Little Fiel


Jury Awards

Best Short – BlackStar International Film Festival Accra, Ghana

Best Documentary – International Short Film Festival Beveren, Belgium

Best Animated Documentary – DOC LA, CA

Best Short Documentary – Charlotte Film Festival, Charlotte, NC

Best Short Documentary – Santorini Film Festival, Greece

Best International Film Award – DC Independent Film Festival, Washington, DC

Best Short Documentary – Bucharest ShortCut Cinefest, Romania

DiplomaKIN International Women’s Film Festival, Yerevan, Armenia

Human Rights Award – Amazing Shorts Film Festival, Madrid, Spain

Best Short Documentary – 2ndprize – Ierapetra International Doc. Festival, Crete, Greece

Best Short Documentary – 2ndprize – Woods Hole Film Festival; Cape Cod, MA

Best Screenplay – The African Film Festival, Dallas, TX

Best Original Score –Oregon Documentary Film Festival, Portland, OR

Director’s Choice Award – Black Maria Film Festival, Hoboken, NJ

Jury Special Mention– Smita Patil Doc. and Short Film Festival

Nominated/Award Finalist

Best Short Documentary – Canada Shorts, Saint John, Canada

Best Animated Short– 21st Arpa International Film Festival, LA, CA

Special Jury Award– Global Impact Film Festival Washington, DC

Best International Film Award – Oregon Documentary Film Festival, Portland, OR

Best Documentary Short– The African Film Festival, Dallas, TX


Film Festivals

Boulder International Film Festival • March 2 Boulder, CO
41st Big Muddy Film Festival • February 18 Carbondale, IL
Winter Film Awards Int. Film Festival • February 16 at 1:00PM Cinema Village, New York, NY
Oxford Film Festival • February 8 at 11:45PM Oxford, MS
Roma Cinema DOC • February 9 Rome, Italy
Cascade Festival of African Films • February 7 at 2PM Moriarty Arts & Humanities, Portland OR
  • February 9 at 7PM Moriarty Arts & Humanities, Portland OR
Canada Shorts • December 15 Saint John, Canada
Smita Patil Doc. and Short Film Festival • December 9 at 9:30AM Pune, India
Festival Brasil De Cinema Internacional • November 21 at 1:00PM Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Int. Short Film Festival of Beveren • November 25 at Beveren, Belgium
InstiDoc Film Festival • November 17 at 7:00PM Maputo, Mozambique
Black Maria Film Festival (tour) • November 14 at 7:30PM Morris Museum, Morristown, NJ
Int. Women Film Festival KIN • November 16 at 3:50PM Yerevan, Armenia
SNOB Film Festival • November 10 at 2:00PM Concord, NH
Coronado Island Film Festival • November 12 at 4:00PM Black Box Theater, Coronado Island, CA
21st Arpa Int. Film Festival • November 4 at 2:30PM Egyptian Theater, LA, CA
27th Hot Springs Doc Film Festival • October 27 at 12:00PM Cinema 2, Hot Springs, AR
DOC LA Film Festival • October 20 at 3:00PM Raleigh Studios Hollywood, CA
Tampa Animation Festival • October 20 Reeves Theater, Tampa, FL
UN Association Film Festival • October 18 at 6:30PM Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA
Cinematic Arts Colloquium • October 12 at 3:30PM University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Portland Film Festival • October 27 at 4PM Portland, OR
Tallgrass Int. Film Festival • October 18 at 5:30PM Wilke Family Center, Wichita, Kansas
Santa Fe Independent Film Festival • October 18 at 8:00PM CCA studio, Santa Fe, CA
  • October 20 at 8:40PM  
Black Maria Film Festival tour • October 13 7:30PM Florida SW State College, Fort Myers, FL


31st Dallas VideoFest • October 13 12:00 Angelika Film Center, Dallas, TX
Bend Film • Fri, Oct 12th, 5:30 PM Pan Theater Bend, OR
  • Sat, Oct 13th, 3:30 PM Regal Old Mill – 2 Bend, OR
Amazing Shorts Film Festival • October 3 Madrid, Spain
Buffalo Niagara Int. Film Festival • September 26 The Rapids Theatre, Niagara Falls, NY
Charlotte Film Festival • September 29 at 12:15 Ayrsley Grand Cinemas 14 Charlotte, NC
DocuWest Film Festival • September 23 at 1:45PM Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Denver, CO
Port Townsend Film Festival • September 21 at 9:00AM Rosebud Theatre, Port Townsend, WA
  • September 22 at 3:30PM Key City Free Theatre, Port Townsend, WA
Connecticut Film Festival • September 19 at 6PM Bethel Cinema, Bethel, CT
Global Peace Film Festival • September 17 Orlando, FL
Atlanta International Doc Film Festival • September 14 at 6:00PM Synchronicity Theater, Atlanta, GA
The Women Film Festival • September 12 7PM Hot Bed Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Sioux City International Film Festival • September 12 at 7PM Stoney Creek, Sioux City, IA
  • September 13 at 12PM  
DC Shorts Film Festival • September 8 at 4:30PM Landmark’s E Street Cinema, Washington D.C.
  • September 10 at 9:15PM Landmark’s E Street Cinema, Washington D.C.
  • September 12 at 9:15PM Landmark’s E Street Cinema, Washington D.C.
Global Impact Film Festival • August 26 3PM Renaissance Hotel, Washington D.C.
BlackStar International Film Festival • August 17 at 6:30PM Silverbird theater, Accra, Ghana
Ierapetra International Doc. Festival • August 5 at 9PM Iearapetra square Crete, Greece
Woods Hole Film Festival • July 28  at 4:30PM Redfield Auditorium Woods Hole, Cape Cod, MA
FRAPA • July 18 at 8:00PM @ Cinemateca Capitólio, in Porto Alegre, Brazil
Siciliambiente Documentary Film Festival • July 13 San Vito Lo Capo, Sicily, Italy
The African Film Festival • June 30 at 1:30 @African American Museum, Dallas, TX
Santorini Film Festival • June 20 @Cinema Kamari, Santorini, Greece
Palm Springs International ShortFest • June 20 at 1:30 @Camelot Theaters, Palm Springs, CA
Bucharest ShortCut Cinefest • May 19 Bucharest, Romania
Miami Independent Film Festival • May 27 Miami, FL
Manifesto Film Festival • May 27 at 5:45PM De Balie, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Oregon Documentary Film Festival • May 26 at 7:00PM @Avalon Theater, Portland, OR
DocLands Film Festival • May 6  at 2.00PM @Smith Rafael Film Center, San Rafael, CA
Harlem International Film Festival • May 6 at 12:00PM AMC Magic Johnson, Harlem, NY
Montclair Film Festival • May 4 at 6:00PM @Clairidge 2 Theater, Montclair, NJ
• May 5 at 1.30PM @Clairidge 4 Theater Montclair, NJ
Africa World Documentary Film Festival • April 30th at 8.30PM Stellenbosch University South Africa
  • May 4th at 11.45AM Stellenbosch University South Africa
Indy Film Festival • April 28 at 11.15AM Deboest L.H. at Newfield, Indianapolis, IN
  • May 1 at 9:00PM Indy Film Salon, Indianapolis, IN
Kansas City Film Fest • April 14 at 4.25PM @Cinemark Palace
Rincón International Film Festival • April 10 at 10:00 Rincón, Puerto Rico
Florida Film Festival • April 10 at 5:00 PM @Regal Winter Park Village
• April 14 at 12:00PM @Regal Winter Park Village
Ann Arbor Film Festival • March 24th at 12.30PM @Michigan Theater
Black Maria Film Festival • March 14th at 7.00PM @Hoboken Historical Museum, NJ
Vancouver International Women in Film Festival • March 10th at 12.00PM Vancity Theater
Africa World Documentary Film Festival • March 11th at 6.10PM University of West Indies Cave Hill, Barbados
DC Independent Film Festival • February 17th at 12.50PM Naval Heritage Center
Africa World Documentary Film Festival • February 11th at 3.45PM @Missouri History Museum, Saint Louis, MO
Ryerson University: Refugees: Film & Debate • January 26th Ryerson University, Toronto
DOC NYC Film Festival • November 14, 2017 • Cinepolis Chelsea, New York NY


“Little Fiel” is a stop motion animation/documentary that tells a universal story of peaceful people who have been coerced, conscripted and enticed into killing each other during the unending civil war. It is based on the life story of Mozambican artist Fiel dos Santos who grew up during the 16 year old civil war – another proxy war equipped and sustained by conflicting foreign powers. Fiel created all figures for the animation from dismantled guns. Three New York artists turned them into puppets and animated.

“I work with real guns. There are lots of guns out there. When I destroy one gun I make sure that it wont kill anymore,” says Fiel dos Santos.

When the Civil War in Mozambique started in 1975, Fiel was 3 years old. He had a big family of five siblings and numerous cousins. Towards the end of the 16-year-war, Fiel found himself living alone in the dilapidating house with no electricity and water at the age of 14. To overcome depression and madness he started drawing on the walls of the house. Today Fiel is a renowned artist, one of four authors of the celebrated “Tree of Life” sculpture exhibited in the British Museum. Fiel dos Santos is the only member of his family who hasn’t shot a gun. As he is welding sculptures, we see that beneath his cool façade, Fiel’s childhood memories have hardened inside him. He’s been carrying them all his life, just like his sculptures carry gun pieces as their limbs.


shot in Mozambique, animated in New York and Connecticut
gun sculptures by Fiel dos Santos
animated by Chris Langer, Gus Ford and Irina Patkanian
director of photography Gus Ford
music by Adam Silverman
sound design by Ross Williams
written/directed/produced and edited by Irina Patkanian





2016-2017 In summers, Irina and Gus make the remaining stop motion animation. Irina edits the film, Chris creates special effects and the dolob cartoon. Adam Silverman composes original music. Ross Williams creates and mixes the soundtrack. On November 14th Little Fiel premieres at DOC NYC, largest American documentary film festival.

2015 Irina and Gus travel to Mozambique to shoot exteriors, interview Fiel, and pick up rose sculptures .

2013 Team is awarded PSC CUNY grant. Irina is working on the script.

2011 Irina and Gus go to Mozambique to pick up remaining 7 sculptures representing File’s family members: Father, Mother, Sister and 4 brothers. Each sculpture is about 2.5 feet tall and weighs around 30 pounds. Chris and his friend Jeff Blank turn sculptures into puppets by cutting them and connecting parts with custom armature. In summer, Irina, Chris and Gus are joined by 12 interns to animate a short scene inside the well, partially funded by 2011 NYSCA grant. After working full days 6 days a week for two and half months, the team has about 6 min. of stop motion animation; 3 min. 20 seconds of which makes it into the final film.

2010 Fiel comes to New York and brings gun pieces. He creates a sculpture of little Fiel. Ross creates custom made armature to turn Fiel sculpture into a puppet. Irina and Chris are joined by Gus Ford as a cinematographer and second animator and the three spend a week making tests and creating a short animation sample for a NYSCA grant.

2009 Irina Patkanian and Chris Langer travel to Mozambique where they meet Fiel dos Santos. Moved by Fiel’s life story and his sculptures of people made from pieces of guns, they decide to create stop motion animation about peaceful people who have been turned into soldiers in another proxy civil war.