Published May 24, 2017
Many of you will remember our campaign from 2015 to help fund the making of "The Interpreter," a movie that will focus on the Iraqi and Afghan interpreters who served for the Allied Forces and who were promised visas to the United States (and many other countries) in exchange for their service.
Our campaign to help fund the film was ultimately successful. The many individual interpreters and language services companies who donated to the Kickstarter campaign were crucial to the project reaching its goal.
That was in 2015. Now, almost two years later, filming is finally about to begin! Casting is underway and as soon as that is finalized, filming should begin this summer.
It's been a long, slow process to finalize the script, find the perfect location to film, cast the actors and pull together the full team needed to make a film. It's been a lot of fun for us here at InterpretAmerica to witness the process from the inside. And we've been very proud to be able to review the script drafts and provide targeted feedback about how interpreting really works.
We wanted to share some excepts from the most recent, detailed update the team published on their Kickstarter page. You can read the full update here.
"WE ARE FINALLY MAKING A MOVIE!
...THANK YOU for your patience, it’s been a while since you’ve heard from us, but we’ve been hard at work behind the scenes. We have lots of great updates including a producible draft of our script! It takes place in a single location with only four main characters. We've found an efficient and terrifying way to communicate our three major themes through maximum emotion and suspense:
The terror of being hunted by the Taliban in a land where even your family or friends might be the enemy.
America's broken promise of Special Immigrant Visas to Afghan interpreters who served the U.S. military.
One interpreter is murdered by the Taliban every 36 hours.
Additionally, we feel strongly that this new draft serves both as a strong proof of concept for the feature film version of our story which is nearing a completed first draft, and as a stand alone advocacy film to support our partners No One Left Behind and Interpret America in their activism around this issue. We officially begin shooting on May 26th at a stunning location in Palmdale, CA called the High Desert Movie Ranch. It’s the closest thing to Afghanistan our director has seen since, well Afghanistan... ...We also have some great updates about our team! As one of our primary goals is to use this short film as a proof of concept for our director's first feature film, we felt it was important to assemble a team of creative industry professionals who come primarily from the feature film world. This gives us a huge advantage in terms of maximizing the production value of our short proof of concept while continuing to build a team we can take with us when we make the feature film version of our story!...
That's all for now but please stay tuned for more updates!! We will send location and behind the scenes photos over the next few weeks! We appreciate you all! Yours, #TheInterpreterMovie"
Since 2015, this issue has not lost its urgency. Interpreters continue to struggle to get the visas promised them. These headlines from the past 6 months are just a few examples of the many news stories published on this issue.
Visa Ban Amended to Allow Iraqi Interpreters Into U.S. New York Times, February 2, 2017
Special Visas for Afghan Interpreters Are Running Out. Foreign Policy, March 10, 2017
15,000 Afghans Applied For Interpreter Visas. There Are Only 1,500 Visas Left. April 21, 2017
Stories like these illustrate the continued need for vigilance and loud public support to keep the SIV program alive. The beginning of fiming on "The Interpreter" film is a promising next step on bringing this important public relations vehicle to life.
Thank you all for your continued support. You are helping make a difference!
You can follow updates about the movie on twitter at: #TheInterpreterMovie