Final shoot for The Last Hope takes place in Milan

In December 2017, The Last Hope team visited Emergency’s head offices in Milan and were able to interview the organisation’s founder, Dr Gino Strada, along with other key members.

After arriving in Milan, the team were given a tour of their offices, gaining insight into the heart of Emergency and what it takes to run such a successful global humanitarian organisation. They were also able to showcase footage of The Last Hope from previous shoots to Emergency founder Gino Strada, allowing him to hear stories from various Emergency employees as they describe their passion for humanitarian work and their mission to create a better world.

Having explored the lives of the those doctors, nurses and other medical staff living away from home to complete a mission in one of Emergency’s projects in Iraq, Afghanistan or the coast of Libya, the crew now had the chance to find out more about the people who sent them there. By speaking to Gino Strada and Emergency’s new president, Rosella Miccio, the team were able to learn more about all of Emergency’s individual projects, each one with a different goal, all striving towards creating a sustainable environment where patients can receive the highest quality healthcare free of charge, or in Dr Strada’s words, their basic human right.

The Last Hope features in ARRI’s 100th Anniversary film

The Filmmaker’s View

Capturing documentaries

Buddy Squires ASC, DP

The Last Hope Co-Director and Cinematographer Buddy Squires was recently interviewed by ARRI as part of their Filmmakers View Series celebrating 100 years of ARRI.

“My work is about conveying truths that become obvious to my eye on location, making these revelations palpable and tactile for an audience – that is what cinematography allows me to do. Moving images of the world we inhabit have an incredible ability to reach across cultural boundaries, connecting our common humanity. Still, there are times I wish I was a writer and only had to have a pen and a pad with me, instead of carrying all this gear around.”

Click here to watch Buddy Squires interview with ARRI for their 100 anniversary in film.

Emergency in Kabul

Following the catastrophic attack in Kabul’s diplomatic ‘green-zone’ which left over 150 dead and 413 injured, The Last Hope team traveled to Afghanistan to document the response by Emergency’s surgical centre, located in the heart of Kabul. Will full access granted, the crew were able to capture the chaos and confusion during the aftermath of one of the biggest mass-casualties this hospital has ever seen. Riots and further violence ensued, but despite their fatigue, the Emergency staff continued to provide care for all those who needed it.

Academy Award winning director and cinematographer, Buddy Squires, once again teamed up Dover Street Entertainment to provide a vision that would represent the extreme lifestyle of those working for Emergency, allowing their bravery and determination to shine through.

By spending 3 days in the hospital, The Last Hope team were able to get a unique and profound insight into the inner workings of this organisation, and the day to day lives of those individuals who have made that choice to give up normality and make a difference. By conducting in-depth interviews with the Emergency staff, we can begin to understand the power of their strong humanitarian beliefs and the morals that they live by as they continue to strive for a better world.

The Last Hope: A Preview

Take a first look at footage from The Last Hope. This feature length documentary follows Italian NGO Emergency across the world on their mission to provide free medical assistance to the victims of war. For many people who have lost their homes, lives, family and friends to war, Emergency is their last hope.

Dramatic shoot off the coast of Libya

Dover Street Entertainment’s feature length documentary The Last Hope wrapped up a successful second shoot in Sicily and off the coast of Libya this week. Graeme Alistair Scott was on location with multiple Oscar and Emmy winning Cinematographer Buddy Squires along with award winning sound man David Hocs.

The team followed the committed staff of Italian NGO Emergency on board MOAS (Migrant Offshore Aid Station) search and rescue ship Topaz Responder in the Mediterranean, travelling to the Dead Zone, an area 12 miles off the coast of Libya, where migrants and refugees from war torn countries in the Middle East and Africa are being smuggled in unseaworthy wooden boats and large rubber dingis to Europe in the hope of a better future.

During an emotional, heartbreaking, yet ultimately inspiring shoot the team filmed the doctors, nurses and logisticians of Emergency, hearing their experiences dealing with the migrant crisis. We discovered stories and events that define humanity with a backdrop of incredible situations that not only offer hope, but deliver on the commitment by Emergency to save lives and provide the human right to high quality healthcare, focussing on those that need it most, the victims of war and poverty.


The Last Hope Team Visits Iraq

In May 2016, The Last Hope team visited Sulaymaniyah in Iraq. Whilst there, they met with the Emergency teams working in the Arbat IDP and refugee camps, the Ashti IDP camp and the Rehabilitation and Social Integration Centre.

Our award winning cinematographer and director Buddy Squires teamed up with esteemed sound mixer David Hocs, and together they managed to capture the chaotic world of the the Emergency clinics against the quiet backdrop of the Kurdish mountains.

While in the camps, the team interviewed members of staff who’s work is paramount to the survival of the IDPs and refugees who have fled their homes in search of peace and safety for their families. Seeing the number of children who will grow up in this camp, some without knowing any life outside, is heartbreaking. However, while living in the tent is hard and war is still not so far away, there remains a never-ending sense of hope, this became clear when speaking to members of the Emergency staff who are living in the camp themselves having escaped the dangers of ISIS.

The team spent 5 days exploring the camp and hearing some of the incredible and heroic stories from various IDPs and Emergency staff members. Learning about their pasts and finding out how and why they ended up working in the camps has lead to a better understanding of the conflict in that area of the world, and how far the devastation of war can spread. This further enforces the Emergency mission to provide healthcare to all those to deserve it, especially when their worlds have been torn apart by violence.

In order to further understand what life is like in the camp, the team visited individual individual tents, speaking to the IDPs and observing their daily routines. Buddy and the team captured the struggle that a family of five or more faces everyday having to live in such simple conditions, even witnessing an entire family meal cooked on one electric stove in the darkness. The realisation that they may never be able to return to their homes and the crossing to Europe may be too dangerous further proves the need for hope, which without the work done by Emergency may not have been within reach.

When visiting the Rehabilitation and Social Reintegration Centre in Sulaymaniyah, the team were able to speak with land mine victims whose limbs had been amputated as a result of stepping on a hidden IED. They spoke with them to understand the effect that this not only has on their lives, but the lives of their families and others around them. This footage captured reminds us of the determination in human nature, and the difference you can make by remaining strong and having hope.

Buddy’s unique vision enabled him to capture the emotion of the story. This emotion creates a connection to those on the screen, allowing us to feel the everyday struggles faced in this area of the world.

The Last Hope Team Visit Khartoum

In December 2015, The Last Hope team flew to Sudan to visit the Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery and the Paediatric Clinic in the Mayo Refugee Camp. The team were shown around the various hospitals and saw first hand the incredible work carried out every day by the Emergency staff who have given their lives to care for those in need. The hospitals are sterile and safe environments that act as a haven in these poverty-stricken areas. The state of the art equipment and highly trained staff help to save lives every day, from malnourished children to open heart surgery.

The Salam Centre, located just outside Khartoum, provides highly specialized and free of charge treatment to patients with either congenital or acquired heart diseases. The Salam Centre provides services on a humanitarian basis, without any political, ideological, or religious discrimination. The services are totally free of charge for all patients and include medical and surgical treatments, drugs, follow-up, food and clothing for all the admission period. Specialized international staff have been appointed to ensure a high standard of surgical care and to carry out a proper training program for national personnel. Cardiac diseases of surgical interest are extremely common in Sub-Saharan Africa. Current estimates for cardiovascular diseases in Africa amount to 300,000 deaths every year. The Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery is the only facility in this region offering free-of-charge, qualified cardiac surgical care.

The Paediatric Clinic in Mayo provides primary healthcare for the children in Mayo IDP Camp, on the outskirts of the capital city, Khartoum. The main facilities of the Paediatric Centre include 2 consultation rooms, laboratory, pharmacy, six-bed observation ward, and a veranda that serves as waiting area. The Centre is equipped with an ambulance to refer the children in need of hospitalisation to Bashair hospital in Khartoum. Emergency has started an outreach program in different areas of the IDP camp: the staff of the Paediatric Centre organizes health education sessions, screening for malnutrition and prenatal care for pregnant women, as well as vaccination programs in collaboration with the Ministry of Health.

Oscar Winner joins The Last Hope Team

Karen Goodman has made over 20 documentaries and won an Academy Award for Strangers No More. Her films have garnered 4 previous Oscar nominations, several Emmys and the DuPont-Columbia Award for Independent Programming. She has received filmmaking grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, the Ford Foundation, and the American Film Institute.

Karen’s documentaries have been broadcast nationally on PBS, HBO, and MTV, and screened at festivals around the world including the New York Film Festival, Sundance, New Directors / New Films, London, Berlin, Montreal and St. Petersburg. In addition, she has overseen and filmed dance preservation projects for the Paul Taylor Dance Company and Lincoln Center’s Library and Museum of the Performing Arts. Read more

Buddy Squires Joins The Last Hope Team

Award winning cinematographer Buddy Squires has joined Dover Street Entertainment’s production ‘The Last Hope’. Buddy is an Oscar nominated filmmaker and Emmy Award winning cinematographer. His credits include 2 Academy Award-winning films, 7 Academy Award nominated productions, 10 Emmy Award winning films, and 28 Emmy nominated productions. He has received 12 Emmy nominations including one win. Read more


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