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TODAY news for Thursday, May 25, 2006

Loma Linda University news

AHI, LLU film wins award at Newport Beach Film Festival

Patricia Thio
Patricia Thio accepts the Audience Award for Best Short Film at the Newport Beach Film Festival for her work on the Loma Linda University and Adventist Health International film.
“Footsteps of the Unknown,” an Adventist Health International and Loma Linda University film, took home the Audience Award for Best Short Film at the Newport Beach Film Festival.

“It’s very flattering,” says Patricia Thio, special projects editor of University Relations, and the filmmaker. “Thank you to everyone who supported the film. I hope that many more people will be inspired by those featured in the documentary.”

The film competed with nearly 250 other short films for the award, including a 2005 Academy Award winner. In addition, it was one of 350 films selected to be showcased at the festival out of 1,500 submissions. Approximately 35,000 people attended the event this year.

“Footsteps of the Unknown” is a short documentary on the stories surrounding Gimbie Adventist Hospital. In the western highlands of Ethiopia, the beautiful village of Gimbie
Footsteps of the Unknown
After the screening, Patricia Thio poses for a picture with those featured in the documentary “Footsteps of the Unknown.” From left are Charlie Baier, Carl Baier, Ms. Thio, Aregane Baier, Chandra Baier, and Sister Matilde Rivera.
sits as a crossroads of hope and despair. It is a place where children are often orphaned or abandoned, a place where people strive to live through desperate situations. But despite difficult conditions, they aspire to live life to its fullest. Volunteers at Gimbie Adventist Hospital support the locals’ ambitious nature.

The subjects of the film, Chandra and Charlie Baier, an American couple, initially went to Gimbie right after their honeymoon to help run the hospital for a short time. The plan: three months in Ethiopia, then back to the United States to get “real” jobs. The reality: three years of adventure, new culture, and unexpected love.

Joining the Baiers are Sisters Suzy and Maty, compassionate and rugged nuns from Ecuador, and Penny, a charming midwife from London. The film allows the viewer to hop into their off-road vehicles and step onto a path of challenge and hope with those who dedicate their lives to transforming pain and sadness into promise and possibility.

Go to www.adventisthealthinternational.org for more information and to see the film’s trailer.

By Dustin R. Jones, MA

TODAY news for Thursday, May 25, 2006