Peter Sattler, director of Camp X-Ray mentions Kristen & the preparation process they went through.
Last spring filmmaker Peter Sattler drove to Kristen Stewart’s Los Angeles home with a box of books and documentaries about Guantanamo Bay. A few days earlier she’d agreed to star as a U.S. soldier in “Camp X-Ray,” named for a real War on Terror encampment, and Sattler wanted to share some of his research.
“I handed Kristen the box and she picked through it and said, ‘I already have all these and, actually, I have some for you to look at,’ “ Sattler recalls. “From the very beginning, Kristen was really into this character. She had not made a movie in two years and, when I talked to her about that, Kirsten said she needed to do something that matters, something that demands she make it.”
Sattler will host a “Camp X-Ray” screening Thursday at the Sundance Kabuki in San Francisco as part of the Sundance Film Festival USA program, which exports entries to local theaters after their premieres in Park City, Utah.
Despite “Camp’s” setting, Sattler insists he’s not pushing an overt political agenda in his feature film debut, which co-stars Payman Maadi as a detainee.
“I didn’t want to make a movie about Guantanamo that was just sensationalistic,” he says. “We do have some intense scenes, but we also have the mundane moments, where the guards are just making coffee or talking about Harry Potter books with the prisoners. That’s how you create the reality.”
Sattler shot “Camp X-Ray” in 21 days over the summer at an abandoned facility for delinquent boys in Whittier (Los Angeles County). Besides bearing considerable resemblance to the actual prison compound in Cuba, the location offered an additional benefit, Sattler explains.
“It’s on 70 acres and all fenced off, so it was great for Kristen. She could walk around and focus on the work without having to worry about some paparazzi guy with a telephoto lens trying to take her picture.”