The horrific, real-life nightmare of the Chernobyl nuclear plant reactor, a gripping documentary exposÃ© of the global sex trade, and the emergence of more than 40 devastating new diseases over the last two decades are the weighty subjects addressed by three powerful documentaries awarded top honors at the New York Festivals 2007 United Nations Department of Public Information Awards (UNDPI).
Presented by UN Public Relations Section Chief, Elizabeth Baldwin-Penn at a gala dinner ceremony held Friday evening, February 2nd in NYC, the UNDPI International Programming and Promotion competition recognizes excellence in films that best reflect the issues and ideals of the United Nations.
GOLD AWARD: CHERNOBYL: THE INVISIBLE THIEF (ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY) Â€“ WDR, COLOGNE, GERMANY; Documents the fate of the victims of the Chernobyl nuclear power station explosion that occurred in Russia on April 26, 1986. A vivid, moving story told from the personal perspective of the director, Christoph Boekel, who lost his wife to cancer as a result of the explosion, the documentary serves as a requiem for the forgotten victims of the disaster and a warning against putting blind trust in technological advancement.
SILVER AWARD: Rx for Survival: A Global Health Challenge (Health/Medical Information) - WGBH/NOVA Science Unit and Vulcan Productions, Inc, Seattle, Washington; A compassionate, investigative look at methods for reducing disease worldwide. Filmed in over twenty countries, the series illustrates that saving lives is not only highly achievable, but a moral imperative, especially in a globalized world where germs can travel anywhere in a matter of hours and an epidemic is only a plane ride away. At its core are real people in real situations -- those who bear the burden of disease and those who dare to save them.
BRONZE AWARD: SEX SLAVES (SOCIAL ISSUES/CURRENT EVENTS) - ASSOCIATED PRODUCERS LTD, TORONTO; A view into the shadowy, multi-billion dollar world of global sex trafficking. Focused on women from the former Soviet Bloc, hidden cameras follow one manâ€™s exhaustive hunt for his abducted wife. Part cinema veritÃ©, part investigation, Sex Slaves puts a human face on an inhuman issue.
ABOUT UNDPI: The United Nations Department of Public Information Awards were established in collaboration with New York Festivals in 1990 to honor programming that best exemplifies the aims and ideals of the United Nations.
ABOUT THE NEW YORK FESTIVALS: Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, New York Festivals (NYF) is an International Awards Group (IAG) Company. Recognizing The Worldâ€™s Best Workâ„¢ in advertising and programming, IAG and its sister shows, AME, Globals and Midas, honor creativity in global communications through eight annual competitions. NYF now has representation in more countries than any other media competition. For further information visit: www.newyorkfestivals.com