A Film by Abigail E. Disney and Gini Reticker (USA, 2008, 72 minutes) www.PraytheDevilBacktoHell.com
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
ABOUT THE FILM 2
ABOUT FORK FILMS 3
DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT 4
PRODUCTION NOTES 4
A NOTE ON LIBERIA’S HISTORY 6
FILMMAKER BIOGRAPHIES 7
CAST BIOGRAPHIES 9
WHAT CRITICS SAY ABOUT PRAY 13
WHERE TO SEE PRAY THE DEVIL BACK TO HELL 14
DISTRIBUTION AND IMPACT OF PDBH 14
COMPLETE AWARDS LIST 16
PRODUCTION CREDITS 19
Pray the Devil Back to Hell is the gripping account of a group of brave and visionary women who demanded peace for Liberia, a nation torn to shreds by a decades-old civil war. The women's historic yet unsung achievement finds voice in a narrative that intersperses contemporary interviews, archival images, and scenes of present-day Liberia together to recount the experiences and memories of the women who were instrumental in bringing lasting peace to their country.
ABOUT THE FILM
Pray the Devil Back to Hell is the extraordinary story of a small band of Liberian women who came together in the midst of a bloody civil war, took on the violent warlords and corrupt Charles Taylor regime, and won a long-awaited peace for their shattered country in 2003.
As the rebel noose tightened upon Monrovia, and peace talks faced collapse, the women of Liberia – Christian and Muslims united - formed a thin but unshakable white line between the opposing forces, and successfully demanded an end to the fighting– armed only with white T-shirts and the courage of their convictions.
In one remarkable scene, the women barricaded the site of stalled peace talks in Ghana, and announced they would not move until a deal was done. Faced with eviction, they invoked the most powerful weapon in their arsenal – threatening to remove their clothes. It worked.
The women of Liberia are living proof that moral courage and non-violent resistance can succeed, even where the best efforts of traditional diplomacy have failed.
Their demonstrations culminated in the exile of Charles Taylor and the election of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa's first female head of state, and marked the vanguard of a new wave of women taking control of their political destiny around the world.
This remarkable chapter of world history was on its way to being lost forever. The Liberian war and peace movement were largely ignored as the international press focused on Iraq. Moreover, the women's own modesty helped obscure this great accomplishment.
Pray the Devil Back to Hell reconstructs the moment through interviews, archival footage and striking images of contemporary Liberia. It is compelling testimony to the potential of women worldwide to alter the history of nations.
ABOUT FORK FILMS
Fork Films LLC is a film production company based in New York City founded in 2007 dedicated to the development and production of films that move, inspire and enlighten.
In the belief that film has a unique capacity to shed light, evoke compassion and stir action, Fork Films invests in and creates media that make an important social contribution, with a particular emphasis on material that has been overlooked, people who tend to be underestimated, and stories that have been left out of the mainstream historical record.
Fork Films has shared production credits on documentary features such as Playground and Family Affair, the documentary short Sun Come Up, the upcoming film Return starring Linda Cardellini and John Slattery, and has a development deal with director Deborah Kampmeier (Hound Dog).
Pray the Devil Back to Hell was Fork Film's first production.
By Gini Reticker
When Abby Disney first approached me to direct Pray the Devil Back to Hell, I had some trepidation. All the stories coming out of Liberia had been so bleak, the violence against women appalling, the forced conscription of child soldiers heart-wrenching. I wondered if I could immerse myself in that material for the length of time it takes to make a documentary. And then, we met Leymah Gbowee, one of the main characters portrayed in the film. All of my trepidation turned instantly into unfettered enthusiasm. I couldn’t believe how fortunate I was to be able to tell the extraordinary story of these women who had joined together to bring peace to their devastated country. Their remarkable accomplishment had been virtually ignored by the press and was on its way to being forgotten. Being part of ensuring that their story shines has been an absolute privilege.
The story of the Liberian women who joined together to demand peace for their shattered country was very nearly forgotten in favor of the history written by Liberia’s warlords.
In 2006 Abigail Disney traveled to Liberia [with the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government] in the hopes of offering whatever support she could to the first woman elected head of state in Africa, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Abigail had spent many years working in support of women's political leadership out of a belief that the world has been managed by only half of its inhabitants for too long.
While she was in Liberia she heard a snippet of the story from a woman in conversation. The woman referred to it in passing, assuming that Abigail already knew about it. It sounded like something significant, but the moment passed so quickly Abigail wasn't sure she had heard her right. Later, it happened again with another woman. And again. And again.
Abigail returned to New York haunted by the story. She told the story to director Gini Reticker and they wondered whether it would make a good film. Then they met Leymah Gbowee. Leymah was so magnetic and compelling, the two women knew at once that the film must be made. In December of that year, Abigail and Gini returned to Liberia to corroborate the story and to do some preliminary filming.
They met with the core group of women who had organized the peace rallies. As they listened to the women’s heartbreaking personal anecdotes, they knew the story had to be told in their voice, from their point of view, with no narration.
Everywhere they went people repeated the same story. So it had happened but was there footage to prove it? After all, all the major news outlets had been in Liberia during the turmoil in the summer of 2003.
A busy period of pre-production in New York turned up a few still photographs but only five minutes of footage of the women. After conducting interviews with Leymah Gbowee and Vaiba Flomo in New York, the team left for Liberia in May 2007 to begin principal photography still unsure whether or not the story work visually.
Filming in Liberia was a challenge. It is a country trying its best to recover from 20 years of brutal war. The number of recently demobilized, unemployed soldiers made security a concern. And most of the country, including the capital city Monrovia, was without electricity.
For all the difficulties the rewards were numerous. For starters, everyone in Liberia knew about the women in white and were prepared to do anything to help.
One of the most critical moments was finding a cameraman who had worked for President Sirleaf, and her two predecessors. He arrived at the hotel with footage of the women meeting then-President Charles Taylor. It became one of the most important moments in the whole film!
After that, there was much digging around, and asking people to look and look again for any footage of the women in action. There were hours and hours of footage of child soldiers, of dead and mutilated bodies, of mass burials, and very little of the women. Piece by piece, through many individual cameramen in Liberia, different non-governmental organizations, and news agencies from all over the world, archive material started trickling in.
Back home after principal photography, in the edit room, the trickiest question was how much of Liberia’s conflict-plagued past to tell so that viewers would understand the scale of the horrors the women had seen that drove them to act in the decisive way they did. In the end, simplicity prevailed. It wasn’t necessary to explain twenty years of war; instead the focus needed to be the women and how they became the conscience of their country, the moral compass in a place that had lost its way.
The film was finished in the days running up to its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2008 where it won the Jury Prize for Best Documentary. President Sirleaf attended a screening, and enthused to the audience afterwards that the film would make a major contribution and hopefully prevent other countries from slipping into chaos.
The highlight, though, was screening the film to 300 women in Monrovia immediately after Tribeca. Afterwards the women were proud to say, "You see what we did. Now the world will know.”
A NOTE ON LIBERIA’S HISTORY
People have been living in the dense rain forest along the coast of West Africa for hundreds of years, perhaps thousands. Mostly, they lived in small farming communities.
From the fifteenth century Europeans bought slaves there, at first for use in Europe, and later for their American and Caribbean colonies.
The destiny of this one small area soon became closely intertwined with that of the USA. In 1816, some influential Americans established the American Colonization Society, to encourage free persons of color living in the USA to settle in Africa. In 1822, a small group of African-Americans settled in an area they called Liberia. Twenty-five years later, the settlers proclaimed themselves to constitute the Republic of Liberia.
Liberia’s coastal settlements were home to citizens, mostly of American origin, with full civil rights. As the descendants of unfree people, they were proud of their little republic. They believed they had a mission from God to civilize the African natives under their rule. The great majority of Liberia’s population, meanwhile, lived under colonial-style rule.
The Republic of Liberia was weak and penniless until the 1920s, when the Firestone Company identified Liberia as ideal for growing rubber. The government started to receive income from taxes and royalties from foreign investment. After World War Two, the economy grew very fast as mining and agricultural companies invested. A small elite lived well from its foreign connections while the mass of the population, the ‘country people’, whose ancestors had never lived anywhere but Africa, got little benefit. In fact, traditional forms of government became more despotic as the Republic of Liberia supported those strong men it favored in the interior.
Yet, in the middle of the twentieth century, Liberia enjoyed a high reputation among black people in America. It had the prestige of being a republic ruled by Africans at a time when almost all of Africa was under colonial rule. It was only after other African countries became independent that Liberia lost its mystique. When this combined with economic problems in the 1970s, the whole base on which the Republic of Liberia was founded started to crack. In 1980 there was a military coup. A chaotic and brutal government paved the way for the civil war that lasted on and off from 1989 to 2003.
The Liberian war became a by-word for casual brutality. Most Liberians were sick of it long before the end came, as rebel armies backed by foreign governments attacked the government of Charles Taylor, the warlord elected to the presidency in 1997. Liberian women called for peace — they prayed for the devil of war to get back to Hell. After 2003, the United Nations stabilized the country.
(A NOTE ON LIBERIA’S HISTORY CONTINUED)
Liberia is now headed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. She is popular among Liberians and respected abroad. She has been able to get international support to build the country, even while many of the old problems remain. A generation of people shaped by violence is now entering middle age, often with no jobs and few prospects. The war has gone, but the future remains uncertain.
Gini Reticker (Director) is one of the world’s leading documentary filmmakers putting a lens on the real-life dramatic stories of women’s rights and international social justice issues.
Reticker is currently a co-creator and executive producer of Women, War & Peace, a new 5-part series which uncovers the untold stories of women’s strategic role in global conflict and peacemaking, which premieres on Tuesday, October 11 at 10pm on PBS. Pray the Devil Back to Hell is part two of the series and she also directed the third film in the series about Afghanistan, Peace Unveiled.
Reticker produced Asylum, the 2004 Academy Award®-nominated short focusing on the story of a Ghanaian woman who fled female genital mutilation to seek political asylum in the U.S.; and was the producer/co-director of 1994 Sundance Award-winning Heart of the Matter, the first full length documentary about the impact of HIV on women in the U.S. She produced and directed the 2005 Emmy Award-winning documentary Ladies First for the PBS series WIDE ANGLE, which focuses on the role of women in rebuilding post-genocide Rwanda. She also garnered an Emmy for directing and producing Out of the Darkness, focusing on women and depression. For WIDE ANGLE she has also directed The Class of 2006, which spotlights the first fifty women in Morocco to graduate from an imam academy in Rabat.
Other credits include: Producer: A Decade Under the Influence, a look at the heyday of 1970s filmmakers, winner of a National Review Board Award and an Emmy nomination for Best Documentary; Director: In the Company of Women, IFC’s spotlight on women in Hollywood; Co-Producer: The Betrayal,Nerakhoon, Ellen Kuras and Thavisouk Phravasath’s brilliant portrayal of a Laotian refugee family’s epic tale of survival and resilience, 2009 nominee for both an Academy Award and Independent Spirit Award; Executive Producer: Live Nude Girls Unite, Julia Query and Vicki Funari’s raucous look at the successful union organizing efforts of San Francisco-based strippers. Reticker is member of both the Directors Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America.
Abigail E. Disney (Producer) is a filmmaker and philanthropist. She is currently a co-creator and executive producer of Women, War & Peace, a new 5-part series which uncovers the untold stories of women’s strategic role in global conflict and peacemaking, which premieres on Tuesday, October 11 at 10pm on PBS. Pray the Devil Back to Hell is part two of the series, and Abigail was also the writer on Peace Unveiled, the third film in the series about Afghanistan.
Her longtime passion for women’s issues and peacebuilding led her to producing films. She has executive produced films that address various social issues, including Family Affair, Playground, Sun Come Up (Academy Award® Nominee 2011, Best Documentary Short) and Return, and is involved in several more films in various stages of development and production.
Disney, also, along with her husband, Pierre Hauser, co-founded the Daphne Foundation, which works with low-income communities in the five boroughs of New York City. Her work in philanthropy, women’s engagement and leadership, and conflict resolution has been recognized through the Epic Award from the White House Project, the Changing the Landscape for Women Award from the Center for the Advancement of Women, and the prestigious International Advocate for Peace (IAP) Award from the Cardozo Law School’s Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution.
In addition, Disney holds degrees from Yale, Stanford, and Columbia. She has been a judge at the Tribeca Film Festival, sits on the advisory board of ITVS’s groundbreaking initiative, Women and Girls Lead, and is a sought-after public speaker. She frequently travels around the country and across the globe to deliver keynote addresses, commencement speeches and lectures, and has participated in panels in diverse locations such as The Hague, Davos, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and at dozens of universities and community centers. She is a member of the Writers Guild of America.
Kirsten Johnson's (Director of Photography) most recent film, Deadline, (co-directed with Katy Chevigny), premiered at Sundance in 2004 and was one of the first independent documentaries to be acquired by a major network (NBC). Her previous documentary as a director, Innocent Until Proven Guilty premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and was broadcast on HBO in 1999.
As a cinematographer, she has worked with directors such as Raoul Peck, Barbara Kopple, Michael Moore, and Kirby Dick. Her cinematography is featured in Fahrenheit 9/11, Academy and Emmy Award-nominated Asylum, Emmy-winning Ladies First, and Sundance premiere documentaries, This Film is Not Rated, American Standoff, and Derrida.
A solo show of her still photography, “Cabinet of Curiosity” was exhibited at The Miami Museum of Science, and a chapter is dedicated to her work in the recently published book, “The Art of the Documentary.” She has traveled and worked extensively in 13 countries throughout Africa and 38 countries around the world.
Ms. Leymah Roberta Gbowee
Women's Rights Peace Activist
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, 2011
Leymah Gbowee (pronounced LAY–mah, BEAU-wee) was a 17 year-old girl when the war first came to Monrovia. As she says, she turned, "from a child into an adult in a matter of hours." As the war dragged on, Leymah had difficulty focusing on anything but her thwarted opportunities to go to college, and out of bitterness she dodged any political or social involvement. But as time wore on she came to see that it would be up to the citizens of Liberia, especially its women, to bring the country back from the insanity of civil war. She trained as a trauma counselor and worked with the ex-child soldiers of Taylor's army. The more she worked with them the more she came to see that they were too were victims.
Ms. Gbowee joined the Woman in Peacebuilding Network (WIPNET) and quickly rose to leadership thanks to her leadership and organizing skills. She brought all the women of the Christian Churches together into a group called the Christian Women's Initiative and began issuing a series of calls for peace. Soon she formed a coalition with the women in the Muslim organizations in Monrovia and eventually Liberian Mass Action for Peace came into being. Under Leymah's leadership the group managed to force a meeting with Charles Taylor and extract a promise from him to attend peace talks in Ghana. She then led a delegation of Liberian women to Ghana to continue to apply pressure on the warring factions during the peace process.
Ms. Gbowee is the author of her new memoir, Mighty Be Our Powers, a gripping chronicle of a journey from hopelessness to empowerment that will touch all who dream of a better world. Mighty Be Our Powers is co-authored buy Carol Mithers, published by Beast Books.
Leymah has spoken publically numerous times on the issue of women in conflict situations. She was a panelist at several regional and international conferences, including UNIFEM's "Women and the Disarmament, Demobilization, Reintegration and Repatriation (DDRR) Process," and the United Nations Security Council's Arria Formula Meeting on women, peace, and security.
Leymah has been honored by multiple organizations, most recently with the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize along with Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Tawakkul Karman. She has been awarded the Blue Ribbon for Peace by Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, and in May 2009 she accepted the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award® on behalf of her countrywomen. A selected list of honors:
Recipient of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize
Recipient of the 2010 John Jay Medal for Justice from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Recipient of 2010 1st Centenary Award presented by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS)
Recipient of the Living Legends Award by by the Emmanuel Brinklow Seventh Day Adventist Church in 2010
Recipient of the 2009 Gruber Prize for Women's Rights
Recipient of the 2009 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award
Recipient of the Women's eNews 2008 Leaders for the 21st Century Award
She is a member of African Feminist Forum and the African Women’s Leadership Network on Sexual and Reproductive Rights, and is the Newsweek Daily Beast’s Africa columnist.
A Social Worker by profession, Leymah has for over ten years been a Case Worker and Peacebuilding Practitioner. As a Case Worker; she worked with the Ministry of Health Displaced Shelter as a Counsellor for refugees from September 1995 to March 1996, LCL/LWF/WS Trauma Programme from May 1998 to March 2003.
Ms. Gbowee is presently the founder and executive director for Women, Peace and Security Network Africa (WIPSEN-A) a women-focused, women-led Pan-African Non-Governmental Organization with the core mandate to promote women's strategic participation and leadership in peace and security governance in Africa. She holds a MA in Conflict Transformation from Eastern Mennonite University. She is the mother of six and resides in Accra, Ghana.
Etweda “Sugars” Cooper Secretary General Of Liberian Women's Initiative
Etweda “Sugars” Cooper is one of the doyennes of the Liberian women’s movement and is known for speaking out. In 1994, during one of the darkest hours of the civil war in Liberia, she and other women -- tired of being victimized and frustrated at the stalemate in the peace process -- founded the Liberia Women Initiative to advocate for disarmament and free and fair elections, and also to bring pressure to bear on stakeholders for the inclusion of women in negotiating a settlement of the Liberian conflict.
Throughout 14 years of civil war she used mass action including picketing, sit-ins and marches involving grassroots and professional women and their groups to attract world attention to the plight of women and children and to urge the international community to take action to end the war. As a strategist for the Liberian Women peace activities under the auspices of Women In Peace building Network, WIPNET, Sugars was unrelenting in lobbying factional leaders through visits, dialoguing and pleading with them to resolve the stalemate in the Accra Peace Talks in 2003, urging them to agree to a ceasefire and to constitute a transitional government.
President of the Christian Women's Peace Initiative
Vaiba Flomo (pronounced VAH-bah FLOH-moh) was working with the Lutheran church’s trauma healing program when Leymah came to intern with the program and the two quickly became good friends. Vaiba, haunted by the constant reminders of war -- children dying from hunger or being abandoned because their parents couldn’t feed them -- began to press Leymah to mobilize the women of Liberia because as she says “there’s not a single woman in Liberia who will tell you that she doesn’t have pain from the crisis.”
Together with Leymah they worked to bring the Christian and Muslim women’s groups together. Where there was some initial reluctance to engage with the other faith, Vaiba developed the message: “can the bullet pick and choose? Does the bullet know Christian from Muslim?” Reluctance faded into action, and the women began their campaign.
To this day, Vaiba works with victims of trauma. And she marvels at what the women managed to achieve: “sometimes when I really think on the work I’m like ‘wow, just two little country African girls’ dream has become so big’.”
Asatu Bah Kenneth was a police officer for 25 years - since before the war began. As the president of the Liberia Female Law Enforcement Association, Asatu was invited to the first meeting of WIPNET and then to the launch of the Christian Women's Initiative. She was so moved by what she heard that she stood up and pledged to mobilize the Muslim women of Liberia to help bring peace to Liberia. And she did, creating the Liberian Muslim Women's Organization. Liberian Mass Action for Peace came into being when the two organizations joined. It was the first time Christian and Muslim women had worked together in Liberia. Asatu's position in the police service gave her access to intelligence about the war. On one occasion, as the war was closing in on Monrovia, Asatu called a meeting with Leymah, Sugars and Janet and other key members of WIPNET. After that meeting the women issued the all-important position statement that they would eventually take to their meeting with Charles Taylor urging him to sit down at the peace table with the rebels.
Her nickname is the "stabilizer" because she doesn't take sides. After the war she became Liberia's Deputy Chief of Police and focused on bringing more women into the security sector. Recently she was appointed the Assistant Minister of Justice for Administration and Public Safety. She is proud to be part of the international peace-building community.
Etty Weah, was one of the hundreds of ordinary women who became involved with WIPNET and the Liberian Mass Action for Peace. She was one of the many women who wore white and sat on the field day in and day out. Rain or shine. Bullets or no bullets.
Before the war, she used to sell food in front of her house in one of the suburbs of Monrovia. As a regular church goer she responded to a call from the Christian Women's Initiative to become involved in Liberian Mass Action for Peace, and got to know Leymah. She was moved to attend the meeting because she deemed all Liberian women to be victims and thought there was strength in numbers if their voices were to ever be heard. As the war drew closer to Monrovia, and as the mother of two boys, she also feared for all the children who would be conscripted.
Janet Johnson Bryant was a journalist. Much of the time she worked for the Catholic radio station, Radio Veritas in Monrovia. Her beat was the Executive Mansion, occupied by Charles Taylor, who had a virtual stranglehold over the media. Journalists were often openly bribed during press conferences. She also hosted a radio show about women’s issues. Bryant’s efforts to expose corruption during Taylor’s regime earned her the nickname "Iron Lady of Media."
Janet met the women of WIPNET when she reported on them for a story. She soon became part of their outreach and advocacy program. Like Asatu, she used her position to garner important, strategic information that benefited WIPNET. In particular, Janet helped launch the Liberian Mass Action for Peace. Together with Leymah, Sugars and Asatu she helped draft the first press release calling for an immediate ceasefire and for all warring factions to sit down at the peace table. Janet then broadcast the message announcing the first meeting of the women in the field opposite Taylor’s house – hundreds of women showed up and stayed.
She now lives in Dracut, MA, working towards a new goal: earning a master's degree in international diplomacy and returning to Liberia.
WHAT CRITICS SAY ABOUT PRAY
Uplifting, disheartening, inspiring, enraging -- the mind reels while watching the documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell.
- Manohla Dargis / New York Times One of the truly heartening international political stories of recent years.
- Kenneth Turan / LA Times Had the stakes not been so harrowing, the moment would have been comic. Instead, it proved cathartic.
- Bob Mondello / NPRPray the Devil Back to Hell is powerful enough to make even the most cynical believe in the ability of ordinary people to induce political change.
- Frank Scheck / Hollywood Reporter The heroism on view in the documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell is breathtaking.
- Peter Rainer / Christian Science Monitor Not so long ago, Liberia was a hopeless basket case, and now thanks to a hitherto unheralded army of women volunteers, there is hope, at least in Liberia.
- Andrew Sarris / New York Observer Pray the Devil Back to Hell is a potent reminder of what power in numbers can accomplish.
- David Fear / Time Out New York
A testament to the determination and wisdom of a group of Liberian women who banded together in 2003 to stop a civil war and bring peace to their West African nation, Pray the Devil Back to Hell is at once inspiring and horrific. - Stephen Rea / Philadelphia Inquirer
WHERE TO SEE PRAY THE DEVIL BACK TO HELL
The film was released on home DVD in on October 15, 2009, available on the Pray the Devil Back to Hell website for $24.95, which includes a $5 donation to Peace is Loud (www.peaceisloud.org). The website exclusively offers a PAL version for international sales. The Home DVD is also available in select retail stores in the U.S. for a SRP of $24.95 including Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and many more. Passion River is the film’s non-exclusive U.S. retail distributor. The Home DVD is also available in selected international markets.
Educational & Public Viewing
Those who wish to host a screening or license the film for educational or public use may purchase the specially licensed DVD through Ro*Co Educational available at www.rocoeducational.com.
U.S. Broadcast Pray the Devil Back to Hell will have its U.S. broadcast premiere on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 on PBS (10p.m. ET) as part two of "Women, War & Peace” produced by WNET and Fork Films.
Ro*Co Films (www.rocofilms.com) handles international rights for Pray the Devil Back to Hell’s, and the film has been licensed in over a dozen territories (for broadcast, online streaming, home DVD, theatrical release, etc) including Asia Pacific, Australia, Brazil, the U.K., Japan, France, Norway, Sweden, the Czech Republic, and Switzerland.
PDBH continues to be booked in film festivals around the world.
DISTRIBUTION AND IMPACT OF PDBH
Pray the Devil Back to Hell premiered on April 24, 2008 at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, playing to packed houses and standing ovations where it was awarded the jury prize for Best Documentary. The film has screened in over 60 film festivals since then, and has been honored with numerous awards, including the Witness Award at Silverdocs, the Audience Award at Jackson Hole, Best Documentary at the Heartland Film Festival, and the Gabriel Award. (A complete list of awards follows in this press kit).
The film opened in theaters in November 2008 and played to positive reviews in over 40 cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Washington DC, San Francisco, Boston, and Chicago.
After its successful theatrical run, Pray the Devil Back to Hell brought its message of peace and inspiration to even more communities worldwide during its Global Peace Tour, spearheaded by Film Sprout (www.filmsprout.org). The nine month public screenings campaign designed to peak on the United Nations’ 2009 International Day of Peace (September 21, 2009) brought the film to 235 American cities, 45 states, and 31 foreign countries, and reached at least 31,200 individual viewers in public, campus, or community venues. A list of past screenings can be viewed on the website at www.praythedevilbacktohell.com.
Pray the Devil Back to Hell has screened in all 7 continents, and in 60 countries for women, men of all walks of life, from students and average citizens in small rural areas as well as in major cities, for people in conflict regions around the world, for peace activists, and for dignitaries and politicians who make or influence the policies that drive conflict.
Pray the Devil Back to Hell also had the honor of being the first film ever to be shown at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January 2009.
More information about the film can be found on the website at www.praythedevilbacktohell.com. A comprehensive distribution and impact report can be requested by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
COMPLETE AWARDS LIST
AWARDS - WON (in chronological order)
Best Documentary Feature
Tribeca Film Festival, April 2008
Cowboy Award Winner – Audience Choice Award
Jackson Hole Film Festival, June 2008
Silverdocs AFI/Discovery Channel Film Festival, June 2008
Special Jury Prize for Non-Fiction Filmmaking
Traverse City Film Festival, August 2008
Crystal Heart Award for Best Documentary Feature
Heartland Film Festival, October 2008
Best Documentary in the Interfaith Category
St. Louis International Film Festival, November 2008
My Media Award
The 4th Annual MY HERO Film Festival, November 2008
"Blessed Are the Peacemakers" Awards
presented by U.S. Conference for the World Council of Churches (WCC), December 2008
Jury Award / Best Film Award
(won jointly by "Pray The Devil Back to Hell" and "The Sari Soldiers")
Tri Continental Film Festival, January 2009
Best of the Fest Selection
Palm Springs International Film Festival, January 2009
Social Justice Award for Documentary Film
Santa Barbara International Film Festival, February 2009
Cinema for Peace, February 2009
Rudolf Vrba Award in the Right to Know Competition
One World International Human Rights Festival, Prague, March 2009
Best of Fest
Women's Film Festival, Benefit for the Women's Crisis Center in Brattleboro, Vermont, March 2009
Best Film Documentary, March 2009
Movies That Matter Festival, April 2009
I Will Tell Festival, May 2009
presented by The Catholic Academy for Communication Arts Professionals, August 2009
Gold Audience Award
Vancouver Amnesty International Film Festival
Awards – Nominated (in chronological order) 2008 Satellite Award
Nominated: Best Documentary
2008 IDA (International Documentary Association) Documentary Awards
Nominated: ABC News Video Source Award
Nominated: Pare Lorentz Award
2009 Cinema for Peace
Nominated: International Human Rights Award
2010 American Library Association Notable Videos for Adults list
Other Awards won by individuals associated with Pray the Devil Back to Hell
Abigail Disney, Gini Reticker, Leymah Gbowee
2008 Epic Awards
Presented by The White House Project, April 2008
Abigail Disney, Gini Reticker, Leymah Gbowee
Global Women's Rights Awards
Presented by Feminist Majority Foundation, April 2009
Leymah Gbowee & Women of Liberia
John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award
Presented by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, May 2009
2009 Auburn Lives of Commitment Award
Presented by Auburn Theological Seminary, May 2009
Abigail Disney & Gini Reticker
1st Annual Media Awards
Presented by Women's Media Center, June 2009
Gruber Women’s Rights Prize
Presented by The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, June 2009
Leymah Gbowee and the WIPNET women
An Honorees for the Celebrate Africa 2009
Presented by the Liberian Association of Pennsylvania in collaboration with the African-American Museum in Philadelphia, July 2009