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.

2011

BEST FULL LENGTH DOCUMENTRAY ($1000.00)

An African Election / Jarreth Merz (89m, Ghana, Switzerland, U S A)

The 2008 presidential elections in Ghana serve as a backdrop for this feature documentary that looks behind-the-scenes at the complex, political machinery of a third world democracy struggling to legitimize itself to its first world contemporaries. At stake in this race are the fates of two political parties that will do almost anything to win. The film follows the key players for almost three months to provide an unprecedented insider's view of the political, economic and social forces at work in Ghana. Throughout the documentary, the film maker depicts the pride and humanity of the larger-than-life politicians, party operatives and citizens who battle for the soul of their country.

BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY ($500.00)

Where Do I Stand? / Molly Blank (38m, South Africa)

When xenophobic attacks broke out across South Africa in 2008, many were shocked by a violence that felt like a violation of the principles of their democratic nation. Where Do I Stand? is a window into the lives of seven young people grappling with their actions during and after this violence. They include a Rwandan refugee, a girl wrestling with the reality of foreigners in her township, a boy facing calls of cowardice, a girl whose family sheltered their Malawian gardener. This violence was another challenge to a country still struggling with the legacy of apartheid, poverty, unemployment, and racial divisions. The film captures the optimistic voices of youth struggling with their experiences and expectations while trying to figure out their own places in this complex nation.

AUDIENCES CHOICE AWARDS

St. Louis, MO Audiences, Full-length Documentary

Enter the Demon Drummer / Ram Loevy (70m, Israel)

It seemed like a simple story: a group of Israeli 'drum addicts' travels to the Republic of Mali, to study the Djembe, the ceremonial African drumming. Gradually it becomes a highly charged encounter between black Muslims and white Jews, between Hi-Tec experts and poor villagers and ends as a heart breaking love affair.

St. Louis, MO Audiences, Short Documentary

The Stinking Ship / Bagassi Koura (27m, U S A)

The Stinking Ship is a documentary about the Probo Koala, a tanker ship from Europe that, on August 19, 2006, dumped 528 tons of toxic waste in Cote d'Ivoire. This caused the sickness of thousands of individuals and the death of several people, in what quickly became known as the Probo Koala scandal, one of the biggest environmental disasters of the past decade.

Barbados' Audiences

Sombras / Oriol Canals (94m, France, Spain)

Every year, immigrants beach on the Spanish coasts. At times, it's like they've always been there, as if they were part of some strange rites of spring, irrevocably doomed to be washed up on the shores of my land. Nameless faces haunting my thoughts... How to film people who are afraid to be seen? How to tell their stories when all they want is to forget? The strength and originality of Sombras (shadows) is that it gives a voice to illegal immigrants as they tell their stories, full face, to their families back in Africa. These audiovisual letters form the structure of the film. Scraps of shattered lives. A brief journey from the shadows into the light. Speaking directly to us, looking us in the eye, they hold up a mirror to whatever is left of our humanity.

Cameroon's Audiences

Twiga Stars: Tanzania's Soccer Sisters / Nisha Ligon (78m, Tanzania, Thailand, U S A)

Follow a year in the life of the Twiga Stars, Tanzania's national women's football team, as they come together for their biggest competition ever. Through the gruel of intensive practices, the heartbreak of team cuts, and the tragedies of life that strike along the way, the girls support each other and work together to achieve what no one could have imagined. Cheer on the Twiga Stars as they fight together to prove 'wanawake wanaweza,' meaning 'women are capable.'

2010

BEST FULL LENGTH DOCUMENTRAY ($1000.00)

Harlem Mart 125 / Rachelle Gardner

A documentary about the epic struggle and complexities surrounding the redevelopment of Harlem, especially Harlem's main commercial sector. This film takes its viewers on a historical journey that depicts the economic transition of 125th street from the late 1960's to present day. This is a story that takes an introspective look at the changing face of the most well known African-American neighborhood and examines a complexity of issues that surround this community in peril!

The Road to Nkunda / Douglas Busby

In a region where war has raged for many years and almost no news ever comes out of the region, the filmmakers find themselves on an unpredictable quest for an answer. What are the rebels in eastern DR Congo fighting for? There is no handbook to prepare them for what they are about to experience as they push forward towards the ultimate prize, the rebel leader General Nkunda himself. After unsuccessful negotiations with the United Nations and the Congolese Army, they forge ahead, without permission, to find the elusive Rebel General.

BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY ($500.00)

Music By Prudence / Roger Ross Williams

AUDIENCES CHOICE AWARDS

Shades of the Border / Patrick William Smith

Located on the same small island divided by class, wealth, and skin color, Haiti and the Dominican Republic face heated immigration issues. This film explores the disconnect between the Dominican media and the reality of violence and racism against Haitians in the Dominican Republic.

Freddy Illanga / Katrin Hansing

The film looks at the unusual life story as a Congolese rebel youth, his time and relationship with Che Guevara and his long awaited re-encounter with his family. It is a film about an African man whose life has predominantly been determined by the power struggles of the Cold War and Cuban Revolution and who is now trying to take his destiny back into his own hands.

The Athlete / Davey Frankel and Rasselas Lakew

The remarkable and true life story of the great Ethiopian Olympic marathon runner, Abebe Bikila. The film is an extraordinary narrative feature that seamlessly blends autobiography, biopic, drama and documentary. It investigates the inner workings of a man who is ceaseless and single-minded in his journey for greatness.

I'm Not Black, I'm Colored / Kiersten Chace

In the wake of one of the greatest failed social experiments in the history of mankind, 'I'm not Black, I'm Colored' is the first documentary film to look at the legacy of Apartheid from the viewpoint of the Cape Colored.

YOUNG FILMMAKERS AWARD ($250)

Why Us? Left Behind and Dying / Claudia Pryor

A story of a small group of inner-city African-American teenagers exploring the social, cultural, and scientific reasons why HIV rates are disproportionately high in black America and Africa. They explore the connection between HIV and secrecy, gender inequality, and homophobia in the black community. They also find out how prison incarceration, racism, and poverty help the virus flourish in their world.

2009

BEST FULL LENGTH DOCUMENTRAY ($1000.00)

First Place

The Black Candle / M K Asante Jr

Narrated by Maya Angelou, The Black Candle is a landmark film that uses Kwanzaa as a vehicle to explore and celebrate the African-American experience.

Death of Two Sons / Micah Schaffer

This documentary explores the circumstances surrounding the murder of Guinean immigrant, Amadou Diallo in New York City, at the hands of the NYPD. Jesse Thyne, and exuberant American Peace Corps volunteer who lived in and worked with Amadou's family in his home village in Guinea, died there less than a year after Amadou's shooting. "Death of Two Sons" examines the political, personal and spiritual implications of these tragic deaths.

Second Place

The Little Black School House / Sylvia Hamilton

The Little Black School House unearths the hidden story of Canada's racially segregated Black schools. It is a poignant and unfailingly honest evocation of the struggle of the children, women and men to achieve dignity and equality in education--a right fundamental to democracy.

Third Place

Kick The Lion - witchcraft and Football in Africa / Oliver G. Becke

What can you do to strengthen your own body and mind before playing a soccer match? What can you do to weaken your opponent? KICK THE LION explores the secret but fascinating world of Traditional African Medicine & Religion! You may call it 'juju', 'muti', 'witchcraft' or 'magic' - Use the fat of the lion, the hoof of a zebra or the hand of a monkey - mix it with herbs and pray!

AUDIENCES CHOICE AWARDS

Jamaica For Sale / Esther Figueroa and Diana McCaulay

The Caribbean is the region's most economically dependent on Tourism. As Jamaica is irreversibly transformed by the travel service industry, the documentary "Jamaica for Sale" documents this transformation and also counters the dominant view that tourism is the savior of Jamaican people.

SHORT LENGTH CATEGORY

First Place ($500)

Nora / Alla Kovgan, David Hinton

Shot in Southern Africa, "Nora" is based on childhood memories of the dancer Nora Chipaumire who was born in Zimbabwe in 1965. Using performance and dance, she brings her history to life in a swiftly moving poem of sound and image. The original score was composed by a Zimbabwean legend - Thomas Mapfumo.

Wild Ocean / Steve McNicholas, Luke Cresswell

Wild Ocean is in an uplifting, action-packed large-format and 3D cinema experience capturing one of nature's greatest migration spectacles. Plunge into an underwater feeding frenzy like no other, amidst the dolphins, sharks, whales, gannets, seals and billions of fish. Filmed off the Wild Coast of South Africa. This is where Africa meets the Sea.

Second Place

Massacre at Murambi / Sam Kauffmann

Does the way we responded to the genocide in Rwanda tell us about whom we are as members of the 'Global Village' and predict our response to Darfur?

Third Place

But Some Are Brave / Grace Channer

But Some Are Brave is a five-minute oil painted animated film infused with evocative vocals and a lyrical sounds cape. A poetic chronicle, it weaves the cultural and political histories of communities under attack into a visually spectacular testament to the power of struggle and resistance.

Audience Choice

Wild Ocean / Steve McNicholas, Luke Cresswell

Wild Ocean is in an uplifting, action-packed large-format and 3D cinema experience capturing one of nature's greatest migration spectacles. Plunge into an underwater feeding frenzy like no other, amidst the dolphins, sharks, whales, gannets, seals and billions of fish. Filmed off the Wild Coast of South Africa. This is where Africa meets the Sea

2007

BEST FULL LENGTH DOCUMENTRAY

First Place ($1000)

NSSM / Del Walters (72m, U S A)

The real story of the collapse of Africa. The film traces the roots of the CIA in Africa and how racism and American ignorance fueled foreign policy. To make their case the film makers use never before heard audio tapes, films and newly declassified textual records from the National Archives that truly revealed the real reason as to why the brightest lights on the African continent are dark

Second Place ($700)

Revolution '67 / Marylou Tibaldo-Bongiorno (90m, USA)

The American struggle with race, inequality, idealism, and power in the 1960s is explored through the story of the riots that erupted in Newark, New Jersey, in 1967. The untold story of what really happened during the Newark riots is told in archival footage, bold animation, and from the mouths of the people who lived it. The film's coda measures the vital signs of Newark today.

Third Place ($500)

Reyita / Oliva Acosta, Elena Ortega (84m, Cuba, Spain)

The story of a Cuban, black woman who was born in 1902: Maria de los Reyes, Reyita. Her story would have gone unnoticed, even by her own family, if her youngest daughter had not written a book about it. A story of slavery, discrimination and struggle at a time when being a woman meant invisibility and fighting for survival.

BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY

First Place ($500)

The Imam and the Pastor / Alan Channer (39m, Nigeria, United Kingdom)

The unlikely partnership between a Muslim fundamentalist preacher and a Christian evangelist from Nigeria. The film traces their journey from killing and vengeance to healing and friendship. It explores how, together, they have brought peace to their communities.

Second Place ($300)

No Capitulation / Richard Dailey (28m, Cameroon, France)

lives and works in Paris, France, and in Bandjoun, Cameroon. He is creating an art institute, Bandjoun Station, on family land in his ancestral village in Western Cameroon. Bandjoun Station is an artistically ambitious and politically audacious project that the artist has funded himself. On a high plateau in equatorial Cameroon, art history meets ancestor worship.

Third Place ($200)

Living with Slim: Kids Talk about HIV/AIDS / Sam Kauffmann (29m, Uganda, U S A)

lives and works in Paris, France, and in Bandjoun, Cameroon. He is creating an art institute, Bandjoun Station, on family land in his ancestral village in Western Cameroon. Bandjoun Station is an artistically ambitious and politically audacious project that the artist has funded himself. On a high plateau in equatorial Cameroon, art history meets ancestor worship.

AUDIENCES CHOICE AWARDS

Sisters of No Mercy / LukacRoegler (90m, Germany, USA)

Told through the eyes of Faith, Linda, Betty and Queen, 'Sisters of No Mercy' deals with the widely neglected fate of 50,000 Nigerian girls whose dream of a better future turned into a prostitution nightmare on the streets of Europe. Almost exclusively recruited from one small animist region in Nigeria most of these girls not only suffer from the terrible exploitation as sex slaves, but have to go through an occult "juju" ritual that inescapably ties them to their traffickers until they repay their individual debt of up to €60,000.

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