NEW Awards at Sundance London
UK- London | Apr 23 2012 | (14:55:30 - EST)
Awards go to Street Girls by Katie Mark, FARMING by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, My Brother the Devil by Sally El Hosaini and Valley of Saints by Musa Syeed.
Each award accompanied by a £5,000 or £10,000 grant; Documentary Development Award includes access to film mentorship.
Sundance Institute and WorldView today announced that they will jointly present awards to four films that focus on social justice issues in the developing world: Street Girls by Katie Mark; FARMING by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje; My Brother the Devil by Sally El Hosaini; and Valley of Saints by Musa Syeed. Each award is accompanied by a £5,000 or £10,000 grant, and the Documentary Development Award for Street Girls is enhanced with professional access to film mentorship from Jerry Rothwell, whose documentaries have been supported by WorldView and Sundance Institute. The awards will be presented at a private event during the first-ever Sundance London film and music festival, 26-29 April at The O2.
Projects from emerging filmmakers in all corners of the globe were considered, with the winning projects displaying originality and innovation in their approach to social justice issues in the developing world and contextualizing their outreach to maximize the social impact of the films.
Sundance Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to the discovery and development of independent artists. WorldView is a CBA [Commonwealth Broadcasting Association] Project that aims to improve UK public understanding and awareness of the developing world via the mainstream broadcast and digital media. Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute, said: “Independent film has a legacy of focusing on social justice issues in regions we don’t often hear about, and we applaud filmmakers for taking on these issues. We hope the awards announced today help raise awareness around the issues they explore as well as the importance of film as a vehicle for helping bring to life the stories of our world.”
Himesh Kar, Consultant of WorldView, said: “WorldView are thrilled to collaborate with Sundance Institute on these Awards. Each filmmaker has made bold and brave choices in their storytelling but very much keeping audience connection in mind. These films bring a unique eye on issues and cultures that are often misrepresented or ignored by mainstream media.”
Street Girls (Director: Katie Mark) — Street Girls is an intimate insight into the lives of three girls working as prostitutes in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja. The documentary follows them as they are arrested and taken to the country’s first “Women’s Rehabilitation Centre.” Once there they embark on a course, which they must complete, or face prison.
Katie Mark is of Nigerian descent, and directs, produces, films and edits short non-fiction films in New York for various organizations. She was previously a producer for Aljazeera English News and for BBC London News and is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts, New York.
FARMING (Director and screenwriter: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) — A compelling true story about a young Nigerian boy's search for love and belonging within a brutal skinhead subculture.
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje participated in the Sundance Institute Screenwriters & Directors Labs and was awarded an Annenberg Film Fellowship Grant from the Institute for this project. Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s credits as an actor include GI Joe, The Bourne Identity, LOST and OZ.
My Brother the Devil (Director and screenwriter: Sally El Hosaini) — A pair of British Arab brothers trying to get by in inner-city London learn the extraordinary courage it takes to be yourself. Cast: James Floyd, Saïd Taghmaoui, Fady Elsayed.
Sally El Hosaini is a Welsh Egyptian screenwriter and director. Her debut feature, My Brother the Devil, was developed at Sundance Institute’s Directors and Screenwriters Labs and had its World Premiere at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, where it earned the World Cinema Cinematography Award: Dramatic. El Hosaini was named a Screen International “UK Star of Tomorrow” in 2009.
Valley of Saints (Director and screenwriter: Musa Syeed) — Gulzar plans to run away from the unrest, curfews and poverty surrounding his village in Kashmir with his best friend, but a beautiful young woman researching the dying lake leads him to contemplate a different future. Cast: Gulzar Ahmad Bhat, Mohammed Afzal Sofi, Neelofar Hamid.
Musa Syeed travelled to Kashmir to make Valley of Saints. It was the 2010 Alfred P. Sloan Science and Film Award winner for best screenplay and had its World Premiere at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, where it earned the World Cinema Audience Award: Dramatic and an Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize. Syeed is currently developing two interactive projects with support from the Bay Area Video Coalition and Mozilla, a documentary with ITVS and a feature script.
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