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netribution > features > interview with lee santana > page one

The Falklands War, 1982. In the heat of battle, a young British soldier, Mark, deserts his post, only to be captured by an injured Argentinian, Jose Francisco. Gradually though, the two men form an understanding friendship and trust, until the arrival of a unit of British Paras, who force Mark to choose between his patriotic duty or his conscience.

Writer/producer Lee Santana (below, left) and his director brother Dominic (below, right)are Danny Boon productions. They took Last Post all the way to a BAFTA nomination this year, only to be beaten by Tinge Krishman's superbShadowscan but it's still early days for this brutal, challenging movie. Shot on location in Wales and Buenos Aires for a solid 35 odd grand, the film's structure caused a certain amount of debate when it screened at the Kodak Short Film Showcase in Spring, but no one could comment on the professionalism of the piece. Ably adapted from a tricky true story, Lee told me that this servfed as a great learning experience for him but that, despite being rejected from many festivals, it has aroused the right sort of investment interest.
I couldn't agree more. It's very rare to be touched emotionally and thoroughly impressed professionally and creatively, all in 15 minutes, but I was.

photo

| by tom fogg |
| photos courtesy of danny boon productions |
| in brighton |
 
 
     
 

You collaborated on Last Post with your brother Dom, how long have you had a working relationship with him in film?
Dom, my brother and I have run Danny Boon Productions Ltd for almost five years now and we've tackled everything from corporate work to daytime TV series. Generally the roles are that Dom directs and I produce or write/produce the work. This film however is the first drama that we have made together, although we've been developing a feature film script for the last three years, which is now about to be marketed.

Where did the idea for this come from? Is it a true story?
The idea for the film came from account related to us by a Falklands veteran, although we did bring together two factual strands i.e. the desertion aspect and the sending of the letter and photo, in order to create a more compelling narrative.

How closely did you relate to the central characters when you first heard the story? How much do you remember of the war when it happened?
I was at school when the war sparked off, but I do remember feeling both patriotic and afraid of its consequences. Until then, I, and I suspect the majority of the population, had not even heard of the Falklands. In contrast, Argentinean society has always had this claim of sovereignty over the Malvinas, in its psyche.

We picked up on this when we shot all the cityscapes and young woman's

stuff, although all the Falklands footage was shot in Wales, on the very

ground that Special Forces were trained prior to being sent over to recce the invasion)

Can you give us a few production details and tell us how much one could expect to spend with a location shoot in Buenos Aires!?
We shot for one week in Wales and for one day in Argentina on Super 16mm

Kodak stock - and the budget! - well that was around 30-40k, but with additional services and goodwill etc that would probably equate to 100k in real money.

 
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