By Alisa Narbutas
Kajaki London World Premiere
For Queen. For Country. For your mates.
With Remembrance Day only a few days past, people are still wearing their poppy as a sign of honour to the fallen British soldiers during first and second world war. So the crew of Kajaki, which is based on a real life story, picked the perfect timing to premiere their film last night on Leicester Square. Not just to honour the fallen world war soldiers but also the veterans from the past years and current fighting soldiers.
Kajaki takes you back to 2006, when a small unit of British soldiers was positioned on a ridge overlooking the Kajaki damn in southern Afghanistan. When a group of three man were sent out to disable a Taliban roadblock, one of them accidentally sets of a land mine which is causing a separation from his leg. The soldiers suddenly realize that they find themselves in a dried out river bed full of land mines from the Russian past. A desperate rescue mission begins…
Director Paul Katis managed to make the audience feel the powerful emotions of the soldiers who are trapped in the minefield. It is shockingly brutal but nothing but the truth, even if had to look away for a few times, because everything seemed so realistic (kudos to the make up team!) . The authentically brilliant performances by the actors and the story about these true heroes needed to be told on screen and it’s safe to say Paul Katis did them great justice.
The Videoplugger Team was part of last night’s kajaki london world premiere and managed to talk to Director Paul Katis, the cast and crew as even some of the veterans whose story is told on screen.
When we asked writer Tom Williams and producer Andrew De Lotbiniere why they wanted to be involved in the project and what makes this story so special, Andrew explained that “there weren’t really any modern British war films and that you rarely see their life (referring to the soldiers) and the real existence…”, so this was the perfect opportunity to put something new on screen. Tom on the other hand mentioned that they were “initially looking for research material on which to base a fictional movie but then we came across this story…”. The more they got into that project and talked to everybody involved the more “excited” they became to be part of this opportunity.
“We wanted to tell a true story without fabricating it”
– Producer Andrew De Lotbiniere
Director Paul Katis told us that especially the location itself – the Kajaki damn – is what makes the film so realistic and authentic. They also had some stills from the veterans from 2006, which were included by the art department, “so they were able to source some really good reference material”. Paul also included that they had a military advisor, which was pretty “tip top” and who made sure that they got the little details right.
– Director Paul Katis
For more videos of the cast and crew of Kajaki visit our YouTube Channel.