DRONE follows people on both sides of drone technology. Unique access to drone victims in Waziristan is juxtaposed with drone pilots who struggle to come to terms with the new warfare. The film covers diverse and integral ground, ranging from the recruitment of young pilots at gaming conventions and the re-definition of “going to war”, to the moral stance of the engineers behind the technology, the world leaders giving the secret “green light” to engage in the biggest targeted killing programme in history, and the people who are willing to stand up against the violations of civil liberties and fight for transparency, accountability and justice.
Chris Woods is an award-winning London-based investigative journalist. As senior reporter at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, he led the investigation of the US covert drone war. Mr Woods is currently writing the book “Sudden Justice”, an in-depth and revealing exposé of drone warfare.
Brandon Bryant is former drone pilot in the US Air Force. Mr Bryant served as a sensor operator for the Predator programme from 2007 to 2011, manning the camera on the unmanned aerial vehicles that carried out attacks overseas. He has operated drones from US bases in Iraq, Nevada, and New Mexico and has flown over Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Since the start of the drone programme, Brandon Bryant has been the only ex-drone pilot to stand up and talk about his experiences. He offers a rare insight on the US drone programme, and has taken a great risk by speaking out.
Mirza Shahzad Akbar is a pioneering Pakistani human rights lawyer and director of the Foundation for Fundamental Rights, an organisation that provides legal aid to enforce fundamental rights guaranteed under the constitution of Pakistan. As a lawyer, he has met survivors and the families of people killed by the drones, and he now represents more than 100 families and survivors. Mr Akbar has filed charges of war crimes against the CIA.
Paul Schulte is an Honorary Professor at Birmingham University's Institute for Cooperation and Security Studies, Senior Visiting Fellow at the Center for Defence Studies at King’s College, University of London and Nonresident Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and at Carnegie Europe, where his research focuses on the future of deterrence, nuclear strategy, nuclear nonproliferation, cyber security, military ethics, and their political implications. He is a member of the Birmingham University Policy Commission on drone warfare. He has been Director of Proliferation and Arms Control in the UK MoD, a UN Disarmament Commissioner for Iraq and a practising group psychotherapist.
Tonje Hessen Schei is an award-winning documentary filmmaker who has worked with independent documentary production since 1996. Her films focus on human rights, the environment and social justice. Tonje Hessen Schei directed and produced PLAY AGAIN and INDEPENDENT INTERVENTION, both of which have won several international awards.