The Roar of a Lion Cub is an intimate portrait of three Mongolian street children and an American filmmaker determined to change their lives. The film follows this global makeshift family for over six years, providing a rare look into the lasting effects of child neglect and poverty.
While on a shoot in Mongolia, Martina meets Baaska, a 16 year-old boy, who has lived half of his life in the underground heating system of the capital. Unable to forget him, she decides to get involved. Energized by her initial successes and with the support of some locals, she takes on two more homeless teens. Traveling regularly from the US, Martina becomes involved far beyond what she had bargained for. Her visits may be disruptive, but the teens long for her presence and start to call her “mom” while simultaneously sabotaging her efforts almost every step of the way.
Exposing myths of progress, the film cuts back and forth between the idyllic countryside where the teens live with a local foster family and century-old nomadic traditions are kept alive, to the shantytowns of the capital, where the teens work marginal jobs to survive.
The smart, yet shy teens will surprise, inspire, and challenge audiences to rethink the stereotypes about street kids. While we follow their struggle to find the support and community they need to survive, we come to understand the trauma caused by being abandoned at an early stage. As their stories unfold, we deeply connect to issues of poverty, education and aging out of foster care. Above all, the film is a testament to human connection and resilience, what it means to get involved, and confirming that it does indeed take a village to raise a child.
Martina Radwan, Director/Producer/Cinematographer – Martina, a native German, based in NYC for 20 years, has been the cinematographer of award-winning documentaries, including Saving Face, for which she earned a 2013 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Cinematography. The film was also the winner of the 2012 Academy Award and the 2013 Emmy for Best Documentary. Most of her documentaries, like Through A Lens Darkly, William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe and Hot Coffee can be seen on national and international screens, as well as HBO, Showtime and PBS. Her directorial debut Spring in Awe received the Media Awareness Award at the Media That Matters Film Festival, 2004, as well as the Best Editing Award at the Brooklyn Film Festival. Her second film Aliens Among Us was part of DocuWeek 2009.
Amanda Spain, Producer - Amanda Spain has been a producer and director in feature documentaries and television for over 15 years. Recently she washonored to become a 2016-2017 Sundance Producing Fellow. She is currentlyproducing multiple projects including The Industrial Musical Movie (EP, DavidLetterman, directed by Dava Whisenant). She recently produced and directedtwo short documentaries for ESPN's acclaimed 30 FOR 30 series: Wrestling TheCurse and Son Of South Sudan (EP, Eva Longoria), which premiered at the LosAngeles Film Festival. She also produced and directed In Their Boots (EP,Robert Greenwald), which was nominated for an IDA award in the Limited Seriescategory. Spain’s work has appeared on A&E, PBS, MTV, Link TV and TheSundance Channel and her films have been accepted into Women's InternationalFilm Festival and New Fest. In 2013 Spain started Giving Voice Films, acompany dedicated to producing compelling documentaries for both the largeand small screen.
Jonathan Gray, Executive Producer has built a vibrant community within the independent film world during his two decades as an entertainment attorney and award-winning film producer. Jonathan is the founding partner of Gray Krauss Stratford Sandler Des Rochers LLP (“GKSSD”), an adjunct professor at Columbia University, and a frequent lecturer at New York University and the School of Visual Arts. GKSSD has performed production counsel services on over 400 films, including more than 60 that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Notable films among these include Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire, The Visitor, The Station Agent, Black Swan, Beasts of the Southern Wild,The Beginners, Skeleton Twins,Obvious Child and Another Earth.
Selenge Yadmaa, Producer (Mongolia) – During the shift from communism to capitalism in the 1990s, Selenge was one of the leading producers at Eagle TV, the first American run news outlet in Mongolia. Her broadcasting and reporting style helped shape national politics and earned Eagle TV numerous awards. Selenge is currently the News Director of Canal2, a new TV station she helped develop. It became the second most popular news station in Mongolia after Eagle TV, within two months of being on-air. Her professional experience, as well as her ability to bridge cultural differences between locals and foreigners, made her a perfect producer for The Roar of a Lion Cub.
Julia Dengel, Cinematographer - Julia Dengel has been working on such films as Jennifer Fox’s Learning to Swim, Ross Kauffman’s TV series War Photographers, Susan Kaplan’s Battle at Oyster Creek, as well as Norman Green’s MTV reality series I’m from Rolling Stone. She has shot in Europe, Africa, and all over the US. She was producer, director, and cinematographer for the PBS documentary Cowboys, Indians, & Lawyers, which aired nationwide in 2007.
Arianna Lapenne, Cinematographer is a Director and Cinematographer of documentary, TV, and commercial work. Arianna has shot and directed for The New York Times, Al Jazeera, and National Geographic and her cinematography can be seen in the Emmy award-winning SHOWTIME series, "The Years of Living Dangerously", as well as on feature docs in the Sundance Labs, on PBS and VICE. Arianna’s Hurricane Sandy coverage for The New York Times was part of the breaking news coverage awarded The Edward R. Murrow Award.
Eric Hachikian, Composer - is an Armenian-American composer, whose music has been hailed by the New York Times as "lovely and original," and his compositions and orchestrations can be heard in a variety of major motion pictures (The Place Beyond The Pines; Kill The Messenger; 50/50; The Wrestler) and network television shows. As Creative Director and co-founder of Soundcat Productions, a boutique music company with studios in New York City and Los Angeles, Eric has written and produced music for numerous national and international ad campaigns including Apple, Google, Budweiser, BMW, among many others. Eric compositions have been performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and in such venues as New York's Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall, Boston’s Symphony Hall, and The Getty in Los Angeles. A classically trained composer and perpetual student of world music, Eric's musical instincts have no boundaries, and his multi-genre interests result in a unique and personal sound.
Women Make Movies
115 W. 29th Street, Suite 1200 New York, NY 10001 Tel: 212-925-0606
Women Make Movies acts as a non-profit tax-exempt organization and accepts tax deductable contributions for The Roar of a Lion Cub (under fiscally sponsored projects, letter R)
Children of the Blue Sky is the non-profit organization Martina Radwan created in 2008, after she met Baaska on a shoot.
Jeff Mangum, Neutral Milk Hotel, and filmmaker Astra Taylor have been ardent supporters of the organization. In 2009, they organized an art auction, and in 2012 they made Children of the Blue Sky the beneficiary of their two-year concert tour. In addition, Children of the Blue Sky has numerous long-time sponsors.
© Lion Cub Inc. 2014