Latest Film News  

April 2010

April 23 - Small Voices is featured on page 21 in the May-June 2010 issue of PRISM (Evangelicals for Social Action)  www.esa-online.org

 


 

March 2010

March 5 - Check out the newest production blogs and information about the Safe Haven project!


 

March 3 - Note from Heather...

Thanks to wonderful word of mouth and support from everyone who continues to follow the film, Small Voices is getting great press throughout the web.  If you haven’t already seen the documentary and would like to order a copy, Cinema Librea Studios, who is releasing the film, is currently offering a discount to fans of the Small Voices: The Stories Of Cambodia’s Children Facebook page.  

For those who are on Face Book and are not already fans ~ please follow the link below to our theatrical website and click on “Become A Fan”  You’ll be kept up to date with photos, videos and news on the children of Small Voices!

Small Voices Movie - on FaceBook!



Thanks again for your continued support.  Stay tuned for upcoming news on our new documentary “The Other Symbols” currently in pre production.


 

March 2010 - Director Heather E. Connell and Small Voices are the featured stories in
(it) magazine.

Small Voices: The Story Behind the Film

by Heather E. Connell

EDITOR'S NOTE: Small Voices: The Stories of Cambodia's Children is a documentary produced and directed by CCC member and volunteer, Heather Connell. Member-generated material that forwards pro-social action can be spotlighted in (it) magazine -- whether it is a PSA, a full-length documentary, an article or photo essay, we encourage you to submit story ideas that help fuel people's passion to make a difference. Please enjoy this background essay on Heather's own passion project.

It was well over 100 degrees with 100% humidity the morning I arrived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in early March of 2006. Despite the fact my photographer Theresa and I had just spent a VERY long 24 hours of travel time crammed into the most decrepit airplane ever -- I was feeling energized. After a year's worth of pre-production, I was finally ready to begin filming on my documentary Small Voices: The Stories Of Cambodia's Children, an in depth examination of the struggles of the street and garbage dump children who live and work in a society that has largely forgotten them.

I couldn't wait to get started -- as we took a taxi to our hotel on the Tonle Sap River, I begin planning how I would find the street children. Where did they hang out? What part of the city did they live and beg? I decided I would spend that first day speaking to people and finding where these children were so I could begin my work. First, I decided to walk from our hotel to a nearby store to buy some bottled water. In those three dusty, grimy blocks, children and beggars besieged me. A sickly woman with a naked baby held her hand out from where she sat looking up at me from the curb. Poverty was everywhere and I'd only gone three blocks. I realized I didn't have to search for what I was looking for. All I had to do was open my eyes. I have since realized that this is a concept we should all pay more attention too. If we all take the time to just open our eyes to what is going on in the world around us and in our own backyard, what a difference we could make.

FINDING MY WAY TO CAMBODIA
How I found myself in Cambodia to begin with was a journey in itself that was much longer than a year in the making. I had moved to Los Angeles eight years ago with vague ideas of finding fame and fortune as a storyteller. Shortly after I arrived, the writer's guild went on strike and I began looking for other ways to stay creative. Without having the first clue about what I was doing, I decided to make a short film. While the film wasn't exactly a masterpiece, I become hooked on the idea of using visual media to raise awareness. Our collective attention span as a society is fairly short and the idea that film could be used a way to excite people about social issues and social awareness was very compelling. I founded Displaced Yankee Productions with that basic principal as a platform.

Several years later, I had grown quite a bit as a filmmaker and felt I was ready to expand my horizons beyond short film and branch into features. Documentary storytelling -- about real lives and events -- was a natural progression for me. There are literally thousands of stories just waiting to be told. I needed to find a niche that matched my passions. Children's issues have always been something that I have connected with on a personal level. How the crises of poverty, health care, environment and education affect our children globally is of high importance to me. I was also interested in countries that had recently suffered genocides and how that had effected the subsequent generation of children. Cambodia was on a short list, but Darfur was top of my list. Then fate stepped in and planted me firmly on the path toward Cambodia.

I attended the premiere of The Hotel Rwanda and found myself at the typical Hollywood after party face to face with Angelina Jolie. Anyone in the industry knows, you only get these kinds of opportunities once. I knew she was passionate about the issues in Cambodia, so the writer in me took over and I pitched her out of thin air on the Cambodian documentary I was already working on. The next morning, with her contact information in hand, I was frantically writing a proposal for my "current" project. While she ultimately did not become involved with the film, as soon as I really started to dive into the issues, I found my passion for it. I realized how off the map Cambodia was for most people. I would talk about my project with strangers and friends alike and many of them didn't even know Cambodia has suffered genocide or that is was in Southeast Asia. Often, people would tell me how wonderful it was I was going to Africa. In fact, most of them only knew that Tomb Raider had been filmed there. I realized I had found a story that needed to be told.

For the complete article, see (it) magazine!

 

 

February 2010

February 4 - Director Heather E. Connell is the featured director in issue 6 of the Cinema Libre Studios Newsletter

Click to view entire Cinema Libre Studios Newsletter (Issue 6)

Featured Filmmaker: Heather E. Connell

Heather Connell was born and raised in Massachusetts where she studied screenwriting and theatre arts at Salem State College. In 2001, she relocated to Los Angeles and founded Displaced Yankee Productions, an independent film company dedicated to using film as a platform for raising social awareness and activism through entertainment.  After making two short films, Choosing Your Course (2002) and Black and White (2004), Heather produced and directed her first feature documentary, Small Voices: The Stories of Cambodia’s Children.  In Small Voices, the struggles of the street and garbage dump children of Cambodia are examined through the personal stories of five children and their journey toward education. As a result of her travels during the production of Small Voices, Heather is in the process of building a school for disabled children in Cambodia (see the Filmanthropy & Cinemactivsm section below for more information).

On the side, Heather is an appraiser for natural disaster damage. A Compassionate and Professional Communicator, she provides a unique and personal level of service to clients who are emotionally fragile due to their traumatic and unexpected loss with open and sympathetic sessions designed to help the client work through their loss with a minimum of emotional trauma. Her  work has included Firestorm evaluation in Southern and Northern California, Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, The floodwaters breach on Mississippi River levee, Gas explosions in Bangkok and Tsunami damage in American Samoa.

Official Small Voices Website
Small Voices production blog | Small Voices on Facebook

dvd    net


 

February 4 - Safe Haven, a non-profit initiative created by Heather Connell, is featured in issue 6 of the Cinema Libre Studios Newsletter

Click to view entire Cinema Libre Studios Newsletter (Issue 6)

 

Filmanthropy & CinemActivism: Safe Haven

Safe Haven's mission is to provide a safe environment for handicap children in Cambodia that allows them the opportunity to have access to the educational and therapeutic resources that they need in order to help them reach their full potential and personal independence. 

Created by Heather Connell (director of Small Voices), Safe Haven is a non-profit initiative through The Coliation For Financial Independence (CFI) based in Cambodia. Safe Haven was created by Heather after meeting 4-year old Sum Namg in an orphanage in Cambodia. Sum had Cerebral Palsey and when he turns six will have to leave the orphanage and be sent back to his village. Heather started looking around for an alternative place for him, knowing if he went to the village he would not survive long. She wanted to find a place where Sum could get therapy to increase his mobility and an opportunity to be educated, but no such place existed. After doing some research, Heather found that 95% of kids with disabilities are not allowed into school.  Kids like Sum Namg, who need full time therapy usually don’t survive. Heather teamed up with Hasan (a volunteer she met in Cambodia from Europe) and John Whaley who founded CFI. Together, they decided to build a school for disabled children in Cambodia.

If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to support the Safe Haven Project, please send a check/money order to:

Benevolent Vision
10801 National Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90064-4144

Please make the check out to CFI with Safe Haven School written in the memo line.  To be included in the Safe Haven mailing list and receive updates on the project, please email heather.connell@displacedyankee.com for more information.

 

 

 

#FacebookJanuary 2010

Become a fan of Small Voices: Stories of Cambodia's Children on Facebook!

 

 

December 2009

Small Voices released on DVD December 8th

Small Voices DVD is available for purchase NOW!


November 2009

Director Heather E. Connell is the featured filmmaker in the
November 30th issue of Lesbiatopia.

Artist Spotlight: Heather Connell & Her Award Winning Documentary Film 'Small Voices'

11/30/09

I meet a lot of interesting people in LA, especially filmmakers, writers, actors and aspiring artists of all types. I love hearing their stories of inspiration, perspiration and the incredible amount of drive that lives in all of us to accomplish our hopes and dreams.

Recently, I was lucky to meet one woman, Heather Connell, who hails from a small town in Massachusetts, not far from where I grew up myself. Heather moved to LA a few years back in hopes of following one of her biggest passions: making documentary films that deal with social issues. Heather, a go-getter to say the least, wasted no time in putting her dreams into motion. In 2006 she began the initial stages of filming her very first documentary about a subject she is very passionate about: the lives of children in third world countries.

Please take a moment and read the incredible story of how "Small Voices: The Stories of Cambodia's Children" was born, written by producer/director Heather Connell (originally published in IT Magazine).

And if you're interested in purchasing a copy of the DVD, being released this week, you can visit http://www.smallvoicesmovie.com/. Please support amazing lesbian artists!

"Small Voices: The Stories of Cambodia's Children" by Heather Connell

It was well over 100 degrees with 100% humidity the morning I arrived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in early March of 2006. Despite the fact my photographer Theresa and I had just spent a VERY long 24 hours of travel time crammed into the most decrepit airplane ever -- I was feeling energized. After a year's worth of pre-production, I was finally ready to begin filming on my documentary Small Voices: The Stories Of Cambodia's Children, an in depth examination of the struggles of the street and garbage dump children who live and work in a society that has largely forgotten them.

I couldn't wait to get started -- as we took a taxi to our hotel on the Tonle Sap River, I begin planning how I would find the street children. Where did they hang out? What part of the city did they live and beg? I decided I would spend that first day speaking to people and finding where these children were so I could begin my work. First, I decided to walk from our hotel to a nearby store to buy some bottled water. In those three dusty, grimy blocks, children and beggars besieged me. A sickly woman with a naked baby held her hand out from where she sat looking up at me from the curb. Poverty was everywhere and I'd only gone three blocks. I realized I didn't have to search for what I was looking for. All I had to do was open my eyes. I have since realized that this is a concept we should all pay more attention too. If we all take the time to just open our eyes to what is going on in the world around us and in our own backyard, what a difference we could make.

To read the entire article... click here:  Lesbiatopia (November 30, 2009)

 

September 2009

Small Voices signed with Cinema Libre Studios for US distribution

 

March 2009

Director Heather Connell was invited to present and screen Small Voices at Columbia University

 

February 2009

Small Voices screened at the Big Muddy Film Festival in and around Southern Illinois University at Carbondale

            "The Big Muddy Film Festival is one of the oldest student-run film festivals in the United  States. From the beginning it has been dedicated to encouraging grassroots filmmaking in local communities.

            In its 30+ years of history, it has showcased thousands of independent works, big and small, from around the world."

 

January 2009

Small Voices released internationally with Peak Entertainment!

 

November 2008

Small Voices signed with Circus Road Films 

 

October 2008

Small Voices screened at the New Orleans Film Festival.

Director Heather E Connell participated
in a panel discussion at NOFF entitled Global Docs.

GLOBAL DOCS
2:00PM Contemporary Arts Center

           At every festival and on every TV channel thereŚs a myriad of
documentaries produced and shot in and about foreign, and frequently
developing, countries. The panelists here all have extensive experience in
the unique challenges faced by documentaries who shoot in such environments.
The issues  - which  are equally relevant to local production -  to include
avoiding voyeurism and exploitation; knowing when to document and when to
step in and help; translating the culture appropriately for an American
audience; and much more! This promises to be a lively discussion, for those
who  about the conduct, ethics, procedures and motivations of documentaries.

August 2008 


Small Voices had its premiere at the Rhode Island International Film
Festival!   Director Heather E Connell and still photographer Theresa
Kennedy were on hand to promote the film and view inspiring and creative
shorts and features from around the world.

We are pleased to announce that Small Voices WON 2nd place in the Best
Documentary category at RIFF.

Thanks to all our friends and family who traveled to Rhode Island to support
us!

 

 

 
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Last updated: March 08, 2010 04:50:29 PM