Shine Global Announces ‘Name Me Lawand’ as Winner Of 2nd Annual Children’s Resilience in Film Awards
The 2022 Documentary Directed by Edward Lovelace Was Recognized at Award Ceremony in Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES, CA (October 4, 2023) – Last night, Shine Global – the renowned nonprofit media company dedicated to producing and supporting impactful documentaries about children’s issues – awarded Name Me Lawand as the winner of their second annual Children’s Resilience in Film Awards in Los Angeles.
The Children’s Resilience in Film Awards, now in its second year, honors exceptional films that center around the resilience of children in the face of adversity. The winning film, Name Me Lawand, is a rapturous portrait of a deaf Kurdish boy’s emotional journey towards discovering how to express himself using British Sign Language, and a love letter to the power of communication and community.
“It is our true honor and pleasure to award Name Me Lawand the winner of this year’s Children’s Resilience in Film Awards,” said Susan MacLaury, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Shine Global. “The film exemplifies our mission – it gives a voice to the people who need it most and still manages to tell stories of hope and resilience in the face of adversity. We thank all of our finalists, and filmmakers telling important stories around the world, for their continued hard work.”
Name Me Lawand was awarded the grand prize of $15,000 at the Children’s Resilience in Film Awards ceremony last night on October 3, 2023, at Paramount Pictures, where filmmakers, industry professionals, and children’s rights advocates gathered to celebrate the remarkable achievements of all of the film finalists. The film was selected by a jury panel including Anita Chandra (Vice President and Director of RAND Social and Economic Well-Being and a Senior Policy Researcher at the RAND Corporation with a focus on childhood development), Tyler Coates (Awards Editor at The Hollywood Reporter), Jill Burkhart (VP of Unscripted Programming for MGM+), Greg Sorvig (Artistic Director for Heartland Film), and Brian Walker (CEO of Picture Motion).
“This award is for Lawand, for his bravery, his determination in getting his message out to the world. His message is a beautiful one – which guided the entire filmmaking process,” said Director Edward Lovelace in a written acceptance speech read by cinematographer Lol Crawley. “We as filmmakers have learned so much just by watching and listening to these young people who seem to have a wisdom on how to live, about how our planet should be. We need to all listen to the voices of tomorrow to stop us from growing old and unwise.”
The Short Film Prize winner, Ayenda, Directed by Marie Margolius (2023, United States, Portugal, Afghanistan) was previously announced at the Indy Shorts International Film Festival in June in partnership with Heartland Film with a $2,500 prize and the trophy was presented during the ceremony last night. The short documentary follows members of the Under-18 Afghan National Women’s Football Team as they attempt a daring evacuation from their homeland after the fall of their country to the Taliban.
This year’s nominees represented a diverse range of powerful stories from around the world, showcasing resilience in various forms. Through the lens of these films, audiences witness the inspiring spirit of children as they overcome obstacles, navigate through personal hardships, and inspire others through their achievements. In addition to Name Me Lawand, other finalists included Aurora’s Sunrise – Directed by Inna Sahakyan (2022, Armenia, Germany, Lithuania); Bigman – Directed by Camiel Schouwenaar (2022, The Netherlands, Germany); Children of Las Brisas – Directed by Marianela Maldonado (2022, Venezuela); and The Ordinaries – Directed by Sophie Linnenbaum (2022, Germany). The three other short film finalists were Barricade Directed by Alice Johannessen (2023, UK); Lunchbox directed by Anne Hu (2022, USA); and Translators Directed by Rudy Valdez (2023, USA).
In addition to the winning films, Shine Global highlighted three honorees making a difference: Margie Cohn, President of DreamWorks Animation, as the Titan Honoree, Former NFL Player and Founder and CEO of Project Transition Marcellus Wiley as the Children’s Champion Honoree, and Graceyn Hollingsworth, the voice of Gracie on Gracie’s Corner, as the Youth Activist Honoree. In her acceptance speech, Margie Cohn said, “I am beyond honored to be here tonight, being celebrated, especially considering the great work we have just seen and considering the great work that Shine Global does in turning a much-needed spotlight on underserved and at risk, but resilient kids all over the world.”
The winning film, Name Me Lawand, was also awarded the ReelAbilities Accessibility Award as part of the partnership between Shine Global and ReelAbilities Film Festival, the nation’s premier festival dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories, and artistic expressions of people with disabilities. The award includes the production of audio descriptions and captions for the film, and an invitation for the filmmakers to present the film in person in New York at the 16th Annual ReelAbilities Film Festival as well as the affiliate festivals program to screen around the world.
You can watch a compilation trailer of the 2023 nominees:
The 2023 Children’s Resilience in Film Awards is sponsored in part by media partner The Hollywood Reporter who uplift these powerful, culture-shifting films to receive the recognition they deserve; Paramount Pictures; hospitality partner Sunset Marquis Hotel; Quest Pacifica; Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein Lezcano Bobb & Dang; Jonathan and Dianne Moonves Charitable Fund; pocket.watch; Mattel Inc; DreamWorks Animation; and Sunlight Entertainment.
About Shine Global
Shine Global is a non-profit media company that gives voice to children and their families by telling their stories of resilience to raise awareness, promote action, and inspire change. We produce inspiring films and compelling content about underserved children. Through tailored distribution and outreach, we connect with our audiences in communities, classrooms, museums, and on Capitol Hill as part of a powerful engagement campaign to encourage social change.
Since our founding in 2005, Shine Global films have won more than 100 major awards, including an Academy Award® for Best Documentary Short Subject for Inocente and an Academy Award®-nomination and two Emmys® for War/Dance. Recent films include the documentary-animation hybrid Liyana, the hit documentary The Eagle Huntress, which is available on HBOMax, and Home Is Somewhere Else, which is currently in festivals.
ABOUT SHINE GLOBAL’S CHILDREN’S RESILIENCE IN FILM AWARDS
This annual event recognizes and celebrates the films and filmmakers that highlight the resilience and strength of children in the face of adversity. The awards are open to films of any genre that showcase children overcoming challenges, such as poverty, violence, illness, and discrimination, and demonstrate their resilience, courage, and determination.
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