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    2023 Winners of the Shine Global Children’s Resilience in Film Award

    In a remarkable cinematic achievement directed by Edward Lovelace, “Name Me Lawand” unveils the emotional odyssey of a young Kurdish boy as he embarks on a profound journey of self-expression through British Sign Language. This poignant narrative not only underscores the potency of communication but also celebrates the strength of community.

    In an impassioned acceptance speech, Lovelace, unable to attend the event, entrusted cinematographer Lol Crawley to convey his heartfelt message. “This award is for Lawand — for his bravery, his unwavering determination to share his message with the world,” expressed Lovelace. “His message is a beacon of beauty that guided the entire filmmaking process. As storytellers, we have learned invaluable lessons by observing and listening to these extraordinary young individuals who possess a wisdom beyond their years. They offer profound insights into how our world should be. It is incumbent upon us to heed the voices of tomorrow to prevent us from growing old and losing our wisdom.”

    A distinguished panel of jurors, including Anita Chandra from the Rand Corporation, Tyler Coates from The Hollywood Reporter, Jill Burkhart from MGM+, Greg Sorvig from Heartland Film, and Brian Walker from Picture Motion, selected “Name Me Lawand” for its exceptional portrayal of resilience.

    Susan MacLaury, co-founder and executive director of Shine Global, expressed her deep appreciation, stating, “It is a true honor and pleasure to recognize ‘Name Me Lawand’ as this year’s winner of the Children’s Resilience in Film Awards. The film epitomizes our mission by giving voice to those who need it most while weaving stories of hope and strength in the face of adversity. We extend our gratitude to all the finalists and filmmakers worldwide who tirelessly share essential narratives.”

    Albie Hecht, co-founder of Shine Global, emphasized the transformative power of film. “We believe that film possesses a unique and magical ability to drive change,” he said. “These films have the potential to resonate deeply with audiences, inspiring educators, legislators, and activists to unite for meaningful causes and effect transformation in children’s lives.”

    Among the other remarkable nominees were Inna Sahakyan’s “Aurora’s Sunrise,” Camiel Schouwenaar’s “Bigman,” Marianela Maldonado’s “Children of Las Brisas,” and Sophie Linnenbaum’s “The Ordinaries.”

    Susan MacLaury concluded with a poignant reminder: “Every day, children worldwide endure the collateral consequences of forces beyond their control — climate change, violence, war, and racism. We consider these children as our own, and we, along with our nominees, stand with them and for them, narrating their stories in theaters, classrooms, and to policymakers.”

    In addition to the film accolades, Shine Global also honored Ayenda director Marie Margolius with the prestigious short film prize. The event celebrated individuals making a positive impact, including DreamWorks Animation president Margie Cohn as the Titan honoree, former NFL player and Project Transition founder and CEO Marcellus Wiley as the Children’s Champion honoree, and Graceyn Hollingsworth, the voice behind Gracie on Gracie’s Corner, as the Youth Activist honoree.

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