Blistering heat in the desert of Sudan. A pregnant mother and her two young children are on the search for safety from the ruthless Janjaweed militia. Haleema is sent by her mother to find water.

Awards: Winner – Best Short Film – WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival, TX; Winner – Best Short Film – Tiburon International Film Festival, CA; Winner- Best Short Film- The Good Do! International Film Festival, Sydney; AUS; Winner – Best Cinematography in a Short – Iranian Film Festival San Francisco; CA

Written and Directed By Boris Schaarschmidt
Produced By Boris Schaarschmidt & Michaela Ullmann
Cinematography By Ali Sadeghpoor Moghadas
Editing By Julia Franklin & Boris Schaarschmidt
Music By Patrick Kirst
Sound Designer Jason Creal
VFX By Marco Ramirez
Production Design Brandi Kalish
Costume Designer Catherine Elhoffer
Make-up & Hair Alexandria “Beans” Chin

HALEEMA Dara Iruka
MOTHER Peres Owino
JANJAWEED “Green Scarf” Samba Schutte
JANJAWEED “Camouflage” Larry Thigpen
VOICE Emtithal Mahmoud

Inspired and shaken by the reports about the Darfur genocide, I started my research for this project and came across the poem “What would you do?” by Emtithal Mahmoud, a young refugee girl from Darfur who lives in the US. I was deeply touched by it and very fortunate that I was able to get in contact with Emi who allowed me to use her very personal words for the beginning of the film. But furthermore, Emi agreed to record the poem, lending her voice for the opening sequence of the film.

Making of the film:
Haleema was shot in Los Angeles and Simi Valley. The dangerous situation in Darfur made it impossible to shoot it in Sudan. But the story is authentic, the production design accurate, and the culture and language are reflected as accurately as possible. In order to reach that authenticity, we worked closely with members of the Southern Sudanese Community Center, San Diego and had advisors during pre- and post-production as well as on set.
Due to the ongoing conflict, some advisors must remain anonymous.

More info on HALEEMA (2015 SS Fest Entry)

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