Ana’s Playground Update: World Premiere at Calgary Film Festival.

14 09 2009


World Premiere of Ana’s Playground at Calgary International Film Festival

The short film about children in armed conflict will begin showing at film festivals and screenings  

 Ana’s Playground, a short film about children living in armed conflict will make its world debut at the Calgary International Film Festival at the Globe Theatre on Friday, September 25, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.  The film will screen as part of the festival’s ‘Anything but Ordinary’ collection of internationally produced short films.  Attending the screening will be writer-director Eric Howell, producers Jillian Nodland, Marsha Trainer, Mary Jo Howell, executive producers Jean and Bruce Johnson and music composer Michael Wandmacher.

Set in a non-specific, war-torn country, Ana’s Playground is an examination of children living and dying in a world of armed combat.  Told through the eyes of 11 year-old Ana, the story opens on a group of children playing soccer surrounded by the signs of conflict.  When their soccer ball is kicked into a sniper zone, Ana is sent in to retrieve it.  Once inside, a dangerous game of cat and mouse ensues, as Ana becomes the sniper’s target.  Connected through the power of sport, the characters all listen to the same professional soccer game which plays in the background.  Viewers will be kept guessing as to how the story will reach its ultimate conclusion — will their games end up in harmony or tragedy?

Ana’s Playground is an allegory about the moment a child is forced to choose between humanity and ideology,” said filmmaker Eric Howell.  “The film is not a political statement about a particular war or conflict, instead it directly examines the delicate nature of a child’s humanity and how the world at large is connected to and responsible for preserving it.”

 The objective of Ana’s Playground is to raise awareness about war-affected children by communicating with the largest audience possible about these kids’ lives – also providing information about organizations that are working to make the lives of war-affected children better.

Raven Bellefleur, an eleven year-old actress plays Ana, leading an all-Minnesotan cast, and producers Marsha Trainer and Jillian Nodland worked hard to pull together and organize resources to shoot the film one cold November week in the Twin Cities. The filmmakers are interested in partnering with corporations, foundations and individuals who can sponsor Ana’s Playground at film festivals and screening events to help audiences learn more about war-affected children and organizations helping them.  George Lucas’s Skywalker Sound provided all sound engineering post-production; and the Coen brothers’ latest production A Serious Man donated much of the physical set support and a long list of other industry insiders also show up in the film’s credits.  

For details on the film Ana’s Playground or more information about war-affected children, child soldiers and the organizations that support them, visit:




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