“The Road: A Story of Life and Death” – a human interest documentary film by filmmaker Marc Isaacs was awarded the Grand Prix at “Bir Duino-Kyrgyzstan – 2013” festival of human rights documentary films. The film weaves together stories of loss and the search for belonging of different families and individuals in Italy. The film drew praise from the judging panel for its poignant storytelling, which they said compelled the viewer to relate to the struggles and preoccupations of its characters.
Another British-made documentary, “Kung Fu Grandmas”, about elderly Kenyan women who come together to protect themselves against sexual violence, won a special prize from the Kyrgyz Human Rights Council as the best film about women’s rights.
The “Bir Duino-Kyrgyzstan – 2013” festival ran from 18 to 24 September, closing on 24 September with an official awards ceremony. It will now continue across Kyrgyzstan from 1 – 17 October, before heading to Tajikistan on 18 October.
“Bir Duino” is currently the only festival in Central Asia dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights through documentary films. As well as screening films, ‘Bir Duino’ arranges workshops, master-classes and other events exploring various aspects of human rights
The recently-established British Embassy supported Bir Duino for the first time this year. Her Majesty’s Ambassador Judith Farnworth noted the significance of the festival in her speech at the opening ceremony:
“As we celebrate the seventh such festival in Kyrgyzstan, we also think of those in countries where such an event would not be permitted. And of course we remind ourselves of the work we still need to do to defend the human rights of all.”