Law student to show award-winning Bosnia video
A girl looks over the makeshift bridge in Mostar, Bosnia,
where the 500-year-old bridge was destroyed during the war.
in justice and filmmaking led Cristian DeFrancia, a third-year
U.Va. Law student to
make "Mirror to History: Confronting War Crimes in Bosnia."
The film was named Best Political Documentary by the New York
International Independent Film and Video Festival last July.
will screen the 52-minute work Feb. 15 at 4:30 p.m. at the University
Bookstore on the mezzanine level. The screening is free and open
to the public. A discussion will follow. The event is sponsored
by the Miller Center of Public Affairs, the Virginia Journal for
International Law, the John Norton Moore Society and the International
Cristian DeFrancia, U.Va. law student and filmmaker
of DeFrancia's older siblings attended film school and work in
related areas. Stimulated by their involvement in the field, he
took film classes at night, while majoring in English at Reed
College by day. After moving to Washington, D.C., in 1996 to work
as a paralegal, DeFrancia volunteered to work on the American
Bar Association's Task Force on War Crimes. There, he helped to
draft rules and procedures for ad hoc tribunals that were investigating
war crimes in the former Yugoslavia and in Rwanda. Two years later
he attended a diplomatic conference in Rome called to discuss
the establishment of a Permanent International Criminal Court.
As a freelance journalist for ComCast Cablevision, he was allowed
to tape the meeting and decided to create a video report on humanitarian
the U.Va. Law School, DeFrancia obtained a public service fellowship,
along with the sponsorship of the Lawyers' Committee for Human
Rights and the American Bar Association. In the summer of 1999,
he headed to The Hague, Netherlands, to videotape interviews at
the Yugoslav War Crimes Tribunal while NATO bombed Kosovo. After
the bombing stopped in June, he traveled with a friend to Bosnia
to see the landscape and tape interviews with political officials
and ordinary people who had witnessed atrocities during the war.
videotape, which attempts to present fairly the three sides of
the conflict -- Serbian, Bosnian and Croatian -- is the result.
in his final year of law school, DeFrancia is considering a career
in media law.