Academy Award
Best Documentary Nominee

National Emmy Award
Best Documentary Film

National Emmy Award

Sundance Film Festival Award
Best Director

After two decades of civil war, there is little sign of peace on northern Uganda’s horizon. But amidst the grief and violence, voices are heard – children’s voices – singing strong, without fear. Their bodies shake and stomp to the rhythms of their ancestors. They dance about their homeland, they dance about their future, they dance to be children…and they dance to win. Across the country, Ugandan children are getting ready for the biggest event of the year, the National Music Competition. Over 20,000 schools will compete, but only one will go home the champion, and no one expects it to be Patongo. Schools in refugee camps don’t win awards.

Told through the eyes of three children, WAR/DANCE follows the courageous efforts of Patongo’s students as they pour their hearts into winning this year’s music competition. The war has stolen their homes, their parents, and their childhood. Patongo’s refugee camp packs 60,000 people into its endless squalor. There is no electricity, no running water, and no safe place. Two years ago, the rebel Lords Resistance Army, dragged 29 students from Patongo’s schoolhouse to “join” the army. The bullet holes in the school walls tell the stories the children would rather forget.

Despite the odds, the students endlessly practice their performances, driven by heart, talent, and the need to rebuild their lives. If their bus can safely make it through rebel territory, they’ll take the stage and give it their all. Win or lose, these children will show what true heart can achieve.