More screenings of Ana’s Playground ahead at Festivals around the country.

31 12 2009

Ana’s Playground, the breathtaking allegory short film about children at the hands of armed conflict, may be coming to a film festival near you in early 2010.  I encourage everyone who has a chance to take in this riveting drama which is well on its way to receiving a best short film nomination at the Academy Awards.

It’s a perfect way to kick off the New Year with the resolution to learn more and get involved in helping children in war torn countries and the countless number of kids that can benefit from organizations like Right to Play, the principal non-profit organization benefiting from funds raised by Ana’s Playground.

You can see Ana’s Playground at the following film festivals.  Follow the links to each individual film festival for screening times and locations.

Santa Barbara International FIlm Fest – Feb. 4 – 14th (Academy Sanctioned)

Boulder International Film Fest –  Feb. 11th – 14th

Sedona International Film Festival –  Feb. 21st – Feb 28th

Cinequest (San Jose) Feb. 23rd – Mar. 7th (Academy Sanctioned)

Tiburon Film Fest – Mar. 18th –  Mar. 26th

In addition to these Film Festivals, Ana’s Playground will have a special screening at Right To Play’s event for sponsors and supporters at the Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Here’s a recent spot from Mastercard Canada raising awareness about Right to Play.

And for friends in the Twin Cities, Ana’s Playground has been selected as the exclusive film to be screened at Augsburg College during the annual Nobel Peace Prize forum on Friday, March 5 on campus.  The screening will follow a keynote address by 2008 Nobel Peace Prize winner Martti Ahtisaari.

Details on the Nobel Peace Prize Forum

Some of the recognition Ana’s Playground has earned around the world includes:

WINNER Best Int’l Short Film – Foyle Film Festival (Oscar Qualifying)
WINNERBest Screenplay – Los Angeles Int’l Short Film Festival
WINNERBest Short Film – Norwich Int’l Film Festival
WINNERBest of the Fest – Norwich Int’l Film Festival
WINNERBest Dramatic Short Film – New Hampshire Film Festival
WINNERBest Short FIlm – Cenflo Film Festival


Ana’s Playground qualifies for Oscar Nomination.

30 11 2009

Congrats again to the film-making team for Ana’s Playground.  Ana’s Playground has won “Best International Short Film” at the 22nd Foyle Film Festival in Northern Ireland.

This festival is one of a few festivals that are sanctioned by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

WIth a win in the short film category, Ana’s Playground has automatically qualified to be considered by the Academy for an Oscar nomination in the 2010 award cycle.

Visit the Ana’s Playground film-makers’ blog.

Ana’s Playground takes New Hampshire.

19 10 2009

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Like the first important primary of a presidential election, New Hampshire represents a key milestone for another candidate.  Ana’s Playground— the short film about children as victims of armed conflict—won Best Short Drama in this past weekend’s festival in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.   More than 80 independent films were screened over the weekend.

With award winning honors in three of its first few screenings, Ana’s Playground continues its world tour.  Check out the Ana’s Playground filmmaker blog for other news and updates.

One of the largest film fests in New England, the four-day event draws celebrities, academy-award winners, film industry veterans and local film lovers. Most importantly, NHFF offers workshops and discussions for young and new filmmakers to interact with industry pros and learn the art and business of film.

Learn more about the New Hampshire Film Festival

More Mo for Ana’s Playground

1 10 2009

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After last week’s premiere at the Calgary International Film Festival, the momentum and excitement over the debut of the short film Ana’s Playground continues.

The film making team attended the premiere and are pictured here in front of the Ana’s Playground poster at the CIFF.


One member of the Calgary audience wrote:

“The film which had the audience on the edge of their seat with looks of fear frozen between each gunshot was Ana’s Playground.  There was no dialogue, but there didn’t need to be. Ana’s Playground told the story of children caught in the middle of war with brilliant shots, a terrifying soundtrack and a mysterious, unidentified gunman.”

You can watch an on-line interview with Ana’s Playground writer/director Eric Howell here.

Ana’s Playground was the darling of the inaugural Norwich Film Festival in the United Kingdom winning both Best Short Film and Best of the Fest honors late last month.

Read about the Norwich Festival response

Ana’s Playground a winner at Norwich Film Festival

24 09 2009


Ana’s Playground received awards for The Best Short Film and Best of The Fest this week at the Norwich Film Festival in the United Kingdom.

In its advance pre-screening at the debut Norwich Film Festival, Ana’s Playground not only won Best Short Film, but Best of The Fest – beating out all the feature films that were screened as well as more than 90 films entered in the competition.

Learn more about the Norwich Film Festival

The world premiere of Ana’s Playground is Friday, September 25 at the Calgary Film Festival.  Information on the Calgary Film Festival is available at their website.

Calgary International Film Festival

Written and directed by Minneapolis film maker Eric Howell, Ana’s Playground is a Oscar worthy story of children subjected to armed conflict.  The mission of the film is to raise awareness of children in conflict and raise funds for Right to Play, an international humanitarian organization that uses sport and play programs to improve health, develop life skills, and foster peace for children and communities in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world.

Coming soon – Ana’s Playground

22 06 2009

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Coming soon to a big screen film festival near you soon is a new short film labor of love entitled Ana’s Playground.  You can learn about this moving live action motion picture and the story behind the production at

Watch the Ana’s Playground Trailer.

Having been fortunate to have the good fortune of seeing a preview screening, I promise the film will change the way you look at things and in particular, at how you look at children as the victims of armed conflict and war.  The mission of the film is to use the proceeds and the public interest it generates to donate funds and assistance to non-profit organizations committed to assist kids struggling with armed conflict.

Conceived by Minneapolis based Writer/Director Eric Howell, Ana’s Playground has already won the 2006 best film screenplay at the L.A. Short Film Festival.  Eric was joined on the production team by producers Marsha Trainer and Jillian Nodland and a host of talented Twin Cities film makers.  Their passion for this production is evident in a nail biting, edge of your chair cinematic experience with a performance by gifted young actors who will take your breath away.

I’m happy to be able to provide some help to have Ana’s Playground achieve the critical acclaim and broad based audience this amazing film—and the children it is created to serve—richly deserve.  We will soon be seeking enlightened companies and media outlets to be sponsors of Ana’s Playground to join the movement to help children in armed conflict.  Contact us if you are interested in learning more.

Listen to a great interview about Ana’s Playground with its creator and supporters.