NEW YORK—SR Socially Relevant Film Festival New York wrapped its third edition with an elegant award ceremony and celebration at the Tenri Cultural Institute in New York’s Village on March 20 in the presence of the filmmakers, jury members, partners, and sponsors of the festival, its dedicated team, and volunteers.
Festival founding artistic director Nora Armani thanked the filmmakers present and her team, mentioning them as the two most important pillars without which the festival could not take place. She then proceeded to thank the sponsors and partners of the festival.
The awards were handed by the jury members present and the awardees were presented with the “Sona Vessel,” designed and created by New York-based designer Michael Aram, symbolizing storytelling.
In her opening speech, Armani mentioned that solely being here and being selected in the festival meant that all of the filmmakers and their films were winners. She then proceeded with calling out the award categories, and inviting the jury member or guest to present in the particular category.
Below is the list of the award categories, and the awarded films and directors.
The Vanya Exerjian Empowering Women and Girls Award, in memory of Armani’s cousin and uncle, victims of a hate crime, was presented by Ruchira Gupta of Apne Aap, together with Armani, to Myriam Zaki for her work in “Who Killed the Armenians?” directed by Mohamend Hanafy (Egypt).
The Grand Prize for Best Narrative Feature Award went to “Before the Spring,” directed by Ahmed Atef (Egypt), presented by narrative feature category jury member Claus Mueller.
The Grand Prize for Best Documentary Feature Award went to “Beneath the Olive Tree,” directed by Stavroula Toska (USA/Greece); the award was presented by documentary feature category jury member Dirk Robertson.
In the Best Narrative Short category there was an ex aequo and the award went to both “Eclipse,” directed by Ara Yernjakyan, and “My Beautiful White Skin,” directed by Stuart Gatt (UK).
The Best Documentary Short Award went to “One if By Land,” directed by Nandini Sikand (USA).
The Best Script Award went to “A Mother’s Legacy,” by Cilla Lowen (South Africa).
The SR Film Festival’s Humanitarian Award went to “Sail the Wind,” directed by Christine Knowlton (USA) and to “Vision: Healing the Bling in Ethiopia,” directed by Eric Perlman.
The SR Film Festival’s Activism Award went to “Caged No More,” directed by Lisa Arnold.
The SR Film Festival’s Audience Award went to “Who Killed the Armenians?” directed by Mohamed Hanafy.
The Women Film Critics Circle (WFCC) Award is offered annually at SR Film Festival by the WFCC and it was presented by Edie Nugent to “Lost Tongue,” directed by Davison Mudzingwa.
The Best Actress in a Feature Film Award went to Huichi Chiu in “Escapes,” directed by Mercedes Gaspar. The Best Actress in a Short Film Award went to Ritu Arya in “My Beautiful White Skin,” directed by Stuart Gatt. Both awards were presented by Narrative Feature Jury member and actress Nicole Ansari-Cox.
The Best Actor in a Feature Film Award went to Baptiste Moulart in “I am NOT from Barcelona,” directed by Stephane Leclercq. The Best Actor in a Short Film Award went to Hamis El-Sheikh in “Border,” directed by Zahi Mahler. Both awards were presented by Narrative Feature Jury member and actor Marc Duret.
Hospitality sponsors of the evening were Bocca East/Vella NYC, Fair Vodka, Baum’s Sho cakes, and Le Grand Triage Wines.