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Short Film on Orphanage Tragedy nominated for an Oscar

SARIA, a short film directed by Bryan Buckley from the US, was inspired by the tragedy that occurred in the Guatemalan orphanage Virgen de La Asunción.  It has been nominated for an Oscar in the shorts (live action) category.  The IMDb film critics’ site describes Saria as an exploration of the unimaginable difficulties facing the young orphan girls in the orphanage El Hogar Seguro Virgen de la Asunción in Guatemala where the tragic 2017 fire took 41 lives.

The short focuses on the story of two orphaned sisters who are inseparable.  Saria, 12, and Ximena, 14 struggle against the increasing daily physical abuse in the institution which was designed to protect them.  In a desperate attempt to survive, the sisters come up with a daring plan of escape so that all the orphans can find their freedom in the United States.  It was made in an orphanage in Mexico with the goal of exposing the problems of children and young adults from Central America and how many see themselves as having to migrate in order to achieve a better life.

Bryan Buckley has worked on other productions and was also nominated for an Oscar in the Best Short (Live Action) category (85th Academy Awards) for his work ASAD, filmed in South Africa.  Made with actors who were refugees from Somalia, it tells the story of a young Somali who must make the choice between pirateering or becoming an honest fisherman.  Other Buckley productions include The Pirates of Somalia (2017), The Bronze (2015), 2004) The Wake-Up Caller (2004) and Krug (2004).

We hope Saria can win this recognition and continue honoring the story of these girls, victims of a tragedy which should never occur again.