Born of War
A teenage girl’s normal life is ripped away from her. In a fight for her life she must uncover the truth of who she really is.
A brutal home invasion turns teenager MINA’s life upside down. Her parents murdered and the stunning discovery that she isn’t who she thinks she is. Mina’s real father is a ruthless warlord her mother once had an affair with and now he wants her back.
With dark and violent secrets exposed, her once simple life is turned inside out and she must choose on which side to fight and whom she can ultimately trust.
Cast: Sofia Black D’Elia (Welcome to Yesterday, Skins, Gossip Girl), James Frain (Tron:Legacy, The Lone Ranger, The White Queen), Lydia Leonard (The Fifth Estate, Rome), Joey Ansah (The Bourne Ultimatum, Snow White and the Huntsman), Michael Brandon (Captain America: The First Avenger), Olivia Jewson (The Maid, Crying Wolf) and Jade Hudson (Bollywood Queen).
Director: Vicky Jewson
Producer: Rupert Whitaker
Executive Producers: Mick Southworth, Martin McCabe, Julia Verdin
Genre: Action / Thriller
Represented by: Arclight Films
Shot on location in the UK in Oxford, London and Scotland, Cyprus, and Jordan in the Middle East, BORN OF WAR is action packed, highly commercial and follows a new movement of successful action thrillers that feature a young female protagonist who will stop at nothing to achieve her goals.
“Filmmakers did everything possible to ensure the film’s authenticity,” said producer Rupert Whitaker. “We worked with explosives experts from the Jordanian army, were advised by fight choreographer, Joey Ansah (The Bourne Ultimatum), and Sofia Black D’Elia did all of her own stunts to achieve the gritty and realistic tone we were looking for. Audiences experience everything she does, up close and personal, including hanging off a 6-story ledge on the edge of an apartment block and shooting an AK-47 out of the sunroof of a 1970s Mercedes in a high-speed chase.”
“I fell in love with the action genre at a very young age, when films such as ‘Leon’ and ‘Mission Impossible’ were playing in the cinema. Since then I feel the action genre has changed in some exciting but also frustrating ways. I especially felt that action films with female heroines were always women with superhuman strength and not real women who a young audience could relate to as their peer. In making ‘Born of War’ I wanted to see a girl in her early twenties from a totally normal relatable background face extraordinary circumstances and have to become a different person to survive.
The plot of ‘Born of War’ also calls up an interesting question, that if you have the blood of a killer in you does that make it easier to become one? Our audience are all in that age group of working out who they really are and this story really heightens that question. I felt that in telling an action story in this way it could be fresh, engaging and original. When the action happens it is very up close and personal, it is happening to us rather than being played out on a big stage. It is tense, gripping and makes you root for our girl. I drew inspiration from films such as Luc Besson’s ‘Nikita’ for the atmospheric photography and true character development to ‘The Bourne Identity’ for its gritty reality behind the fight scenes. When our girl gets punched she bleeds. She has to learn to fight in a brutal instinctive way.
I also wanted ‘Born of War’ to feel exotic and exciting to it’s audience. I wanted to make a film that would ultimately be a great romp. Shooting in locations such as Jordan and Cyprus certainly lent a real pulse to the film. The film gives a true insight to the feel of these living breathing places and therefore takes you on a journey not just alongside our heroine but also through the cinematography.
The UK uses tracking shots when in the lair of MI6 to give it a cold controlled vibe, but a handheld seat of your pants style for the hot dusty foreign Middle-East. In a key climax to the film when our heroine is about to be attacked by a specialist armed unit, we got a camera inside the helicopter attacking so we felt the rush of being where the action is, on the build up to an attack. In the fight scene between two women on a jet travelling 80 miles an hour up a runway we shot it for real in a jet, to feel the claustrophobic reality which therefore changes how a fight to the death would play out in this environment.
We coordinated the stunts around the reality not some fictitious ideal script. The end result is brutal, adrenaline fuelled and totally believable. I juxtaposed this with huge tracking wide exteriors of the jet on the runway at night. This approach to the film and it’s style has worked well for the story and I feel gives it a very raw, fun and watchable edge.”