Guantanamo's Child

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Guantanamo's Child
Guantanamo's Child.jpg
Directed by Patrick Reed
Michelle Shephard (co-director)[1]
Produced by Patrick Reed
Michelle Shephard
Peter Raymont
Written by Michelle Shephard
Starring Omar Khadr
Dennis Edney[2]
Music by Mark Korven
Cinematography John Westheuser
Edited by Cathy Gulkin[1]
White Pine Pictures
(in association with CBC, SRC, Al Jazeera Media Network; with the participation of Canada Media Fund, Ontario Media Development Corporation; and with the assistance of Shaw Media Hot Docs Fund)[1]
Release date
Running time
80 minutes
Country Canada
Language English

Guantanamo's Child is a 2015 Canadian documentary film.[3] Directed by Patrick Reed and Michelle Shephard based on Shephard's 2009 book Guantanamo's Child: The Untold Story of Omar Khadr, the film profiles Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen whose conviction on disputed war crimes charges and incarceration at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp has been a prominent political issue in Canada.[4]


The documentary features the story of Omar Khadr, in which he was captured in 2002 by Americans in Afghanistan and was charged with war crimes. The film takes an in-depth look at how Khadr at 15 years old became the center of one of the first American war crimes trial since the 1940s through Khadr’s own perspective. Omar Khadr for the first time was given the opportunity to speak for himself on camera. Khadr pleaded guilty to five war crimes in October 2010 for a plea deal which gave him a chance to possibly return to Canada and an eight-year sentence. Omar Khadr spent a decade at Guantanamo,"Guantanamo’s Child: Omar Khadr features unprecedented access and exclusive interviews with Khadr during his first few days of freedom in Edmonton, where he was released on bail on May 7, 2015".[5] The film is in part based on Michelle Shepard’s book Guantanamo’s Child: The Untold Story of Omar Khadr; the documentary follows through the timeline between Khadr’s childhood and his time at Guantanamo till his current life of freedom.


The film was produced by White Pine Pictures, in association with Al Jazeera and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.[4] This documentary is an expanded version of a television program that aired on CBC in May 2015 called Omar Khadr: Out of the Shadows.[6] A version of the film aired on Al Jazeera English in June 2015.[7] It had its world premiere at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.[3][4][6] At the 2015 Calgary International Film Festival, the film won the Audience Choice Award for Best Documentary Feature.[8] In December, the film was announced as part of TIFF's annual Canada's Top Ten screening series of the so-called ten best Canadian feature films of the year.[9]


Guantanamo’s Child: Omar Khadr was nominated for an Emmy at the 37th Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards. The film was nominated in the Outstanding Coverage of Current News Story—Long Form category, along with PBS Frontline projects, Secrets, Politics and Torture and Inside Assad’s Syria. [10] The documentary has also received the Best Direction in a Documentary Program award at the Academy of Canadian Cinema.[11]


  1. ^ a b c "GuantanamosChild Press Kit" (PDF). Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  2. ^ Stephen Hunt (26 September 2015). "CIFF: Guantanamo's Child features first interview with Omar Khadr". Calgary Herald. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Guantanamo's Child: Omar Khadr (programme note)". Toronto International Film Festival. 2015. Archived from the original on September 7, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c "'Guantanamo’s Child: Omar Khadr' Set To Make Its World Premiere At TIFF". ET Canada, August 5, 2015.
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b Peter Howell (5 August 2015). "Finally knowing the real Omar Khadr". Toronto Star. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  7. ^ "Guantanamo's Child - Omar Khadr". Al Jazeera English, June 7, 2015.
  8. ^ "2015 Award Winners Announced". Calgary International Film Festival. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  9. ^ "TIFF reveals Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival line-up". The Globe and Mail, December 8, 2015.
  10. ^
  11. ^

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