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    Posted April 23, 2012 by
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    Day 5-7 of the Millenium Documentary Film Festival : And the Winner Is...


    The 2012 Millenium Documentary Film Festival's jury, led by Italian filmmaker Stefano Savona, awarded its Golden Lens to the movie "When the Bough Breaks", by acclaimed Chinese director Jin Dan (photo 7), on Sunday night at the Flagey Radio House in Brussels.


    The documentary follows a group of migrant children growing up next to a rubbish dumpsite in Daxing, in the southern suburbs of Beijing. As high-rise buildings begin to encroach them and threaten to swallow up their makeshift hut, the children try to come to terms with the limited choices before them and begin a struggle to fight against their fate.


    The Silver Lens, awarded by the UNDP for the Best Development Message, went to the Honduras/UK film “Up In Smoke” directed by Adam Wakeling (photo 8, 10). The award was handed by UN/UNDP Director in Bruxelles, Mr. Antonio Vigilante (photo 3), acknowledging the work of the director and his main character, former Cambridge researcher Mike Hands, in promoting a safer, greener alternative to the “Slash And Burn” agricultural technique employed by over 250 Million farmers around the world.


    Member and Vice President of the European Parliament, Mrs. Isabelle Durant (photo 4) presented the Best Message of Democracy Award to the documentary “Fragments of a Revolution”, an anonymous recount of the 2009 protests in Iran. Mrs. Durant praised the courage and determination of the unknown filmmakers who managed to give the movie a feeling of urgent authenticity through a very compelling visual narrative.


    Brothers Mohamed and Atia Al Daradji won the Bronze Lens, offered by the OHCHR for Best Human Rights Message for their documentary “In My Mother's Arms”. The movie tells the story of 32 orphans and their caretaker, Husham, victims of war and sectarian violence in Iraq, in the face of a two-months eviction notice out of the two-room house in which they all live. According to the directors, the aim of the film is to raise international awareness on the problems facing Iraq's most vulnerable, a country with little to no infrastructure to care for the thousands of orphans the conflicts produce.


    After reading the jury's decision, Mr. Jan Jařab (photo 2), Regional Representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, insisted on the importance of the film's message, reminding everyone that orphan care is still an omnipresent issue in the world today.


    The ceremony ended with a concert by Belgian-Brazilian group La Batunoza and Malian singer Oumar Konta (photo 6), who also took the time to turn the spotlight on the current humanitarian situation in Mali.


    The Millenium Documentary Film Festival will go on for another two weeks with screenings of the award-winning documentaries and workshops. The closing ceremony will take place on the 5th of May.


    Complete List of Awards:


    Golden Lens (Best Documentary Film Award) -


    “When the Bough Brakes” dir. Jin Dan, China, 2011


    Silver Lens (Best Development Message Award) -


    “Up in Smoke” dir. Adam Wakeling, Honduras/UK, 2011


    Bronze Lens (Best Human Rights Message) -


    “In My Mother's Arms” dir. Mohamed & Atia Al Daradji, Iraq/UK, 2011


    Jury's Special Award (Most original and innovative film) -


    “La Bonheur – The Promised Land” dir. Laurent Hasse (photo 9), France, 2010


    Best Message of Democracy Award -


    “Fragments of a Revolution” dir. “Anna Nymus”, Iran/France, 2010


    Public's Choice Award -


    “My Freedom, Your Freedom” dir. Diana Näcke (photo 10), Germany, 2011

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