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Sderot Children to Feature in First-Ever International Feature Film By: Anav Silverman
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, July 24, 2009

The first-ever feature length film about Sderot’s trauma children is currently underway. Sderot Media Center’s Noam Bedein has teamed up with acclaimed US Producer and Director Liane Thompson to create Missile City Kids, a film featuring the trauma-stricken children of Sderot following years of rocket fire.

Missile City Kids is a non-political project about children suffering from the terror-related post traumatic stress disorder that has engulfed the civilian population of Sderot, Israel. Sderot, an Israeli city located less than a mile away from Gaza, has been subject to 10,000 missile attacks in the past eight years.

Studies have revealed that 70-94% of Sderot's children suffer from PTSD. Many Sderot children find support at the local resilience center but due to budget cuts, the center will soon shut down.

“We want to use the power of a good film to create global awareness about terror-related PTSD in children worldwide,” Liane Thompson told Sderot Media Center.

Thompson has received three-time Prime Time Emmy nominations and a public awareness award from the American Medical Association for her work as an executive producer on the #1 cable program Trauma: Life in the ER. As an executive with New York Times Television, the TV unit of The New York Times, Thompson has delivered over 130 hours of programming to US broadcasters such as Viacom’s Showtime Network, National Geographic Television, Discovery Communication, Inc., Discovery Health, The Food Network and more.

Independently, Thompson created the anti-terror technology program, Outsmarting Terror, which aired to millions worldwide on National Geographic Television. "Outsmarting Terror was about how we fight terrorism, but as terrorism becomes a part of our daily psyche, my next film Missile City Kids will focus on the psychological ramifications of living in a terror stricken world," said Thompson.

Missile City Kids will follow the lives of several children, portraying their daily struggle with psychological terror. However, primary filming has yet to begin. The project, now in the development stage, is seeking an executive producer or financial backing from an angel investor or donator. The producers have secured some company sponsorships including Phone.com who has given the filmmakers a US toll free number for potential supporters to call and learn more (1-877-801-6099) and PLYmedia has offered various language subtitling and other products once the film is complete.

Film completion is still a long ways off as raising money for a documentary is proving difficult in these hard economic times. But Thompson remains optimistic.

“Potential investors will see the film's value as a product that not only creates worldwide awareness about PTSD but can also generate an economic return. We just launched fund-raising efforts last month at the social media Twitter 140 Characters Conference and at the US-Israeli Executive Summit held in New York City,” Thompson said.

SMC’s director Noam Bedein said that it was a pleasure to work with a professional like Thompson.

“We hope that Missile City Kids will bring the Sderot reality a little closer to home and shed some light to the devastating impact that rocket terror has had on the children of Sderot and the Negev,” said Bedein.

The Sderot Media Center (SMC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising worldwide awareness to the plight of Sderot residents. SMC’s mission is to convey the “human face behind the headlines” via the arts and media.

Thompson plans to expand the project to other countries where children suffer from terror related post trauma.

“While we are focusing on Sderot at the moment, we hope to get the budget to ultimately take the project global to include children suffering from PTSD in other countries such as Afghanistan, Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda and more,” Thompson added. "Today, this is a worldwide pandemic."

Anav Silverman is the international correspondent for the Sderot Media Center . A native of Maine, she made aliyah to Israel in 2004.

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