The searing story of President Duterte's bloody campaign against drug dealers and addicts in the Philippines, told with unprecedented and intimate access to both sides of the war - the Manila police and an ordinary family from the slum.
“In this explosive cinematic investigation, directors James Jones and Olivier Sarbil get alarmingly close to the battle for the streets and soul of the Philippines. Their cameras stand before both sides — the victimised slum communities and the police squads blithely executing their countrymen from a perverse moral high ground. The staggering visions of violence, shot with a kinetic slickness and immediacy, are so electrifying that viewers will have to remind themselves: this is happening now, this is real.”
Produced and Directed by James Jones
Filmed and Directed by Olivier Sarbil
Produced by Dan Edge
EDITED BY MICHAEL HARTE
PRODUCTION MANAGED BY PHILIPPA LACEY
MUSIC COMPOSED BY UNO HELMERSSON
Executive Produced by Raney Aronson-Rath, Mark Edwards, Mandy Chang, Hayley Reynolds, Sandra Whipham and Rebecca Lichtenfeld
A FRONTLINE and ARTE France production with Mongoose Pictures in association with BBC Storyville and Bertha Doc Society
ON THE PRESIDENT’S ORDERS
Melbourne International Film Festival
DATE: 8 August 2019
LOCATION: Hoyts 10, Melbourne, Australia
DATE: 10 August 2019
LOCATION: Sofitel Melbourne On Collins Auditorium, Melbourne, Australia
Corato Open Space
DATE: 18 August 2019
LOCATION: Corato Open Space, Italy
DATE: 22 August 2019
LOCATION: Twitter HQ, London
DATE: 24 August 2019
LOCATION: PIPPINGFORD PARK, NUTLEY, EAST SUSSEX, TN22 3HW
DATE: 13 September 2019
LOCATION: Amnesty International, London
The Production Team
Producer and Director - James Jones
James Jones is an award-winning British director who makes documentary films for international television and theatrical release.
His documentaries tackle important issues through powerful personal stories told in a filmic style and narrative. He has made films about police shootings in America, suicide in the military, wars in Ukraine and Gaza, and undercover investigations in Saudi Arabia and North Korea. His background in current affairs investigations means the films still have a hard journalistic edge while using the craft techniques of documentary.
His films have won two Emmys, three DuPonts, a Grierson, a Rory Peck, a Frontline Club, a Royal Television Society, a Broadcast Award, two Overseas Press Club of America, two Golden Nymphs, and a Venice TV Award, as well as being nominated five times at the BAFTAs. Recently, he co-directed the Emmy-winning Mosul with Olivier Sarbil.
Cinematographer and Director - Olivier Sarbil
Olivier Sarbil is an award-winning French documentary director and Emmy-winning cinematographer based in London. Over the past decade, Olivier has covered conflicts and critical social issues across Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and North America. With strong visual storytelling, Olivier’s films are intimate and human, conveying emotions through beautiful and cinematic imagery.
His work has been recognised with awards from a variety of organisations, including, Emmy for Outstanding Cinematography, DuPont, Royal Television Society, One World Media, Overseas Press Club of America, Broadcast Awards, Bayeux-Calvados for war correspondents (twice), Golden Nymph, Rory Peck, Venice TV Award, Frontline Club, Grand Award and Gold Medal at the New York Festivals International TV & Film. His imagery has also garnered a BAFTA Nomination for Best Cinematography.
Producer - Dan Edge
Dan has produced and directed films from all over the world, in the main for FRONTLINE PBS, as well as for Channel 4, the BBC and HBO.
His most recent film as a director, Last Days of Solitary, was a feature-length documentary telling the story of solitary confinement in US prisons. It was praised by critics as ‘revealing the dark truth of solitary’, ‘a harrowing visceral documentary’ and ‘unflinching and harrowing’. Before that he filmed, produced and directed Outbreak – made during the height of the West African Ebola epidemic. The film won a BAFTA, Emmy, Grierson and numerous other awards.
As a senior producer for FRONTLINE PBS, Dan has overseen Mosul (dir: Olivier Sarbil and James Jones) Exodus (dir: James Bleumel); Children of Syria (dir: Marcel Mettelsiefen); and many other films.
Executive Producer - Raney Aronson-Rath
Raney Aronson-Rath is the executive producer of FRONTLINE, PBS’ flagship investigative journalism series, and is a leading voice on the future of journalism. She has been internationally recognized for her work to expand FRONTLINE’s reporting capacity and reimagine the documentary form across multiple platforms.
Editor - Michael Harte
On The President’s Orders’ is Michael’s second feature length documentary. He has edited a number of BAFTA and Grierson-nominated documentaries for BBC and Channel 4, and is currently cutting a three part series for Netflix.
His first feature length documentary was the BAFTA nominated and Oscar shortlisted ‘Three Identical Strangers’ for CNN Films which won the Sundance jury prize for storytelling. He was nominated for best editing at the American Cinema Editors, Critics Choice, and Cinema Eye Honours awards.
Composer - Uno Helmersson
Uno Helmersson is an award winning Swedish composer whose credits include the worldwide hit tv series The Bridge, broadcast in more than 100 territories and for which he was awarded a Golden FIPA.
Other major credits include the Emmy winning Armadillo documentary series following a group of Danish soldiers for 6 months in Afghanistan; Magnus, about the life of Norway’s Mozart of Chess directed by Benjamin Ree for Norway’s Moskus Film; Susanne Bier’s A Second Chance, additional score; Mikkei Norgaard’s The Absent One; and Zentropa’s Department Q film series.
Shot in the style of a thriller, this observational film combines the look and feel of a narrative feature film with a real life revelatory journalistic investigation into a campaign of killings.
The film uncovers a murky world where crime, drugs and politics meet in a deathly embrace - and reveal that although the police have been publicly ordered to stop extra-judicial killings, the deaths continue.
Directors, Olivier Sarbil and James Jones, on location in Manila, Philippines.