AWARD WINNING DOCUMENTARIES

2014

BEST FULL LENGTH DOCUMENTRAY ($1000.00)

Camarada Presidente (Comrade President) / Mosco Kamwendo (90m, Zimbabwe, Mozambique)

Samora Moisés Machel is a 1930’s Mozambican village boy who is initiated into the struggle for the independence of his country, through his own experiences with Portuguese colonialism. With vigor and charisma, he rises to become a daring military strategist and a psychologically resourceful leader. But the independence of Mozambique alone is not enough as his country cannot survive with racist Rhodesia and Apartheid South Africa as neighbors. This is a difficult situation requiring difficult solutions, some of which leaves Samora’s image in poor light. A unique, non-corrupt African leader who insists on the executive being the first to sacrifice and the last to benefit, but nonetheless a human being with his own weaknesses and mistakes to make. After helping the Zimbabweans to achieve their independence, Samora decides to go for apartheid South Africa, which has the strongest military on the African continent. Although he has enjoyed popular support from his people and his colleagues in government, all along, the war with apartheid South Africa is one he finds himself fighting alone, towards his final days.

BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY ($500.00)

Natsanat (Freedom) / Cheryl Halpern (25m, USA, Ethiopia)

'Natsanat' (Freedom) documents the heroic stories of young female freedom fighters in Ethiopia during the 20th century. These women left their families and homes to join the struggle to bring freedom, peace and democracy to their country. They serve as role models for leadership and courage for women.

AUDIENCES CHOICE AWARDS

CAVE HILL, BARBADOS (MARCH 6 - 9, 2014)

Grenada: Colonialism and Conflict / Valerie Scoon (45m, Grenada, USA)

This documentary chronicles the philosophical and sometimes bloody struggles Grenadians have waged against colonialism and its long lasting psychological influences. Grenadian leaders fought against colonialism in different ways. Julian Fedon freed 100 slaves to fight the British. Eric Gairy led the poor people in massive strike and obtained many improvements for them. Maurice Bishop led a successful coup against Eric Gairy in 1979, promising education and societal reform. History tells the tale, however, that even as Grenadian leaders have struck blows at colonialism, they have at times employed the tools of oppression taught to them by their colonial masters.

LAGOS, NIGERIA (MARCH 20 - 23, 2014)

Daughters of the Niger Delta / Ilse van Lamoen (56m, Nigeria, Netherlands)

The film tells a different story about the Niger Delta than the usual media reports about oil outputs, conflict, and kidnapping. The film gives a taste of everyday life in the region through the eyes of three ordinary women: Hannah, Naomi, and Rebecca. Their personal stories shed light on human rights violations in the Niger Delta that we rarely hear about in the news.

2013

BEST FULL LENGTH DOCUMENTRAY ($1000.00)

Songs of Redemption / Miquel Galofre (78m, Spain, Jamaica)

The film reveals a stream of consciousness as told by Kingston prisoners incarcerated for numerous crimes. The prison, once a concrete holding area for African slaves, is devoid of basic human necessities and reflects a reality of unimaginable consequence. The movie exemplifies the unique transformation of an extremely violent environment into a new state of creative and healing artistic collaborations. Through the compassionate vision of Superintendent Fairweather, prison staffs are guided to recognize inmates as human beings whose lives could be renewed and positive outcomes unveiled through the use of creative outlets and skills. Combined with the efforts of Social Activist, Carla Gullotta, programs were initiated to support continuing education such as music production, computer technology, welding and other skill based opportunities. For these prisoners, as described by one inmate, redemption comes when the criminal moves from a very dark hopeless place into the light, the light of life and forgiveness.

BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY ($500.00)

Shokran, Toni / Nahid Toubia (12m, Sudan)

In September 2011 the African American novelist and Nobel Laureate for literature, Toni Morrison published a letter addressed 'To a Sudanese Woman', in which she expresses her thoughts and feelings about the violations of women as a reflection to a Youtube video of a Sudanese woman being lashed for an unknown moral crime. A young Sudanese woman and her friends gather together to read Toni's letter and decided to respond to Toni Morrison. They say 'Shokran Toni,' which means 'Thank You Toni' in Arabic, for bringing the attention of the world to their plight under the fundamentalist Islamic military rule. They take Toni (and the viewers) on a journey around Sudan telling the history of the country and its people, including the recent events of civil war and genocide committed by the regime, which caused the country to divide.

AUDIENCES CHOICE AWARDS

MISSOURI HISTORY MUSEUM, ST. LOUIS, MO (March 1-3, 2013)

Takeo: A Percussionist with Down Syndrome / Takashi Tokida (76m, Japan)

An inspirational film about a young Japanese musician with Down Syndrome. Takeo Niikura has always loved music and socially interacts with people through the power of music. Having attempted several instruments through his development, Takeo had found a love for African drumming after having participated in a drumming workshop in elementary school. Now 24 years old and with many performances under his belt, he finally achieved his long-held dream by signing-up for a drumming workshop in Senegal, the homeland of his beloved instrument. The documentary follows his development as a musician as well as an individual. Takeo’s enthusiasm for music is inspirational, and his journey unforgettable.

PHILADELPHIA, PA (March 16-17, 2013)

Flare / Creative Artistic (10m, Netherlands)

An intimate look at the life of a Dutch woman suffering from an extreme case of Lupus. We meet Ida and follow her through day to day life, from long train rides seeking medical help to the intimacies of her past in this monochromatic short film. As though from a first person observer, we hope to better understand a less than popular disease and the effects of its affliction.

2012

BEST FULL LENGTH DOCUMENTRAY ($1000.00)

Camarada Presidente (Comrade President) / Mosco Kamwendo (90m, Zimbabwe, Mozambique)

Samora Moisés Machel is a 1930’s Mozambican village boy who is initiated into the struggle for the independence of his country, through his own experiences with Portuguese colonialism. With vigor and charisma, he rises to become a daring military strategist and a psychologically resourceful leader. But the independence of Mozambique alone is not enough as his country cannot survive with racist Rhodesia and Apartheid South Africa as neighbors. This is a difficult situation requiring difficult solutions, some of which leaves Samora’s image in poor light. A unique, non-corrupt African leader who insists on the executive being the first to sacrifice and the last to benefit, but nonetheless a human being with his own weaknesses and mistakes to make. After helping the Zimbabweans to achieve their independence, Samora decides to go for apartheid South Africa, which has the strongest military on the African continent. Although he has enjoyed popular support from his people and his colleagues in government, all along, the war with apartheid South Africa is one he finds himself fighting alone, towards his final days.

BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY ($500.00)

Natsanat (Freedom) / Cheryl Halpern (25m, USA, Ethiopia)

'Natsanat' (Freedom) documents the heroic stories of young female freedom fighters in Ethiopia during the 20th century. These women left their families and homes to join the struggle to bring freedom, peace and democracy to their country. They serve as role models for leadership and courage for women.

AUDIENCES CHOICE AWARDS

CAVE HILL, BARBADOS (MARCH 6 - 9, 2014)

Grenada: Colonialism and Conflict / Valerie Scoon (45m, Grenada, USA)

This documentary chronicles the philosophical and sometimes bloody struggles Grenadians have waged against colonialism and its long lasting psychological influences. Grenadian leaders fought against colonialism in different ways. Julian Fedon freed 100 slaves to fight the British. Eric Gairy led the poor people in massive strike and obtained many improvements for them. Maurice Bishop led a successful coup against Eric Gairy in 1979, promising education and societal reform. History tells the tale, however, that even as Grenadian leaders have struck blows at colonialism, they have at times employed the tools of oppression taught to them by their colonial masters.

LAGOS, NIGERIA (MARCH 20 - 23, 2014)

Daughters of the Niger Delta / Ilse van Lamoen (56m, Nigeria, Netherlands)

The film tells a different story about the Niger Delta than the usual media reports about oil outputs, conflict, and kidnapping. The film gives a taste of everyday life in the region through the eyes of three ordinary women: Hannah, Naomi, and Rebecca. Their personal stories shed light on human rights violations in the Niger Delta that we rarely hear about in the news.

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