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RFE/RL Documentaries Win New York Festivals International Awards

Graphic - New York Festivals Silver Medals
Graphic - New York Festivals Silver Medals

WASHINGTON - Two RFE/RL video documentaries have won Silver Awards at the 2017 New York Festivals International Television and Film Awards ceremony in Las Vegas on Tuesday, April 25.

RFE/RL’s Russian Service’s “She Was Called Tatiana” profiles Russian singer and actress Miriam Sekhon, who was born in the final years of the Soviet Union and now fronts the band Tatiana, which performs songs by Russian singers from the 1930s. The Kyrgyz Service’s short video feature “A Snowy Trek On Horseback To Teach School” tells the story of Kenesh Shorukov, a dedicated schoolteacher who rises before dawn every day to ride 10 kilometers on horseback across northern Kyrgyzstan’s rugged and snowy terrain to get to class on time. Both videos were recognized in the “Human Interest” category.

RFE/RL President Thomas Kent welcomed the awards as “recognition of our strength in visual formats,” and said “they testify to our journalists’ deep connection to the people and places they report, and their ability to identify great stories and tell them powerfully.”

The award-winning videos were among five RFE/RL documentaries that were shortlisted in the competition, which honors programming in all lengths and formats from over 50 countries. The other finalists were “Poisoned Truth,” the first serious journalistic investigation into the mysterious fainting of schoolchildren in the Kazakh village of Berezovka (RFE/RL Kazakh Service); “Generation Emigration,” an exploration of the issues driving mass out-migration among Moldova’s youth (RFE/RL Moldovan Service); and “Frozen In Time: Russia’s Norwegian Colony,” a report from the Russian coal-mining colony that endures on Norway’s Spitsbergen island (RFE/RL Russian Service).

This is the second consecutive year that RFE/RL videos have won recognition at the New York Festivals. The video documentary “Desperate Honeymoon,” a chronicle of one Syrian couple’s months-long migration to Europe, won Silver and Bronze awards in 2016.

The New York Festivals International Television and Film Awards, first presented in 1957, celebrate the exceptional and innovative programs being created today on all continents by the television and film industries.