In the Shadow of Ebola

In the Shadow of Ebola


About the Film

In the Shadow of Ebola is the gripping story of a Liberian family kept apart by the Ebola outbreak in a nation still reeling from the chaos of civil war. MORE

We follow the struggle of Emmanuel Urey and his family, living divided between the U.S., where Emmanuel is on scholarship at the University of Wisconsin, and Liberia. As the Ebola crisis unfolds, Emmanuel’s loved ones remain isolated at their home in Monrovia, where the government has shut down, schools and markets have closed, and food prices keep rising.

With fourteen years of civil war throughout the 1990s and early 2000s still a fresh memory, many citizens find themselves distrustful of the Liberian government’s response to the outbreak, which initially involves quarantines and curfews violently enforced by the military. Emmanuel races against the spreading virus and mounting civil unrest to evacuate his family as the death toll climbs and international aid remains scarce.

In the Shadow of Ebola peels back the shroud to reveal what it was like on the streets of a capital caught unprepared to battle an outbreak of this magnitude.


The Filmmakers

Gregg Mitman, Director/Producer

Headshot of In the Shadow of Ebola director Greg Mitman.Gregg Mitman is an award-winning author, filmmaker, and teacher whose scholarship explores the changing relationships between people and environments over time. Trained in ecology, environmental history, and the history of science and medicine, Mitman holds a distinguished research chair at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His work on the history of Firestone and biomedical research in Liberia offers an informed perspective on the Ebola crisis that has appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine and on public radio. Mitman is founder and director of Madison’s popular environmental film festival, Tales from Planet Earth, and has taught environmental film production with award-winning filmmakers including Judith Helfand, Alex Rivera, and Sarita Siegel. Mitman was Executive Producer on Fire Burn Babylon, which won the Audience Award for Best Documentary, Freestyle Life Film Festival 2012; Bronze Palm Award, Mexico International Film Festival 2010; and Honorable Mention at the COMMFFEST MADA Awards, Toronto 2011. The trailer for Mitman’s new film A Film Never Made won the 2014 International FOCAL Award for the best use of archival in a short production.

 

Sarita Siegel, Director/Producer

Headshot of In the Shadow of Ebola director Sarita Siegel.With an educational background in physical anthropology and religion, Sarita Siegel gravitates to stories that lie at the intersection of cultural worlds. Siegel established Alchemy Films in San Francisco in 1994. She wrote, directed, and produced Destroying Angel (1995) and The Beloved (1997). In 2002, she co-produced The Split Horn, a one-hour special for PBS, and wrote, directed, and produced the award-winning The Disenchanted Forest for National Geographic. Siegel was associate producer for The Real Dirt on Farmer John (Independent Lens, 2006) and produced, directed, filmed, and edited Fire Burn Babylon. Siegel is co-directing and producing with Gregg Mitman A Film Never Made, and Outspoken, a documentary that highlights conscious MCs from around the globe who use rap poetry to fiercely defend political freedoms and human rights.

 

Alexander Wiaplah, Cinematographer

Headshot of In the Shadow of Ebola cinematographer Alexander Wiaplah.Alexander Wiaplah (Ush) worked as the production manager for Liberia Broadcasting System National Television Station, the state broadcaster of Liberia, which was closed for 15 years during Liberia’s civil war. Over the last six years, Alex has been working on a series of international and national projects, which include documentaries, television shows, and music videos. Over the past two years, he has been camera operator and cinematographer on film shoots in Liberia for A Film Never Made. Alex is one of the founders and CEOs of Kreative Mindz Studio, where he has also worked as a cameraman, producer, director and an editor. In addition, he has worked for some of the top broadcast stations worldwide, including CNN, NBC News, ARD TV, and ITN Channel 4. LESS

Film Credits

Produced by
Gregg Mitman and Sarita Siegel

Directed and Written by
Sarita Siegel and Gregg Mitman

Additional Scenes Directed by
Alexander Wiaplah

Cinematographer
Alexander Wiaplah
Jojin Van Winkle
Sarita Siegel

Sound Recordists
Aaron Martinenko
Jason Quist
Billy Johnson

Editor
Sarita Siegel

Associate Producer
Alexander Wiaplah

Assistant Producer
Devon Cupery
James T. Bayogar

Music Rights Coordinator
Mandela Boimah
Devon Cupery

Archival Researcher
Devon Cupery

Composers
Rob Waugh
Prakash (Pochano) Bestman

Post-Production Assistants
Sapphire Gross
Alana McVerry
Emmanuel Yarkpawolo
Tereza Dvorakova
Kaitlin Fyfe

Color Correction
Chris Rogers

Dubbing Mixer
Nick Ashe

Legals
Karin Shatzkin

Cast
Emmanuel Urey
Vivian Urey
Joseph Urey
Bobby Urey
Lloyd (Nelly) Urey
Emmanuel Urey, Jr.
Grandma Hanna Sarclay
The residents of West Point, Sinkor, Monrovia and Dolo Town

"Nerve"
Written and Performed by Rob Waugh
Courtesy of the artist

"Liberian Skies"
Written and Performed by Rob Waugh
Courtesy of the artist

"U Eat I Eat"
Written and performed by Royal De Busta Pain
Courtesy of the artist

"Product of a Failed State"
Written and Performed by Pochano
Courtesy of the artist

"Invisible Enemy"
Written and Performed by Pochano
Courtesy of the artist

"State of Emergency"
Written and Performed by Tan Tan B.
Courtesy of the artist

"Cordial"
Written and Performed by Rob Waugh
Courtesy of the artist

"Incubator"
Written and Performed by Rob Waugh
Courtesy of the artist

"Atlantic"
Written and Performed by Rob Waugh
Courtesy of the artist

Special Thanks to
Bella Casa Hotel
Molinaire
Peter Boger
Malcolm Moore
Lori Brooks
Robb Moss
Garry Denny
Andy Ortman
Pablo Gomez
Randall Packard
Wanda Gurzynska
ProVideo
Judith Helfand
Andy Richards
Instructional Media Center
Martin Rogers
Kathy Ivchenko
Hope Simon
Richard Keller
Joann Steinich
Debra Klebesadel
Albert Thompson
Liberia Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs, and Tourism
VET
Jean von Allmen
Julie Livingston
Mateo West
Patty Loew
Carl Wogsland
Keefe Mitman

In memory of Shaki Kamara, and all those who have lost their lives to Ebola.

Major funding for this program was provided by the William F. Vilas Trust and the Global Health Institute,
University of Wisconsin-Madison.

In the Shadow of Ebola is a co-production of Alchemy Films, Gregg Mitman, and the Independent Television Service (ITVS), with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

© 2015 Gregg Mitman and Alchemy Films. All Rights Reserved.

What would you do to protect your family in the event of an outbreak? Do you know anyone who was affected by Ebola? After watching this film, has your perspective changed on how public health crises are handled?

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What would you do to protect your family in the event of an outbreak? Do you know anyone who was affected by Ebola? After watching this film, has your perspective changed on how public health crises are handled?