Cinequest 2021: Maya Sanbar Illuminates Child Refugee Crisis With Footsteps On The Wind

Having experienced the trauma of being a refugee herself, filmmaker Maya Sanbar knows its effect on children globally — whether it be the result of war, climate change, or natural disaster. After being inspired by the song “Inshallah” and connecting with its writer/performer Sting (perhaps you’ve heard of him), Sanbar collaborated with the Brazilian animation studio Dirty Work to create “Footsteps on the Wind,” now streaming at Cinequest.

Through animation, Sanbar and her team are able to combine global fairy tale elements, children’s resilience, and our common humanity into an engaging and moving six minutes. They’re cartoon characters, but every family depicted could be us. They are us. Inshallah.

The filmmaker joined me from her home in London to talk about the film and its potential to help children who have undergone this experience as well as be potentially used in schools. “Footsteps on the Wind” has already been integrated into a UN exhibition on refugees, and, of course, Sting is on board. It’s a timely issue, and I’m grateful we got this chance to talk.

About Derek McCaw 2093 Articles
In addition to running Fanboy Planet, Derek has written for ActionAce, Daily Radar, Once Upon A Dime, and The Wave. He has contributed stories to Arcana Comics (The Greatest American Hero) and Monsterverse Comics (Bela Lugosi's Tales from the Grave). He has performed with ComedySportz and Silicon Valley Shakespeare, though relocated to Hollywood to... work in an office? If you ever played Eric's Ultimate Solitaire on the Macintosh, it was Derek's voice as The Weasel that urged you to play longer. You can buy his book "I Was Flesh Gordon" on the Amazon link at the right. Email him at