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Stefan Hunt Directs Timely Coming of Age Short Film ‘They Saw The Sun First’ 

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Fresh Films worked with Stefan for the art house documentary exploring youth, fear and ageing

Stefan Hunt Directs Timely Coming of Age Short Film ‘They Saw The Sun First’ 

From Fresh Film New York comes this new documentary film by director Stefan Hunt. ‘They Saw The Sun First’ is a timely, genre-bending art-house documentary using dance and physicality to explore themes of youthfulness, fear, regret and ageing. 

The words come from real interviews with a diverse selection of New York’s elderly, brought to life through dance, performance and the magic of imagination. Each dancer was given a voice to interpret (without ever meeting the owner of that voice) through dance, movement, emotive states and space, led by movement director Vanessa Marian. 

The poignant message of the film derived from an old African proverb could not be more relevant in these times: “Old people’s speech is not to be dishonoured - after all, they saw the sun first.” 

The film focuses on our commonalities as opposed to our differences, addressing the echo chambers and deepening chasm that exists between generations, by reframing what it means to listen to our elders. 

The music was composed by FKJ, the award-winning French multi-instrumentalist and singer. He rewrote his track ‘Ylang Ylang’ for the film. 

The documentary was produced by Fresh Film Productions, New York for Red Bull Media House, London and Salzburg - part of an initiative focused on excellent storytelling applied to human interest documentaries. 

Of his film, director Stefan Hunt said: “With all my grandparents gone, I felt a real lack of eldership in my life. I feel like we are bombarded with these authoritative opinions from young people on the internet, but where is the advice of those who have walked this earth the longest?” 

Executive producer, Adam Gee said: “This uplifting and original film comes out just when the world needs it – it reminds us what makes life’s inevitable struggles ultimately worthwhile and strengthening.” 

Movement director, Vanessa Marian said: “This is one of those films in which all those life clichés suddenly ring with a renewed poignancy. When your work is about listening to elderly, then interpreting it through emotive movement and art, well it stops being about the outcome and starts becoming about the meaning of life.” 

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Directed: Stefan Hunt

Produced: Jess Lowe

Cinematography: Graham Cole

Movement Director: Vanessa Marian

Score: frenchkiwijuice

Casting: Kate Antognini

Production Designer: Harry Nilsson

Steadicam: asmarterwarholic

1st AC: Mika Elbidard

2nd AC: James Trussin

1st AD: Jimmy Coldman

Sound: Julian Ttal

Wardrobe: @upstatekate25

Gaffer: @prannoying

Production Manager: Chelsea Ayllon

Sound Mix: @smokeychocolate

Sound Producer: @kyraeh1993

Sound Assist: @mandifuents

Post Producer: @okca

Editing: @akamrmagoo

Colour: Matt Fezz

VFX: Matt Fezz

Titles: Stefan Hunt

Executive Producer: @aarkangel

Prod co: Fresh Film Production

Edit house: Arc edit

Sound house: Machine Sound

Genres: Documentary, People

Categories: Short Films and Music Videos, Short films

Fresh Film, Thu, 30 Apr 2020 09:16:05 GMT