About the Director

Bruce David Janu is first and foremost an educator. He teaches history, sociology and literature at John Hersey High School in Chicago's northwest suburbs. In addition, he teaches film study as part of his sociology curriculum.

Growing up, he had an intense love for film. So much so that he started making films for his classes and, when a friend asked him to shoot her wedding, Janu discovered a niche. He started a successful videography business that produces documentary-like wedding videos. In addition, he has made several educational videos, including The Adventures of History Guy: Gothic Cathedrals and In Search of Goth(ic).

In addition to his visual work, Bruce has also written several books: Bring Out Your Dead: Bringing the Black Death to Life in the Classroom, Mouldering in the Grave: A Dramatic Approach to Teaching about John Brown and The Constitution: A Cooperative Learning Approach. He has also written several articles for Illinois History Teacher.

This is his first feature length documentary and, being an educator at heart, he will make available comprehensive lesson plans for other teachers to use with the film in the classroom.

In 2008, he produced a follow-up to Facing Sudan entitled Crayons and Paper. This film focuses on Dr. Jerry Ehrlich. It is also available on dvd.


Tom Flannery
Composer for Facing Sudan

Northeast Pennsylvania singer-songwriter (and playwright) Tom Flannery has been called "one of the most gifted songwriters to emerge at the turn of the century" (by the All Music Guide). Pretty heady stuff for the unassuming descendent of Irish coal miners. "I read that and I was like....well.....I guess I know what to put in big type on the front page of my website," he said.

Since his 1998 debut Song About a Train, which the AMG called "heartfelt and brilliant", he's been steadily building an impressive, grassroots following. Mainly through the web, since he plays only a handful of live gigs a year. "I love to play live", he says with a sigh. "I just hate everything that goes with it. The travel, the near starvation, the empty chairs, the singing your guts out for $50, the folk nazis, the flat tires, missing the kids. The business of it all just sucks. So I said screw it. I'll stay in my basement and write."

And so, after 2 more official releases, The Anthracite Shuffle in 2000 and the solo acoustic Drinking With Nick Drake in 2002 (both of which received rave reviews....the former being called "a brilliant and eclectic tapestry of American folk music" while the latter was dubbed "intimate, direct, beautifully limpid...the strongest set of lyrics he has yet penned"), he created the SongaWeek.com website. "I decided to just give everything away", he says. "And I mean everything. I write so many songs, and it costs like 10 grand to put out an "official" CD with a dozen tracks on it. I was writing 2 or 3 songs a week at that point. Hell, I'd be broke in a month. My problem is I don't dabble in anything. Once I get hooked I become manic. So I bought a digital 8 track machine and I've released everything since digitally through the web." This includes tracks that make up 2 online song cycles, 2004's heartbreaking A Rwandan Song Cycle, and Songs for Woody, a collection of songs about his idol, Woody Guthrie. A brand new song cycle, this one dealing the clergy sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, will be released in early 2007. "Ain't I a cheery bastard?" he says.

The title of the SongaWeek website was no idle boast. Since it's debut in the spring of 2003, Flannery has not missed a single deadline. One new song (at least) has been released as an MP3 every week since then. All are recorded solo acoustic. "I'd hire a band but I don't pay very well", Flannery says. "Actually, I don't pay at all. So, solo acoustic it is. Fine with me. Less arguments and no more drunken drummers."

The response has been overwhelming. His website has had over 750,000 downloads in 3 and a half years

PLAYWRIGHT

Tom Flannery's produced plays include:

The Driveway – 2000
God Bless Roy Campanella – 2001 2002 2003
The Spanish Lady – 2002
God and the Ghost of Woody Guthrie – 2003 2004
Mother Jones and the Flying Girls – 2004 2005
Politics, Sex, Booze, and the Theatre – 2005
The Katrina Monologues – 2005 2006
Marcinkus – 2006 2007
Anti-Depressants – 2006
The Last Thoughts of Gino Merli – 2006
Nixon's Last 15 Minutes – 2006


Lorne Clarke
Composer for Facing Sudan

For more than 25 years, Canada's Lorne Clarke has been performing at festivals, clubs, house concerts and theatres across Canada and the United States. A powerful singer and gifted songwriter, he cut his teeth as a performing artist in the busy Toronto folk scene in the early 1970's - branching out into Bluegrass in the mid 1980's. In 1994 Clarke returned to the solo acoustic folk scene with a series of critically acclaimed performances on US Public Radio and TV.

In October 1999, Lorne Clarke released his eponymously titled debut CD. It is a powerful collection of 14 original songs in a rich acoustic package, featuring an outstanding musical cast and produced by internationally respected producer/engineer, George Graham.

Currently, together with fellow singer/songwriter Tom Flannery, he uses the website Songaweek.com to showcase his latest songs. Over the 18 months, the site has amassed nearly 100,000 downloads...a remarkable number for songwriters with no label support.

In April of 2004 Lorne finished collaborating with Flannery on a Rwandan Song Cycle, 14 original songs dealing with 1994's Rwandan genocide.

In addition to his ongoing solo concert work Clarke has opened shows for a number of notable artists, including Rita MacNeil, The Men Of The Deeps Choir, Bill Garrett & Sue Lothrop, Michael Jerling, and Chipper Thompson.

He has also shared the bill with folks like Tom Flannery, Jane Siberry, Mose Scarlett, Bo Jamison, and Australia's Greg Hastings.

Clarke is currently busy running one of the top folk music concert series in the state. The Old Church Concert Series has already brought such acclaimed acts as Jez Lowe and James Keelaghan to the small village of Lynn Pennsylvania. Clarke started the series back in September of 2000 and thus far the shows have been a huge success, earning the series the reputation as one of the most hospitable places in the state for the traveling folk artist to play.

Lorne Clarke is a singer and songwriter worthy of your attention. In an era when it seems there is an "outstanding new talent" on every street corner and the media are so filled with hyperbole that adjectives have lost their meanings, it is refreshing to find the real thing. His public performances are powerful and riveting -- yet somehow each member of the audience comes away from the concerts feeling like they've just visited with an old friend.



The director is available for press interviews and appearances. Call us at 847.721-9222 to check availability.
Facing Sudan

a documentary film by Bruce David Janu
Running Time: 90minutes
Music by Tom Flannery and Lorne Clarke

Copyright 2007
Bell, Book & Camera Productions