2018 Award Winners

Best Documentary

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Invisible Hands

Shraysi Tandon

Sharysi Tandon’s Invisible Hands skillfully weaves together expert interviews and accounts from victims to paint a broad a harrowing picture of the problem of child labor all over the world. The work that Invisible Hands does that earned this film the Best Documentary award is how it firmly links child labor to the products that we use and consumer every day. Our clothes, food, and technology go through a murky supply chain, and Tandon’s ability to shine a light on the gruesome reality behind our comforts in the developed world is truly valuable and needs to be seen.

Best Short Narrative

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The Incident

Meedo Taha

There’s too much to say about The Incident. Within 20 minutes Meedo Taha crafts a poignant tale strung together with mystery, humour, love, and empathy. Aside from The Incident’s thematic and narrative grace, Taha’s use of 16mm film makes this a visual joy to behold. This film provides a riveting and personal lens to the refugee crisis, and the various perspectives that revolve around the issue. When so many are constantly on the move due to war and political turmoil, nothing is more important than revealing the truth of their story. The Incident highlights that truth, and the troubles of finding it.

Best Animated Film

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Weeds

Kevin Hudson

When seasoned special effects artist, Kevin Hudson, set out to make his short, Weeds, he approached the project with a simple, yet elegant mission statement:

"If we can make people feel empathy for something as tiny as a little dandelion, then perhaps we can make them feel greater compassion for their fellow human beings."

The heart that Hudson put into this project takes form in its final incarnation. Weeds is a story of hope, resilience, and creating a better tomorrow for the next generation. 

Best Short Documentary

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Nobody Dies Here

Simon Panay

Nobody Dies Here is a film that refuses to get bogged down in narration or interviews with academics or representatives. Instead we are given a film that focuses primarily on the first hand accounts of those working in the Perma gold mine Benin. The intimacy of Nobody Dies Here is what earned it this award. The faces of these men, women, and children have been ignored and unacknowledged, but now Panay is forcing us to hear them and see them -unable to think about the conditions in these mines from the lens of a documentary of a more clinical form.

Best Student Film

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Fish Stew

Ran Jing

Sleek, thoughtful, and sincere. The characteristics you’d expect from a film made by a seasoned NYU Tisch alumni like Ran Jing. Her film Fish Stew didn’t earn best student film for only one element, rather it was many. The presentation, the editing, the screenwriting, the shot composition… so much congealed together to make this film a joy to watch, and deserving of this award. Though never leaving the confines of an apartment kitchen and living room, and keeping the conflict between three people, Fish Stew feels colossal.

Best Foreign Film

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Mama

Mert Canatan

Many of the films screened at CIFA attempted to showcase the refugee experience, but none of the films that were shown accomplished this task quite like Mert Canatan’s Mama. Rather than showing the typical anonymous mass of fleeing refugees that we’re accustomed to seeing in on the news, Mama puts us in the shoes of girl wrapped up in this crisis. What’s most important about Mama is that this girl’s life is shown before the civil war, depicting

Best Screenplay

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Red Nose

Andreas Kyriacou

Red Nose does a remarkable job crossing a spectrum bizarre humor and compelling intrigue, all framed within the context of the global refugee crisis. Though this film is aided so much by the brilliant cast and dynamic photography, the real credit goes to the script, which keeps you in the dark and amused long enough to stick around for its surprising conclusion. In a world where many don’t know what refugees will be bringing into their countries, it’s warming to know, as Red Nose suggests, that humor will be one thing -and that’s something we’ll take plenty of.

Best Editing

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Long Yearning

Elliot Spencer

One of the challenges of documentary filmmaking is provoking compassion in the viewer -making them feel for the subjects on the screen and provoke a desire to do promote change. Elliot Spencer’s method of unearthing sympathy for Chinese factory workers in Long Yearning is centered around his creative use of editing. The timelapse footage the Spencer utilizes presents plainly the exhaustion, dehumanization, and repetition of long hours of manual labor. Without interviews and statistics, Long Yearning not only shocks us, but helps us understand the lives of these workers.

Best of Fest

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One Year on a Bike

Martijn Doolaard

Sleek, thoughtful, and sincere. The characteristics you’d expect from a film made by a seasoned NYU Tisch alumni like Ran Jing. Her film Fish Stew didn’t earn best student film for only one element, rather it was many. The presentation, the editing, the screenwriting, the shot composition… so much congealed together to make this film a joy to watch, and deserving of this award. Though never leaving the confines of an apartment kitchen and living room, and keeping the conflict between three people, Fish Stew feels colossal.

Best Local Film

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Mamadou Warma : Deliveryman

Yusuf Kapadia

There’s not one day that goes by as a New Yorker where you don’t see immigrants on bikes earning their living through Grubhub or Postmates. Thanks to NYU student, Yusuf Kapadia, we’re given a brief and insightful look into the life of one of these men. Mamadou Warma’s story adds a voice to one of New York City’s most underrepresented and hard working communities. What makes this film worth cherishing is Mamadou’s unshakable optimism, even in the face of the harsh indifference of the modern metropolis that is New York.

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Promoting Awareness

The team behind the Las Vegas-based Independent Film Award Show the "Las Vegas Galaxy Film Awards" (click to visit the site) have joined forces with the C.A.R.E. team (Robert being involved with both ventures), set up shop in New York City, and converted the Galaxy festival into an agent for change with the Central African Relief Effort as title sponsor.

Four Weeks - 40 Countries +

In just four weeks of open submissions, CARE International boasts film submissions from more than 40 Countries Worldwide and all Six Continents (no Antarctic submissions as of yet!). Just a few countries of origin for CARE films include France, Italy, Nigeria, Australia, Russia, India, Iran, Jordan, Japan, Argentina, Algeria, Greece, Turkey, and many more!

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Submit a film

Tempest-tossed refugees spend months licked by ocean waves and traversing foreign landscapes in search of a home, ethnic minorities are murdered and incarcerated by worldwide governments, sectarian conflicts embroil regions and promote wanton chaos, crime syndicates traffic humans as sex slaves and labor capital, the LGBTQ community continues to face discrimination from benighted lawmakers, and the fate of thousands of young American immigrants are at stake due to the repeal of DACA, while xenophobia, division, and race-motivated hate crimes become more violent and common as hate groups feel emboldened by nationalist and atavistic political rhetoric.

We live in turbulent times - many live in a state of uncertainty for their future. Now more than ever, the transformative and unifying power of art is paramount in the protection of those without a voice.

The C.A.R.E International Film Awards’ mission is to provide a platform for aspiring and established filmmakers that want to spread awareness and comment on the prevalent issues taking place in our modern restless world. It is a strong belief of ours that film is a dynamic medium for change, and the perspectives and worldviews they expose us to are even more necessary and urgent in these fearful and uncertain times. We aim to showcase a diverse selection of films that touch on many issues, both relevant in the United States and around the world, while challenging our preconceived notions and potential ignorance. Your film can be anything from a short film, music video, documentary, feature length film, or animation. If the themes in your work of art promote love, unity, peace, if your film specifically addresses a specific global cause or issue that needs attention, or if your film can be used as a vehicle for change or can unify audiences in tears and laughter, we ask that you submit to the CIFA.

In a world where political forces work to destroy and fragment, we look for artists who create and unite.

Regardless of whether or not your film is accepted into the festival, on request you will receive an in-depth adjudication of your film, detailing areas your film may have excelled in, as well as areas your film could use improvement. CIFA is highly interested not only in celebrating success, but also helping to build it, which is why we will spend the necessary time for every entrant to receive personalized feedback on their submissions. We hope to inspire participants to improve their craft, to reach new heights of success, and to break down walls with the force of filmmaking.

If your film is accepted into the festival, it will be projected onto a large screen in front of a 300+ seat auditorium in the beautiful SVA Theatre in Chelsea, New York City. All proceeds will go to the Central African Relief Effort.

Stephen Cappel
Central African Relief Effort
Board Member and Director of Media
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CARE International Film Awards proudly accepts entries via FilmFreeway.com, a streamlined online submission platform. FilmFreeway offers free HD online screeners, unlimited video storage, digital press kits, and more. Click to submit with FilmFreeway.

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