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Portland Filmmaker Skye Fitzgerald’s Most Recent Documentary Was Just Nominated for an Oscar. That Doesn’t Mean He Enjoyed Making It.

Out of all the tough subjects he’s tackled in his career, “Hunger Ward” was the hardest to bear witness to.

WW presents “Distant Voices,” an interview for the era of social distancing. Our reporters are asking Portlanders what they’re doing during quarantine.

Last week, Skye Fitzgerald received an Oscar nomination for the only film in his career that he didn't enjoy making.

It's not that the Portland documentary filmmaker isn't proud of Hunger Ward, which is up for Best Documentary Short Subject. But out of all the tough subjects he's tackled in his career, Hunger Ward's was the hardest to bear witness to.

Hunger Ward profiles the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, which the U.N. has declared the worst in the world. The 45-minute documentary follows nurse Mekkia Mahdi and Dr. Aida Alsadeeq as both women work in different care facilities to treat children suffering from severe malnutrition.

"Most folk in the U.S. don't really know what's going on in Yemen, it's just a fact," Fitzegerald says. "We are funding an effort that is actively starving children on a daily basis."

Hunger Ward is the third installment in a trilogy that Fitzgerald has dubbed the "refugee trilogy." The other two films in the series—Lifeboat and 50 Feet from Syria —have also either been shortlisted or nominated for an Academy Award.

Fitzgerald talked to WW about collaborating with Mahdi and Alsadeeq, and the one moment during the making of Hunger Ward when he had to stop filming.

See more Distant Voices interviews here.