Tin Soldiers: Little local film – a big deal in Washington

Last week the locally produced documentary film, Tin Soldiers, was screened in Washington DC’s Capitol Hill. The audience included the who’s who of rare diseases and US legislators. In fact, this screening tied in perfectly with Rare Disease Awareness Day 2020 on Saturday 29th Feb.

In just 4 months since its premiere at the Jozi Film Festival in October 2019, Tin Soldiers  has received multiple international film festival awards. The film is a film about a crippling disease called FOP (Fibrodyslpasia Ossificans Progressiva).

This ultra-rare medical condition turns muscle, ligament and tissue into bone. Those born with FOP are referred to as living statues, or ‘Tin Soldiers’. The making of the film was a transatlantic exercise in faith and perseverance.  This film was a collaboration between a small FOP community of parents, friends and medical experts in the US and one South African journalist and mother.

tin soldiers
Jozi Film Festival, October 2019.  Odette Schwegler, SA film maker and producer of “Tin Soldiers” with Amanda Cali, executive producer, FOP mother and patient advocate at the World Premiere screening of the film.

Tin Soldiers is more than a film – it’s a call to action. The 79-minute documentary is the centrepiece of a worldwide campaign that aims to find the estimated 4 000 undiagnosed FOP sufferers. It has been on quite a journey since its first screening!

Odette Schwegler is a South African award-winning film maker, and former Carte Blanche producer. Odette is returning back home from her visit to Washington next week. Then she’ll be flying off to Hollywood in March for the Official International Premier.

View the trailer:

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