Afghan Doc to Skip Competition Circuit in Favor of GI Film Festival (Exclusive)

A source said potential distributors warned that "The Hornet's Nest" will not likely be embraced by the doc community.

HighRoad Media is eschewing the traditional festival circuit for its war-zone documentary The Hornet’s Nest.

The Universal-based production company behind the baseball pic The Perfect Game will instead unveil the film, which is described as in the vein of Act of Valor, at the 7th annual GI Film Festival in Washington on May 11.

HighRoad duo Christian Tureaud and David Salzberg pulled Hornet’s Nest out of competition consideration from such film festivals as Toronto and Silver Docs in favor of doing stand-alone events, beginning with the GI Fest.

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A source said potential distributors warned that though the film has commercial appeal it will not likely be embraced by the doc community because it doesn’t advocate a social change agenda. The film was turned down by the Berlin and SXSW.

The film chronicles Emmy-winning ABC News conflict journalist Mike Boettcher and his son Carlos as they visit the frontlines with U.S. troops covering the battlefields in Afghanistan under siege from the Taliban. The embedded father and son captured some of America’s highest-ranking armed forces, including Army (101st Airborne) and Marines (28th Marines), on their missions in Afghanistan. Six people died during filming.

Hornet’s Nest is garnering attention for its parallels to the box-office hit Act of Valor, which used real Navy SEALS. 

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The film marks the directorial debuts of Tureaud and Salzberg, who also produced the film through their HighRoad banner in association with BASE Productions.

John Brenkus and Mickey Stern are executive producers.

“This film provides among the most intense and visceral experiences of combat ever captured on film,” said GI Film Festival co-founder and president Brandon Millett.

The GI Fest is the biggest festival showcasing films that honors the troops.

Email: Tatiana.Siegel@THR.com, Twitter: @TatianaSiegel27

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