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A documentary film scoops SIGNIS 2015 Award at Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF)

Wednesday 5 August 2015, by SIGNIS

Kenya, 1st August 2015 (Pamela Adinda/ AMECEA Online News).-A documentary Film, Life is Waiting-Referendum and Resistance in Western Sahara has scooped the 2015 SIGNIS Award at the 18th Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF). Presented in an artistic and captivating style, the film clearly depicts a people’s determination to search for the long-promised referendum on freedom, a desire for independence.

The producer of the film clearly demonstrates that “Creative resistance is a nonviolence weapon and that through music, painting and theatre, you can express yourself without shooting a single bullet, without causing death, you just target people’s conscious.”

Forty years after its people were promised freedom by departing Spanish rulers, the Western Sahara remains Africa’s last colony. While a UN-brokered ceasefire put an end to armed hostilities in the territory in 1991, the Sahrawi people have continued to live under the Moroccan armed forces’ oppressive occupation, and what peace exists in the area is fragile at best.

Tens of thousands of Sahrawis have fled to neighboring Algeria, where over 125,000 refugees still live in camps that were intended to be temporary. In spite of these difficulties, a new movement, with youth at its center, is rising to challenge human rights abuses and to demand the long-promised referendum on freedom. Today’s generation of young activists is deploying creative nonviolent resistance for the cause of self-determination.

In doing so, they have persevered against a torrent of conflicting forces. While risking torture and disappearance at the hands of Moroccan authorities, they are also pushing back against those who have lost patience with the international community and are ready to launch another guerrilla war.

The one hour documentary directed by Iara Lee and Edited by Martin Eller highlights the global shame that the last Africa Colony still exists, while at the same time highlights the atrocities suffered by the Sahrawis and their determination to gain independence.

During the same event, the SIGNIS Jury awarded the SIGNIS East Africa Talent Award WAZI? FM , 62 minutes feature film Directed Faras Cavallo.

The film, which was shot in Kenya seeks to highlight the plight of Somali refugees in the country where incidences of terrorism has occurred several times and which the Islamists Alshabaab from Somalia has often claimed responsibility.

The film revolves around the life of MoMo, a Somali urban refugee living in Nairobi’s Eastleigh area, where he runs a community radio station with his Kenyan friend Kevo. Everything is going well at Wazi? FM until the team stumble upon a dark secret in their community and MoMo vanishes. An inspector from the Kenyan Special Forces is trying to understand what really happened before MoMo’s disappearance. The film depicts cases of terrorism, corruption and implications from the law enforcement authorities.

SIGNIS is a World Catholic Association for Communication officially recognized by the Vatican and includes members from 140 countries. The Association organizes SIGNIS, Ecumenical or Interfaith juries in more than 30 film festivals around the world, including Cannes, Berlin, Venice and ZIFF among others.

The SIGNIS Jury’s decisions at ZIFF were based on following Criteria: Artistic Quality, Message of the Gospel and Human Values, Universal Impact, Inventive Expression and finally Usage for ministries.

The SIGNIS Jury for ZIFF 2015 included Pamela Adinda from AMECEA Secretariat (Kenya), Fr. Andrew Kaufa, Director of Nation Catholic TV Luntha and Ms. Petra Stammen from CAMECO.

Fur further information, please visit the official ZIFF website.

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