ACADEMY AWARD NOMINEE
Best Documentary, Short Subject
Best Documentary Short – Tribeca Film Festival
Grand Prize, Documentary Short – Rhode Island Int’l FF
Best Short Documentary -Boulder Int’l FF
Audience Award, Best Short Film -Tallgrass FF
Best Picture & Best Documentary Short – Fargo FF
In this raw and provocative Oscar-nominated documentary from independent filmmaker James Spione, one of the most notorious incidents of the Iraq War–the July 2007 slayings of two Reuters journalists and a number of other civilians by U.S. attack helicopters–is recounted in the powerful testimony of an American infantryman whose life was profoundly changed by his experiences on the scene.
U.S. Army Specialist Ethan McCord bore witness to the devastating carnage, found and rescued the two children caught in the crossfire, and soon turned against the war that he had enthusiastically joined only months before. Denied psychological treatment in Iraq for his PTSD, McCord returned home, struggling for years with anger, confusion, and guilt over the war. When WikiLeaks released the stunning cockpit video of the incident in April 2010, McCord was finally spurred into action, and began traveling the country, speaking out for the rights of PTSD sufferers and against the American wars in the Middle East.
James Spione is an independent filmmaker based in New York. His latest film, the Academy Award-nominated documentary Incident in New Baghdad, recounts a U.S. Army infantryman’s life-changing experiences on the scene of a controversial 2007 American helicopter attack made famous by WikiLeaks. The film has won numerous honors, including Best Documentary Short when it premiered at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival, and Grand Prize for Documentary Short at the Rhode Island International Film Festival.
Mr. Spione’s first documentary feature, American Farm, detailed the intense intergenerational conflicts on his family’s fifth-generation homestead in central New York State. The film played theatrically from New England to the Midwest, and was subsequently released on DVD by Passion River Films.
In conjunction with the Barrier Island Center, Spione next created the poignant portrait film Our Island Home, about the last surviving denizens of a vanished settlement off the coast of Virginia. The movie is part of a planned trilogy on the Eastern Shore region, and the director is currently in production on the second film in the series.
Jim Spione has also made a number of fiction films. Perhaps his best-known work was the eerie Sundance favorite Garden, a suspenseful drama starring Oscar winner Melissa Leo (The Fighter) and veteran character actor Matt Malloy (Six Feet Under); the film screened at festivals worldwide. His next movie, The Playroom, starring Pamela Stewart (The Reception), was shown at New York’s Walter Reade Theatre as part of the “Independents Night” series, and was featured on the national cable program Reel Street.