IAWRT 2017 International Awards of Excellence

The IAWRT Awards of Excellence were announced at the 37th Biennial Conference of the International  Association of Women in Radio and Television organised by the Philippines Chapter, held in Quezon City, greater Manilla, in the Philippines.

Awards Coordinator Arshiya Ahsan.

Awards Jury: Khedija Lemkecher (Egypt-TV), Luz Rimban (Philippines-TV), Sonia Capio (Philippines-TV), Mirembe Nkuubi (Kenya-Radio), Olya Booyar (Australia-Radio)

Awards Supervising Committee: Ananya Chakraborti (Chair), Liz Miller, Iphigenie Marcoux-Fortier.

Pictured on Awards night: Khedija Lemkecher, Sonia Capio, Arshiya Ahsan, Luz Rimban, Mirembe Nkuubi,




Leila Doss Social Impact Award
Strike A Rock
By Aliki Saragas

In a deeply personal journey, Strike A Rock follows two South African activists who take on the infamous platinum mining company, Lonmin Plc. Primrose Sonti and Thumeka Magwangqana are grandmothers and best-friends living in Nkaneng, Marikana, an informal settlement in rural South Africa that sprung up around a mine operated by Lonmin Plc. This was the company at the heart of the Marikana Massacre of 2012, when 37 striking mineworkers were killed by police. Apart from underpaying workers, Lonmin has consistently reneged on legal obligations to provide housing and infrastructure to local people affected by the mine. Since the 2012 massacre, the living conditions that caused the strike have only gotten worse - and this is what Primrose and Thumeka are fighting against. These two inspiring women formed a women’s organisation, Sikhala Sonke (We Cry Together), after their friend, Paulina, was killed by police. Over time we see them grow into two different leaders in the search for social and economic justice. 

Aliki Saragas is a South African documentary filmmaker and photographer based in Johannesburg. In 2015 she started her own documentary production company, Elafos Productions, to champion women’s stories, recognising the need to emphasise complex and strong roles for women both in front of and behind the lens. Her photojournalism has been featured in Al Jazeera Online and she has lectured at post-graduate symposiums Aliki is currently heading up the Johannesburg Impact and Advocacy team in the newly formed Sisters Working In Film and Television Organisation.

Mette Jansen Innovation Award
Quipu Project-Peru
By Sandra Tabares-Dupue

The Quipu Project is a Transmedia Documentary Project that makes visible the stories of some of the 270,000 women that were affected by the sterilisation campaign carried out in the middle of the 90s in Peru as a government policy during the Alberto Fujimori’s regime. 
Thousands have claimed that they were sterilised without informed consent. In many cases, the operations were not only involuntary but also poorly performed, leaving those affected suffering from painful complications afterwards. Due to the isolated nature of many indigenous communities and the high level of illiteracy, the injustice did not come to light until a long time after Fujimori’s resignation in 2000.

Quipus are knotted cords that were used by the Incas to convey complex messages. This interactive documentary project of the same name is a contemporary interpretation of the quipu system. Through a specially established phone line connected to a website, the testimonies of 150 sterilised people have already been collected, and the number of voices continues to grow. The Quipu Project gives people the tools to make their voices heard. 

Through the interplay between a low-tech telephone line and a high-tech digital interface, the Quipu Project enables communities that are politically, geographically and digitally marginalised to tell their stories in their own words.

Producer Sandra Tabares-Duque, co-directors Rosemarie Lerner and Maria Ignacia Court.

Jai Chandiram Emerging Talent Award
By Samia Badih

Samia Badih's film Rasheed documents the life of Badih's late uncle Rasheed Broum who was killed, at the age of 29, in an airstrike in the city of Sidon during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 – three years before she was born. More than 30 years after the tragedy, Samia goes on a quest to find out more about her uncle’s story of life and death, as it is told by the friends and family who survived him and knew him best, mainly his sister Rasha and his best friend Ghassan. At the heart of the film is the story Rashee'd sister, Rasha who has not coped well with her brother’s loss. Rasheed captures one of the many war stories from the southern city of Sidon, Lebanon through Badih’s own personal journey. 

Honorable Mention, Leila Doss Social Impact Award
Women of the Forest
By Shallah Montero

In Sarawak, Malaysia, the Borneo Tropical Forest is fading into corporate land. The Women of the Kayan and Penan tribe struggle in both mad made destruction and the effects of Climate Change. The consequences of deforestation has taken a toll as Penan women are even being sexually harrassed by timber workers who come from logging companies. This film points out how Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights should be included in Climate Change action and dialogue to protect the rights and health of these women whose struggles are often unnoticed.

Inshallah Montero was the Grand Prize Winner of the Nescafe Video Contest: “Simple Shots, Simple Joys” in the year 2011. She has also received the Best Director and the Best Film awards at the CINESBI 2012 Film Festival for her thesis film, “Ang Lalaking Parisukat”. She has also garnered awards for her film “UN-“  Her thesis film, “Ang Lalaking Parisukat” was also one of the winners at the Manhattan International Film Festival 2013 in New York. Her film, “The Little Reader” was one of the finalists at the Tropfest South East Asia last February 2015. She is currently more active as a freelance director for documentaries as her film “Women of the Shore: The Hidden Burden of Climate Change” was screened at the COP21 Climate Change Conference 2015 in Paris. She considers herself an eternal student and is driven by the uncertainty of life

Honorable Mention, Mette Jansen Innovation Award
On Crafts & Kindness
By Irene Achterbergh

It started with a feeling of helplessness watching the refugee crisis unfold on TV. It became Knit Aid, a hugely popular craft charity that makes gorgeous garments for people fleeing their homes. With care, creativity and lots of yarn, here’s how two women’s simple idea grew into something very special. 

When Shahnaz Ahmed was on maternity leave in the summer of 2015, she spent hours in front of the TV, knitting clothes for her newborn daughter. The refugee crisis was all over the news, and as the daughter of immigrant parents, it made her think about her background, about countries and borders, and about the future, and the kind of world she’d want her kids to grow up in. 

Shahnaz called out to her friends on Facebook. She asked for hats, mittens, blankets – anything that could keep refugees warm during the cold, and often wet, nights in the camps.

Special mention,
By Koel Sen

Bahava is a short documentary film made as a part of the final year non-fiction film project at the Film and Television Institute of India.BAHAVA encapsulates the reminiscences of a burnt down lithographic printing press that existed in the village of Malavli. Oscillating between the past and the present the film resonates with the images produced from that printing press, owned and run by the famous German lithographer, Fritz Schleicher. Among the many olegraphs printed by this press the largest amount produced were of the famous Indian painter Raja Ravi Varma. The film breathes in and out of the village of Malavli, its people and its landscape which inspired the painter, and thus also influencing the visual quality of the film. Parts of the printing press after its demolition spread across the village and its homes.Bahava, literally meaning a “flow of time” tries to weave together these pieces of memory, mythology, the image and a dead printing press by re-living a past embedded in the structures of the village of Malavi.