We felt strongly that this story should be brought to the forefront, but in a way to which western audiences could relate
Cleveland, OH (Vocus) March 24, 2010
THE ACORN PENNY, a short film by filmmaking father – daughter team, LAUFER FILM will have it’s next festival screening March 27th at the Los Angeles Women’s International Film Festival. It is playing at the Laemmles Sunset 5 theater in the Shorts Program 2 at 3:15 pm.
The Alliance of Women Filmmakers Inc., a non-profit 501c(3) organization is the producer of the LA Womens International Film Festival. The group established the festival to empower women filmmakers to create diverse roles for women as well as increase exposure for women made movies. AFI trained cinematographer and director Tiff Laufer is a both successful filmmaker and a perfect fit for the festival.
The Acorn Penny is a visionary short film helmed by AFI graduate Tiffany Ann Laufer. The movie takes a unique view about a young Congolese girl who is forced to live in an IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) camp due to the civil war in her native land. “We felt strongly that this story should be brought to the forefront, but in a way to which western audiences could relate,” said Producer William C. Laufer. “estimates suggest that 5.9 million people have died in the DRC over the past decade". The UN is spending a billion dollars a year just in the Congo - we felt this was a story that needed to be told,” Laufer said. The film includes footage from the Cleveland Museum of Art collections archive and actual footage from Congolese refugee camps, footage provided by the United Nations High Commission on Refugees.
Director / writer Tiffany Ann Laufer uses thirteen (13) year old actress Jada Young to tell the story of Kinshasa, a young girl who is at first seen as an ordinary American youth but whose different reality is gradually revealed and whose true situation becomes arrestingly apparent. Ms. Laufer uses four magical acorns, both real and computer generated, to lead and guide Kinshasa thru this world and her adventure. Tiffany Laufer said, “I was very much inspired by Guillermo Del Toro’s ‘Pan's Labyrinth’ and finding that perfect balance in magical realism is very important in capturing your audience’s imagination. We didn’t want to focus on the war in the DRC, but on the dreams that still exist in the children who have survived the atrocities."
The film was well received at the second annual Amelia Island Film Festival where Michelle Eggers of the Jacksonville Nassau Sun called the Acorn Penny "more pressing, a movie which guides viewers through the metaphorical journey of a young African refugee and her magical acorn." Asked about her motivation for the movie, Tiffany Laufer said "I originally hoped to produce a feature-length film on genocide in the Congo, but because of the immediacy of the issue, created a short instead." "This message is too important to wait," Laufer said, "I knew that I needed to get it out to people as quickly as possible." In a similar statement of pressing need, Ben Affleck, an early inspiration to Laufer, has just founded the East Congo Initiative to help raise fund and awareness about issues facing the people in the Congo.
The short film was also selected to be shown at the “Short Film Corner” a market for short films to be held at the Cannes International Film Festival, May 12 – 22nd.