At 2022 Palm Springs International Film Festival, festival programmers had nominated seven films for the MOZAIK Bridging the Borders Award offered by Cinema Without Borders and sponsored by MOZAIL Philanthropy.
CWB’s jury selected Asghar Farhadi’s A Hero as the winner of the MOZAIK Bridging The Borders Award for the 2022 Palm Springs International Film Festival.
The Cinema Without Borders Foundation presented the award to Mr. Farhadi in a private ceremony held at the Woodland Hills Hilton, while keeping Covid protocols in mind. Three of the CWB jury members– Bijan Tehrani, Susan Morgan Cooper and Bambadjan Bamba–welcomed Mr. Farhadi. At the end of the award ceremony, Mr. Farhadi gave an award acceptance speech.
Winner of MOZAIK Bridging The Borders Award at 2022 Palm Springs International Film Festival:
A Hero (Iran/France)
Behind some of the most celebrated international titles of the decade, Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi (The Salesman PSIFF 2017, A Separation PSIFF 2012) is renowned for weaving thought-provoking and thrilling familial mysteries. His latest follows the amiable and scheming Rahim Soltani (the phenomenal Amir Jadidi) on a temporary prison leave, desperate to settle a years-old debt that has brought shame upon himself and his family. When Soltani jumps at a chance for redemption, built on a dubious act, he sparks a national publicity storm that brings him fame and a shot at a better future. Taut with suspense, this captivating morality play continually contorts the mystery of Farhadi’s compelling characters with each furtive glance, passing comment and questionable act.
Director:Asghar Farhadi – Producers:Alexandre Mallet-Guy, Asghar Farhadi – Screenwriter: Asghar Farhadi – Cinematographers:Ali Ghazi – Editor: Haydeh Safiyari
Cast: Amir Jadidi, Mohsen Tanabandeh, Fereshteh Sadrorafaii, Sahar Goldoust, Sarina Farhadi, Saleh Karimai
Awards: Grand Prix and François Chalais Award, Cannes Film Festival
In a period when the subject of immigration is constantly in the headlines, this ironic fable about intolerance is very much a film for our times. It centers on Svetlana (Svetlana Yancheva, a dead ringer for Frances McDormand, as is her tough-as-nails character), a widowed, former school teacher in a blighted village in Eastern Europe where there are no longer any children for her to teach. Several of the locals nurse an unrequited passion for Svetlana, but she brusquely dismisses their advances. These rejections help fuel small-town xenophobia into overdrive when Svetlana reluctantly takes in Bamba (Michael Flemming), a Malian doctor trying to make his way to Germany. This is a humane and beautifully made film that astutely balances drama and absurdist humor with important contemporary issues. It manages the rare feat of being compassionate and provocative while also delivering striking moments that indict small-mindedness.
Director: Ivaylo Hristov – Producers: Asen Vladimirov – Screenwriter:Ivaylo Hristov – Cinematographers: Emil Christov, Emil Kristov – Editor:Toma Waszarow – Music:Kiril Donchev
Cast: Svetlana Yancheva, Michael Flemming, Kristina Yaneva, Ivan Savov
Awards: Best Film, Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival; Silver Seagull – Best Cinematography, Sofia International Film Festival; Muhammad Al-Ameen Award, Fajr Film Festival; Best Film, Golden Rose Film Festival
Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America(USA)
When Jeffery Robinson suddenly found himself raising his 13-year-old nephew, he realized they would soon need to have The Talk about being Black in America. After 40 years in criminal defense law, Robinson was no stranger to the reality of institutionalized white supremacy, but how to explain that to a child? In Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America, Robinson utilizes his affable nature to examine pivotal moments in American history. From the origin of the modern police force as glorified, armed kidnappers to Nixon’s nefarious blueprint for the destruction of thriving Black communities, Robinson effectively pinpoints why so many aspects of American life have deep roots in racist ideology. Directors Emily and Sarah Kunstler skillfully incorporate numerous nonfiction storytelling devices as Robinson moves beyond his personal narrative to speak to the difficult truth about who we really are, how we got here and why we must move forward together.
Director:Emily Kunstler, Sarah Kunstler – Producers:Jeffery Robinson, Emily Kunstler, Sarah Kunstler, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Andrea Crabtree-Keller, Vanessa Hope, Susan Korda, Katharine Nephew, Jayashri Wyatt – Screenwriter:Jeffery Robinson – Cinematographers: Jesse Wakeman – Editor: Emily Kunstler – Music: Kathryn Bostic
Cast: Jeffery Robinson, Senator Henry “Hank” Sanders, Chief Egunwale F. Amusan, Mother Lessie Benningfield Randle, Josephine Bolling McCall, Gwen Carr, Ista Clarke, Dr. Tiffany Crutcher, Kathie Fox, Tami Sawyer, Faya Ora Rose Touré, Braxton Spivey, Stacey Toussaint, Reverend Dr. Robert Turner, Kristi Williams
Awards: Audience Award, SXSW; Audience Award and Documentary Grand Jury Prize, Independent Boston Film Festival; Golden Space Needle Award, Seattle International Film Festival
Cinema Without Borders’ jury members to decide the 2022 winner of the MOZAIK Bridging The Borders Award were:
Keely Badger is Executive Director of MOZAIK, a new millennial-led philanthropic organization committed to exploring and modeling new practices in philanthropy with disruptive, creative, and catalytic potential. Based in Los Angeles, CA, Keely leads the foundation’s strategic grantmaking, programs and community engagements, working with a range of nonprofit organizations in the local, national and international advocacy space.
As a millennial expert and advocate on international human rights and development issues,
Keely pioneers’ durable solutions for underrepresented voices, communities and causes by working to democratize philanthropy through participatory grantmaking praxis.
Bambadjan Bamba is an award-winning actor, filmmaker, and activist. He has worked in prominent roles on numerous hit television shows like “The Good Place,” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” and in blockbuster films like “Black Panther,” and “Suicide Squad.” He was recently featured in the Will Smiths’ Netflix series “Amend: The fight for America.” In 2017 Bambadjan publicly disclosed that he was a recipient of the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) that is in danger of being terminated. Ever since Bambadjan has used his inspirational story to advocate for immigrant rights.
His writing was published in Variety, LA Times, the Washington Post, NBC, CNN to name a few, and he is a contributor in the New York Times bestseller “American Like Me: Reflections on life between cultures” by award-winning actress America Ferrera.
Bambadjan is also the recipient of the Courageous Advocate Award from the ACLU and the Courageous Luminary award from NILC (National Immigration Law Center).
Susan Morgan Cooper
Susan Morgan Cooper is a Director/Producer/ Writer and her credits include:
To the Moon and Back, Documentary, Director/Producer/Writer 2016 (A cinematic act of love and courage’ … Broadway World) – Hopper [In his own words] Documentary, Producer/Writer 2013 (“I was moved to tears” Mike Medavoy) – Mulberry Child, Documentary, Director/Producer/Writer 2012 (‘A powerful and touching film’… 31/2 stars. Roger Ebert) – An Unlikely Weapon [The Eddie Adams Story]..Documentary, Director/Producer/Writer 2008 ( ‘A terrific documentary’ The Hollywood Reporter) – Making Of Shadows in The Sun, Documentary, Director/Producer/Writer 2005 – Heroes And Sheroes. Television Series, Director/Producer/Writer 2000
Mirjana: One Girl’s Journey, Documentary, Director/Producer/Writer 1997 – Stringers, Narrative Short Director/Producer/Writer 1990 – Hadley’s Rebellion, Narrative Feature Associate Producer 1989
Jan Cvitkovič, the Slovanian filmmaker, is an Archeologist, writer, director. His films were presented worldwide and received awards such as Lion of the Future (Dino de Laurentis Award) in Venice, Best Director Award in San Sebastian, and many others (around 50). Two of his films were Foreign Language Oscar Candidates (Bread and milk, Gravehopping).
In 2001, Jan wrote and direct his first feature film, Bread and Milk (Kruh in mleko). In 2002 Jan worked on another TV series called Death is Far Away… (DaleÄ je smrt…) and then in 2003 he made Heart is a Piece of Meat (Srce je kos mesa), a short film that brought him 3 awards.
His feature film, Gravehopping (Odgrobadogroba) has won numerous awards in international film festivals. Gravehopping also won the Cinema Without Borders Critics Award for the Best Film at 2007 Southeast European Film Festival.
Marcy Garriott is an independent documentary filmmaker based in Austin, Texas. An electrical engineer and still photographer coming out of college, she was a telecommunications executive for 15 years before turning to filmmaking and social activism. Her Director/Producer credits include the award-winning documentary films SPLIT DECISION and INSIDE THE CIRCLE. Marcy also produced THE LEAST OF THESE (about immigrant child detention) and the CNN documentary AN UNREAL DREAM: THE MICHAEL MORTON STORY. Most recently she served as an Executive Producer on the documentary films PEACE OFFICER and BUILDING THE AMERICAN DREAM. Marcy is a former board member and President of the Austin Film Society, and a current Advisory Board member of Cine Las Americas
Hassan Gholizadeh is an award-winning Iranian cinematographer, filmmaker, and writer. He has been director of cinematography in over fifty feature films and has directed two movies and written twenty screenplays.
Hassan Gholizadeh is a graduate of The Iranian School of Television and Cinema and has also received a degree for social science from National University of Iran. He followed his study in the field of cinematography in France by completing a course on lighting for feature films.
Among the titles he has worked on we can mention Satanic Touch & Starry Sky (as director), The Tenants, The Ship Angelica, The Blade and the Silk, Canary Yellow, and Smiling in the Rain ( as director of cinematography)
Alka is an award-winning Afghan documentary filmmaker whose films explore social issues and injustices in her native country, most notably the challenges faced by women and children. Sadat cofounded the Roya Film House (RFH), an independent Afghan film company with a focus on human rights and coordinated the first Afghanistan International Women’s Film Festival from 2013 She study in Italy.
Born in Herat, Afghanistan, in 1988, Sadat was a young child when the Taliban came to power. Her mother, not wanting her and her sisters to go uneducated, broke the law by teaching them at home. When the Taliban regime was abolished, Sadat started working with her sister Roya Sadat making films, establishing the Roya Film House (RFH) in 2003. She also worked as the dress designer on the film Three Dots.
Sadat’s first documentary film, First Number, was awarded the Afghan Peace Prize. She followed that with another short film, We Are Post-modernist, which she wrote, directed, and shot. The film received the Best Camera Work award at the Kabul Film Festival.
Half Value Life, Sadat’s 2008-2009 look at how women were faring in Afghanistan, received six festival awards: Best Director, Kabul International Film Festival (2008); International Young Talent Competition — Generation DOK, Afghanistan Film Festival (2008); Best Film, Egypt Film Festival (2008); Best Film, Bilder vom Film festival, Germany (2009); Public Liberties & Human Rights Award, Aljazeera International Documentary Film Festival (2011); and First Place, Documentaries, Women’s Voices Now Film Festival, Los Angeles (2011).
From 2012 to 2013, Sadat made three films for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan’s “Afghanistan: Ten Years On” documentary series, which explored efforts by UN agencies and the international community to help Afghanistan rebuild the country and its institutions: The Elimination of Violence Against Women; The Elimination of Violence Against Children; and The Elimination of Violence Against Police. Sadat is currently making a film about elite Afghan Army commandos, Afghanistan Night Story and serves
In 2016 the film got Best Of Category Remi Special Jury Award from 49th Annual Worldfest Houston In USA best future documentary film award from The Afghan international film festival in Stockholm
Bijan Tehrani founder and Editor in Chief of Cinema Without Borders (CWB) online- publication and Cinema Without Borders Foundation is an award-winning author of children’s books and short films. Tehrani has been a passionate advocate of human rights, which he has actively pursued as a filmmaker, -historian, and -critic over the past five decades.
Bijan Tehrani has organized a numerus cultural events dealing with international cinema and social justice. The ongoing ELAC International Animation Day is an annual festival showcasing international animation and I, Immigrant International On-line Film Festival portrays the positive impact of immigrants in their new societies.
Bijan is also the creator of the Bridging the Borders Award that is offered in ten international film festival in US, UK, and Australia. Bridging the Borders Award goes to the films that help bringing people of the world closer together.
Bijan Tehrani has won several awards and has been recognized by several film festivals and cultural institutes as Ambassador of International Cinema because of his services to the world film community through 15 years of publishing Cinema Without Borders.
Terry George, Academy winner and director of Hotel Rwanda, had this to say on the 10th anniversary of CWB:” At a time when media consolidation is threatening diverse and unique voices, Cinema Without Borders provides a forum for underrepresented perspectives and stories. Now more than ever, we need to reach across cultural, political, and national lines. Cinema Without Borders is part of this critical work.”