Santino is still living in Houston, Texas along with many of his Sudanese friends. He works the night shift at a metals factory and is attending Houston Community College. He did successfully pass his driving test. Since coming to the U.S., Santino has discovered that siblings he had not heard from for many years are still alive and living in other African refugee camps. With Santino's financial support, one of his brothers has gathered the family and is working to take them back to their home village in Yirol. Over the last year Santino has traveled a great deal with the film, participating in media interviews, school screenings and panel discussions in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Indianapolis and Dallas.
Peter Nyarol Dut
Peter is from the South Sudan region of Gogrial. He currently lives in Olathe, Kansas. Peter finished up his senior year in high school joining the track team where he had a great deal of success, but he still enjoys playing basketball. He graduated from Olathe East High School in June 2003 and has since been taking community college courses in preparation for a four-year university. He is considering studying medicine. Since the film's release Peter has participated in meetings with the Congressional Refugee and Human Rights Caucuses, the State Department's Bureau of Population, Migration and Refugees and CARE.
4/27/2005 UPDATE: Peter has received a full scholarship to attend Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vt., beginning in September. The scholarship is worth about $120,000. Peter still hopes to become a doctor so that he can "help others in the way that people have helped him." Find out more about his achievement in this article in the Kansas City Star newspaper. (free, registration required)
The Lost Boys Group
The "Lost Boys" are strong individuals rather than a homogenous group, so it is impossible to give an update on them all. But as a whole the group is doing well, connecting more with their communities and finding the educational opportunities they are so focused on. Two of the young men who worked with us as translators on the film have enrolled this fall at the prestigious universities, Stanford and American. They are among many Sudanese youth finding academic success. Unfortunately, the successes are accompanied by heart-breaking stories of "Lost Boys" who have been victims of violence. The "Lost Boys" are survivors and we are convinced that they will make the most of the opportunities America has to offer them and in the process make this a better country.
Last Spring, "Lost Boys of Sudan" won the Independent Spirit/Truer Than Fiction Award. The film played theatrically across the country to tremendous critical praise. The film was screened on Capitol Hill for the Congressional Refugee and Human Rights Caucus staffs and at the State Department. We have enjoyed traveling with Peter and Santino to share their story with audiences around the country. One of the most satisfying things for us has been seeing how deeply audiences connect with the story and how motivated they are to get involved. We consistently hear from viewers who say that learning of the "Lost Boys" has changed their life and motivated them to engage in their community in a way they never had before. We have worked in partnership with a range of community groups to give audiences clear ways to get involved. Countless individuals have volunteered to be mentors, organized fundraisers, lobbied their elected officials, and educated their colleagues and neighbors through the "Lost Boys" story.
Thanks for your interest,
Megan and Jon