London, 23 April 2012 — 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 maximise 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.”
WorldView | Sundance Institute Documentary Development Award and £10,000 grant: Selected by WorldView and the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program
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 organisations. 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.
WorldView | Sundance Institute Story Development Award and £10,000 grant: Selected by WorldView and the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program
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.
WorldView | Sundance Institute Impact Award and £5,000 grant: Selected by WorldView and the Sundance Film Festival
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.
WorldView | Sundance Institute Impact Award and £5,000 grant: Selected by WorldView and the Sundance Film Festival
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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Notes to the Editor:
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. WorldView supports producers who aim to bring the richness and diversity of the wider-world to UK audiences. ‘Seed’ funding is awarded to producers enabling them to spend time in the developing world researching stories, identifying characters and locations and shooting taster tapes. CBA/WorldView is supported by UKaid from the Department for International Development. UKAID/DFID plays no part in selecting projects for funding and has no editorial input into programmes that have received funding via WorldView. http://worldview.cba.org.uk/
The first-ever Sundance London film and music festival takes place at The O2 26-29 April, 2012, and is a partnership between Robert Redford, Sundance Enterprises, Sundance Institute and AEG Europe. Sundance London will host the UK premieres of films fresh from the 2012 Sundance Film Festival as well as live music performances and events each evening, including the previously announced Opening Night event An Evening With Robert Redford and T Bone Burnett, Placebo in concert, Rufus and Martha Wainwright sing Kate McGarrigle, and Tricky and Martina Topley-Bird performing Maxinquaye. Also on offer to Sundance London audiences will be unique opportunities to attend panels and hear guest speakers talk about the part they play in making films, documentaries and the role of music in modern cinema. Sundance London is made possible by support from: Presenting Partner – Sony Entertainment Network; Supporting Partners – The Langham, London and Stella Artois®; Official Providers – Air New Zealand, ASCAP, Dolby Laboratories, Inc, Gibson Guitar Corp., HR Owen and Aston Martin, MGM HD, Stolichnaya Vodka, US Embassy Office of Cultural Affairs, and WorldView. Special thanks to AMC Networks, The BRITDOC Foundation; BAFTA, BFI, Film London, and Sundance Channel. 30% of proceeds go to the nonprofit Sundance Institute. For more information or to purchase tickets for Sundance London please visit www.sundance-london.com or follow @SundancefestUK on Twitter.
Robert Redford is an Academy Award-winning actor, director and producer, a passionate advocate for the arts and a leading environmentalist. He serves as President of the non-profit Sundance Institute, which he founded 30 years ago to foster independence, discovery and new voices in American film and theatre. Mr. Redford also founded the Sundance Channel, Sundance Resort, Sundance Catalog, and Sundance Cinemas and the non-profit Redford Center. Though very different in their activities and independent in their operations, all of Mr. Redford’s Sundance entities share the same core mission he has always held dear: a passionate connection to new artists, new voices and new perspectives. www.sundancegroup.net
The Sundance Film Festival is a program of Sundance Institute, a global nonprofit organization founded by Robert Redford in 1981. Through its artistic development programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, composers and playwrights, the Institute seeks to discover and support independent film and theatre artists from the United States and around the world, and to introduce audiences to their new work. The Institute promotes independent storytelling to inform, inspire, and unite diverse populations around the globe. Sundance Institute has nurtured such projects as Born into Brothels, Trouble the Water, Son of Babylon, Amreeka, An Inconvenient Truth, Spring Awakening, I Am My Own Wife, Light in the Piazza and Angels in America. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
AEG is one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world. It owns or operates some of the world’s best arenas and theatres, numerous sports franchises including the Los Angeles Kings (NHL) and LA Galaxy (MLS), and a collection of companies dedicated to producing, promoting and presenting world-class live entertainment.
In May 2005, AEG Europe announced that it would transform the former Millennium Dome and the surrounding area into the UK’s most exciting and technically advanced music, sport and entertainment destination. It was renamed The O2 and opened in June 2007.
The centrepiece of the multi-million pound development is the 20,000 capacity indoor arena, the most popular music arena in the world. There is also a live music venue – indigO2 - with a capacity of 2,350, The O2 bubble – a state of the art exhibition space that is host to the British Music Experience, a permanent, high-tech, interactive music museum, an 11 screen cinema complex, and a vibrant ‘Entertainment District’ featuring a variety of bars, restaurants and leisure facilities.
The O2 arena sold more tickets than any other arena in the world last year (breaking all previous records) – making it the most popular music venue in the world for the fifth year running.
AEG employs more than 3,000 staff in over 45 operating companies worldwide. Its international head office is in Los Angeles, and its European headquarters is based in London.
Sony Entertainment Network are proud to be Presenting Partner of Sundance London. Sony Entertainment Network is the ultimate destination for digital music, movies, games, and more accessible across a wide array of connected devices through one convenient account. The service incorporates Video Unlimited, Music Unlimited and the PlayStation Network. Video Unlimited is a global premium digital video service with a growing library of over 80,000 of blockbuster movies and hit TV shows. It gives users convenient, single account access to great content across a wide variety of connected devices both in the home and on the go. Music Unlimited is a global cloud-based, digital streaming music service that features an expanding catalogue of over 15 million songs. It gives music lovers convenient, single account access to great music on a wide variety of connected devices both in-home and on the go. www.sonyentertainmentnetwork.com