A screening of “The Heart of Nuba” will take place at 7 p.m. Friday at the Cascade Theatre in downtown Redding. Directed by Ken Carlson—who will attend the screening with his wife, Katrina—and produced by Maria Shriver, the film tells the story of Dr. Tom Catena, who ministers to the forgotten people of the Nuba Mountains of Sudan.
The only surgeon within 200 miles, Dr. Catena does his best to save lives in the midst of carnage and terror, treating as many as 400 patients a day at Mother of Mercy Hospital, nestled in the heart of the Nuba Mountains.
In a New York Times article, Nicholas Kristof wrote that Dr. Catena is driven by his Catholic faith. Dr. Catena noted, “I’ve been given benefits from the day I was born. A loving family. A great education. So I see it as an obligation, as a Christian and as a human being.”
Kristof cited an unusual tribute by a Muslim chief. “He’s Jesus Christ,” the chief said, explaining that Jesus healed the sick, made the blind see and helped the lame walk—and that is what Dr. Catena does every day. In 2015 Dr.Catena was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.
Carlson will participate in Q&A after the screening and his wife will perform before the showing. A guest speaker from the national Darfur Refuge Project will speak before the screening.
Carlson began his filmmaking career in Reality TV, producing over 175 feature segments for the FOX hit “America’s Most Wanted” and most recently returned to his roots with the NBC reality show “Lost.”
Carlson is perhaps best known for his documentary “Go Tigers,” which won several awards, and went on to a successful theatrical run. He also produced two Academy Award-nominated documentaries—Emmy Award-winning “Amarosa” and acclaimed and award-winning “Wild Bill.” Katrina Carlson, a singer-songwriter and actress who wrote the music for “The Heart of Nuba,” has sung with Kenny Loggins, Rick Springfield, Eddie Money, and Joan Jett among others.
Coincidentally, she is a graduate of Brown University, Dr. Catena’s alma mater, with a degree in International Relations, and then went on to the Manhattan School of Music. She has appeared in a variety of productions and released several albums.
Friday’s screening is sponsored by Genocide No More—Save Darfur, CEP America, Mercy Medical Center Redding and St. Elizabeth Community Hospital in Red Bluff, Lee and Judy Salter, MD Imaging, and Mercy Beyond Borders.
Proceeds from the event will benefit Dr. Catena’s work in the Nuba Mountains through The Take Heart Foundation. The foundation, based in Wilmington, Del., is currently raising funds to buy supplies like vaccines and syringes to support the local school and, most importantly, to continue to train the Nuba staff and prepare surgeons to one day operate their hospital independently.
Tickets are $10, adults and seniors; $5, children and students. Tickets are available at the Cascade Theater box office, by calling 243-8877 or visiting www.cascadetheatre.org.