2014 Humanitarian Award Winners

Humanitarian Award


The Humanitarian Award  honors filmmakers who are bringing awareness to issues of Ecological, Political, Social Justice, Health and Wellness, Animals, Wildlife, Conservation and Spiritual importance.     Congratulations to this year’s illustrious winners who are committed to making a difference in the world.

Grand Prize2Davids and Goliath, Leon Lee (USA)
Davids and Goliath Humanitarian AwardAn eye-opening, chilling documentary produced and directed by filmmaker Leon Lee over an eight year period of time.  Powerful, life-changing and shockingly potent, Nobel Peace Prize nominees David Matas and David Kilgour investigate the horrific organ harvesting trade from living Falun Gong practitioners and uncover one of the world’s worst crimes against humanity. A profoundly impactful film  leaves the viewer forever changed. From IndieFEST Film Awards.  Read more about the film hereHumanitarian award DocumentaryHumanitarian Alfre WoodardSoft Vengeance: Albie Sachs and the New South Africa – Abby Ginzberg (USA) – From executive producer Alfre Woodard comes a powerful documentary about a little known man who helped shape a nation. Set in dramatic events leading to the overthrow of apartheid in South Africa this film powerfully follows freedom fighter Albie Sachs with passion and powerful experiences of commitment, justice and forgiveness. From Accolade Global Film Competition

Liam Neeson Humanitarian AwardLove Thy Nature, Sylvie Rokab (USA) – Narrated by Liam Neeson, this documentary feature takes viewers on an awe-inspiring journey into the beauty and intimacy of our relationship with the natural world. And while our environmental crisis threatens the very survival of our own species, a renewed connection with nature holds the key to a highly advanced new era in human evolution. This beautifully crafted film leaves viewers with a sense of hope.  From IndieFEST Film Awards

Documentary Humanitarian AwardOf Many, Linda G. Mills (USA)- Chelsea Clinton is executive producer of this moving film set against the dramatic backdrop of violence in the Middle East and the tension between Jewish and Muslim students on college campuses. It focuses on the transformative relationship between an orthodox rabbi and imam, university chaplains in New York City. Through a series of voyages to communities struck by catastrophe, young religious Jews and Muslims come together. An inspiring and hopeful narrative in the face of a seemingly irreconcilable conflict. From Best Shorts Competition

Animal Rights Humanitarian AwardLucent, Chris Delforce (Australia) – What’s done in the dark will be brought to the light… Lucent is a feature-length documentary about the vast yet largely unseen suffering inherent in the pig farming industry. An outstandingly well researched project, the producers intend to shed light on horrendous practices that are standard in the industry. Horrible conditions and inhumane practices are prevalent and overlooked by the public who really don’t want to know. Narrated by Lindsay McDougall it is a must-see for everyone who wants to take a stand and live with compassion. From IndieFEST Film Awards

Humanitarian winner documentary
The Price of Honor, Xoel Pamos (USA) – A meticulously researched film about the murders of Amina and Sarah Said, who were killed by their own father in a premeditated “honor killing” in Texas. The film follows the lives and death of the sisters while launching a movement to bring Yaser Said to justice, expose law enforcement’s mismanagement of the case and spread awareness of the shocking issue of honor violence
. From Accolade Global Film Competition

Humanitarian Award DocumentaryConsider the Conversation 2, Burning Hay Wagon Productions (USA),  Stories about Cure, Relief, and Comfort – Twenty-one months in the making, Consider the Conversation 2: Stories about Cure, Relief, and Comfort explores the effect of American medicine’s success on the patient/doctor relationship and sheds light on the important role communication plays in helping both patient and doctor navigate the murky waters of severe chronic disease. From Accolade Global Film Competition

Humanitarian Film AwardRed Lines, Spark Media (USA) – A searing exposé of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria, Red Lines follows two unlikely 20-something activists who launch a radical plan for democracy when the international community wouldn’t step up to help the citizens besieged by the brutal Assad regime. Under threat of death, Razan and Mouaz amazingly navigate a minefield armed only with the Internet and the help of heroic “everyday” people.  From Accolade Global Film Competition

Humanitarian Award Cheryl HalpernI Married My Family’s Killer, Emily Kassie (Canada) -Beatrice and Purudenci were childhood sweethearts. They planned to be wed. The only problem was, it was 1994 in Rwanda and Beatrice was being hunted and Purudenci’s family were the hunters. This film documents three couples that married from killer and victim families. The trauma these couples experience is exceptional, and so is the power and resilience of their love for one another. An amazing story of transcendence and how a community consciously decides that forgiveness is the only path for a future. From Best Shorts Competition

Documentary Humanitarian AwardCotton Dreams, Sandeep Rampal Balhara (Poland) – The side effects of a growing economy and extensive use of biotechnology pushed Indian farmers into the world’s greatest agrarian crisis. “Cotton Dreams” delves into life of one such family and brings out a tragic tale of love, life and sacrifice under extreme living conditions in rural India. From Accolade Global Film Competition

Documentary Humanitarian AwardBeautiful Faces, Say Yes Quickly Productions (Mexico), A compelling film about a Mexico City hospital where young lives are transformed. An intimate portrait of a remarkable clinic, the disfigured young patients to whom it offers new lives, and the team medical professionals who believe it’s the best place in the world to practice their unique, life-transforming craft. From Accolade Global Film Competition

Cheryl Halpern Humanitarian AwardNatsanat – Cheryl Halpern (USA) – ‘Natsanat’ (Freedom) documents the heroic stories of young female freedom fighters in Ethiopia during the 20th century. These women left their families to join the struggle to bring freedom, peace and democracy to their country. They serve as role models for leadership and courage for women and played a pivotal role in shaping their country. From Best Shorts Competition

Documentary Award umanitarianMorning Announcements, Brad Etter (USA) – A teenage boy delivers an incredible message to his rigid school during morning announcements. Surprising, touching, poignant this  film is a moving tribute for everyone who believes paradigms can change when people care. From Best Shorts CompetitionAward of Distinction2Humanitarian Award film festivalA Different Kind of Farm, Caroline Harding Productions (USA) – The quest to save the seahorse and sea life shedding light on the complexity of the “farm-raised” versus “wild-caught” issue so prevalent today. Global demand for reef tanks is increasing exponentially. The producers’ goal is to bring awareness to this issue so that solutions can be found. From Accolade Global Film Competition

Humanitarian Award Film FestivalAlegria – A Humanitarian Expedition, Christoph von Toggenburg (Switzerland) – tells the story of an epic solo bicycle expedition across the Himalayas that changed the lives of hundreds of people in need. Supporting leprosy patients and mentally destitute women. Crossing Nepal during the Maoist unrests, conflict stricken Kashmir, Christoph encountered wonderful hospitality, found new friends and touched lives. From Best Shorts Competition

Humanitarian Award Film FestivalBackup Butembo, Elien Spillebeen (Belgium) – The story of some extremely strong women in Eastern Congo. The region has been disrupted by a bloody conflict for more than 15 years. In the town of Butembo, a positive resistance is steadily growing. The people try to regain control over their lives and destiny. When the violence in and around Butembo suddenly escalates the citizens take action, even when their own lives are at stake.  From IndieFEST Film Awards

Humanitarian Award Film FestivalBackyard, Deia Schlosberg (USA) – “Backyard” is a documentary film about fracking and its effects on five people’s lives. Following stories in Pennsylvania, Colorado, North Dakota and Montana, an eerie similarity emerges amongst them, despite the vast differences in geography and personal histories. Animated interludes remind us to step back and consider the bigger picture. From Accolade Global Film Competition

Humanitarian Award Film FestivalBaja, Erick Higuera (Mexico) – “BAJA” was produced to share with the world the amazingly beautiful creatures that inhabit the waters around the Baja and to increase the awareness and importance of preserving the marine life that still exists, especially those most threatened. Stunning visuals guide this documentary. From Best Shorts Competition

Humanitarian AwardBeauty and the Breast, Liliana Komorowska (Canada) – A compelling insight into a devastating reality of breast cancer, as seen through the eyes of several female patients helping demystify the disease while painting poignant and often humorous intimate portraits of survival. The film depicts the process of learning and accepting the terrifying verdict, and details the complexities of every stage of this disease. It is a testament to human resilience and blossoming in the face of adversity.  From Accolade Global Film Competition

Humanitarian Award Film FestivalChew on This: Dangers of the American Diet Exposed, Gary Null & Associates (USA) – The American Diet plays a major role in obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. As the health crisis reaches disastrous proportions, the harmful consequences of food choices extends beyond chronic disease. Today’s food has profound implications on  the planet. Unsound agricultural practices, inhumane factory farming and genetic engineering are pushing us to the brink of environmental calamity. From Accolade Global Film Competition

Humanitarian Award Film Festival

Dingo: Wild Dog at War, Essential Media & Entertainment (Australia) – Dave Graham hunts for solutions to the dilemma surrounding Australia’s native canine the Dingo. Dingoes are responsible for livestock losses and farmers have retaliated with culling. It’s a battle for survival, and it’s escalating. New research shows the Dingo plays a pivotal role in protecting ecosystems. Sadly, the Dingo is on the brink of extinction. Stunning photography and passionate stakeholders, Dingo attempts to untangle one of the most complex and emotional debates in Australia. From Accolade Global Film Competition

Humanitarian Award Film FestivalFirst to Fall – Rachel Anderson (USA) – An intimate tale of friendship and revolution, this coming of age story documents the journey of two young friends, Hamid (26) and Tarek (21), who abandon their peaceful lives as students in Canada to join an unconventional war in their homeland of Libya. From Accolade Global Film Competition

Humanitarian Award Film FestivalFood Patriots, Jeff Spitz (USA) – This documentary film and public engagement campaign has a goal of getting everyone to improve their buying and eating habits by 10%. That’s 10% more fresh fruits and veggies, more organics, more locally grown – 10% from wherever you are on the continuum. As consumers demand better food we will pressure both policy and supply changes in our food system. From IndieFEST Film Awards

Humanitarian Award Film AwardGAIA, Nick Graalman and Erin Fowler (Australia) – Beautiful and extremely creative cinematography and dance, Gaia tells a compelling story  about Mother Earth’s struggle for survival in an increasingly degraded and urbanized planet. Using only music, dance and exceptional filmmaking this short film packs a big impact. From Accolade Global Film Competition

Humanitarian Award Film FestivalGarwin, W&B Productions & Trilok Fusion Media (USA) – A rich and controversial story of Richard Gerwin – the scientist who helped design the first hydrogen bomb, and has since spent much of his career working to make sure such weapons would never be needed. He has advised every president from Eisenhower to Obama. Follow Dr.Garwin on his quest to build a more peaceful, verdant and sustainable world. From global warming, nuclear proliferation and disarmament to the energy crisis, he is committed to finding solutions. From Accolade Global Film Competition

Humanitarian Award Film FestivalGenerosity of Eye, Brad Hall (USA)Julia Louis-Dreyfus narrates the story of a major art collection transforming into education for kids in the Harlem Children’s Zone. It is the very personal tale of discovering how her father William’s passions for art, justice and education collide in a single act of generosity that will leave a lasting legacy for kids in need for years to come. Entertaining, heartwarming and impactful. From IndieFEST Film Awards

Humanitarian Award Film FestivalI’ve Just Had a Dream, Javi Navarro (Spain) – A film short. Two girls. Two cultures. Two visions.  The same dream.  For one it is a blessing, for the other a nightmare.  It is a graceful, subtle and beautifully executed gift of perspective and humanity for every viewer as it holds a mirror to our own perceptions about gratitude. From IndieFEST Film Awards

Humanitarian Award Film FestivalKnow How, Paul Griffin (USA) – An uplifing story and musical written and acted by youth in foster care.  A film about finding redemption in a broken system that creates terrible experiences, all told through the actual kids that have spent their life there. Moving and thought provoking the film gives hope. From IndieFEST Film Awards

Humanitarian AwardModern Nature, Craig Leon (USA) – By the year 2050, approximately 10 billion people will inhabit Earth. Filmed around the globe, this award-winning documentary brings the spectator on a worldwide odyssey where the viewer is challenged to find answers. Includes philosopher Noam Chomsky, street farmer Ron Finley and environmentalist Vandana Shiva. From Best Shorts Competition

Humanitarian Award Film AwardsOlla Rae, Suzanne Hargrove (USA) –Olla Rae is a heart-felt story of compassion and selflessness, community and love for our fellow man. Set in Alexandria, Louisiana, this movie revolves around 85 year old Olla Rae, the woman who has been helping to feed the community for over twenty years, and the volunteers who work alongside her. Inspiring and heart-warming. From Best Shorts Competition

Humanitarian Award Film AwardsProject: Shattered Silence, Colleen Hamilton (USA) – in-depth look at the remarkable real life stories of 46 courageous teenagers. Of struggle and survival, rejection and acceptance, and unwavering hope. Using humor and tragedy, they tackle topics of adoption, immigration, depression, sexual identity and death. An eye-opening film shows true healing begins when we speak about what make us unique. From IndieFEST Film Awards

Humanitarian Award Film FestivalSins Invalid, Patty Berne (USA) – celebrates artists with disabilities and communities who have been historically marginalized. It explores the themes of sexuality, embodiment and the disabled body. A cutting-edge work where normative paradigms of “normal” and “sexy” are challenged and challenges the viewer to examine their own paradigms about these communities. From IndieFEST Film Awards

Humanitarian Award Film FestivalState of Incarceration, 90th Parallel Productions (Canada) – a searing, thought-provoking look at a highly contentious issue as Canada’s criminal justice system undergoes a major refit that may not be either effective or affordable, and might even be taking a major step backward.  Exceptionally well researched, laid out and compelling. From IndieFEST Film Awards

Humanitarian Award Film AwardsSustaining Life, Robert Hess (USA)A riveting look into the lives of the leading scientists, researchers and humanitarians working to transform the lives of the poor. Stunning animation and visuals showcase the landmark United Nations research study, the Millennium Project, to diagnose and address why 1/6th of our population lives on less than one dollar per day. Seen in the Millennium Villages – an ingenious concept that proves poverty can be overcome. It exposes the problem, provides the solution and lets everyone know how we can help. From IndieFEST Film Awards

Humanitarian AwardThe Aryans, Hanfgarn & Ufer Film & TV Produktion & MA Motion Filmproduction (Germany) – Filmmaker Mo Asumang sets out for a tour de force into the abyss of the political evil in Germany and the US. She travels to places where the real Aryans originally came from an area which is now part of Iran. THE ARYANS is a personal journey into the madness of racism during which she meets German neo-Nazis, the US leading racist, the notorious Tom Metzger and Ku Klux Klan members in the alarming twilight of the Midwest. From IndieFEST Film Awards

Humanitarian Award Film FestivalThe Lenape of the Wapahani River, Ball State University (USA) – The Lenape on the Wapahani River brings to life the overlooked story of the Lenape Native Americans during their time in east central Indiana from the 1790s through 1821. The story tells of the Lenape people and their impact on east central Indiana Originally from the coastal areas of New Jersey and Delaware, the Lenape moved westward as settlers expanded across the eastern seaboard. By the end of the American Revolutionary War, they lived along the White River in what is now Indiana.  From Accolade Global Film Competition

Zafrani Humanitarian AwardThe Other Dreamers, Roy Zafrani (Israel)The Other Dreamers is a short documentary about a group of disabled children. For a year, the film follows four disabled children who start a journey, on the way to fulfill their dreams. They won’t let their disabilities interrupt them, even if they are the only ones who believe that it’s possible. A true lesson of inspiration for viewers everywhere. From Best Shorts Competition

Humanitarian Award Film AwardsThe Vow, Cameron Zohoori (USA), A documentary on the journey of Riqie Wainaina, a young Kenyan immigrant, as he attempts to move from a dark history of crime and loss to a position of leadership and in his adopted community of Lowell, Massachusetts. From Accolade Global Film Competition

Humanitarian Award Film FestivalUnter Menschen, DENKmal-Film (Germany) – In Austria is a place that where moral challenges of our civilization collide: guilt, responsibility and redemption. In an old safari park, sealed off from the world live forty chimpanzees formerly used in pharmaceutical experiments and infected with HIV and hepatitis. Traumatized and aggressive they hate humans and have every reason to. They live with four caretakers, two were their jailers at the lab. Today they manage the unique rehabilitation project, to get them out of their lifelong isolation. ‘The chimpanzees show us what it means to be human’ Jane Goodall.  From Accolade Global Film Competition

Humanitarian AwardWind Power – A New Course for Heligoland, Christian Jaburg – DW Duetsche Welle (Germany) – Three huge wind farms are being set up off the island of Heligoland — to become the world’s “first offshore service island” and serve as a base for people involved in the construction and maintenance. Many residents say the money would be better invested in promoting tourism, their main source of income. This series looks at the controversial changes taking place on the picturesque island and the implications on the human population. From Best Shorts Competition


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