a conductor, Nicholas has led several concerts, revues, recording sessions, and theatrical productions, including the musicals The Light in the Piazza, Les Miserables, and West Side Story.

Sean Higgins

Sound & Associate Producer

A native of Marin County, California, Sean Higgins grew up in the video village on Industrial Light & Magic sets watching his Dad, an on-set video assist. Since his childhood, Sean has been passionate about sound production in its many venues, and particularly its application in cinema. Particularly interested in post-production and documentary location recording, Sean excels in collaborative environments where he can help create a soundtrack integral to the story. Sean holds a B.A. degree in film production from USC's School of Cinematic Arts with a minor in music recording from the Thornton School of Music.

Dillon Brown

Post-Production Supervisor & Co-Producer

Dillon Brown was born in the sunny beach city of Santa Barbara, CA and has lived in the Ventura County region of Southern California for his entire life. In high school he decided to take his love of movies and try to make a career out of it, and was fortunate enough to gain acceptance to the film program at the University of Southern California, where he graduated in 2011. Trained by Los Angeles' Company 3 and having worked on dozens of films, Dillon's valuable insight and experience thus far has been instrumental in building Breakwater Studios' post-production capabilities.

Emily Bon

Emily Bon

A native of artistically vibrant Santa Monica, Emily Bon developed her passions for film, literature, and vocal studies at a young age. Her further investment in the cultural studies of gender, ethnicity, and media led her to the prestigious Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. Emily's previous positions at major agencies in the film and digital media industries led her to Breakwater Studios in early 2014, where she works daily with Ben Proudfoot as Head of Development.

Contact

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​For any questions, please inquire at:

[email protected]

Breakwater Studios LLC
4655 Kingswell Avenue, Suite 201
Los Angeles, California 90027
(323) 522-3870