Bhutan

Dechen Roder

Recipient

I, The Song, is a remarkable Hitchcockian thriller by the all-female team of director Dechen Roder and producer Thinley Chodan. In a reckless digital age, a Bhutanese woman travels to a tiny village to unravel a mystery and reclaim her stolen identity.

Dechen Roder is one of the first female directors from the Kingdom of Bhutan. She has been making small shorts and documentaries since 2005. Her most recent short film Lo Sum Choe Sum (3 Year 3 Month Retreat) competed in the Berlinale Shorts 2015, and later screened in multiple festivals around the world, including Palm Springs Short Fest, Melbourne, Fribourg, and Seoul International Women’s Film Festival. She is also the co-founder and organizer of the only film festival in Bhutan: Beskop Tshechu Film Festival. When not working on her own films, she works as a visual editor on other projects and as a producer/writer/director for commissioned projects. Honeygiver Among the Dogs (2017) is her debut feature film and was nominated for an APSA for the Cultural Diversity Award Under the Patronage of UNESCO.

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France

Delphine Garde-Mroueh

Recipient

At a women-only petrol station in war-torn Yemen, conflict rages as the personal becomes political. In, The Station, APSA Academy member Delphine Mroueh and writer/producer Nadia Eliewat offer us a gripping story of impossible choices in a world that few can enter.

Delphine Garde-Mroueh has had more than 12 years in the film, art and cultural industries in the United Arab Emirates. For ten years she was the Head of Programme Administration & Film Services for the Dubai International Film Festival, and programmed the highly-regarded Arabian Nights section. Her aim is to connect audiences to Arab and world cinema, champion emerging and acclaimed filmmakers and promote Arab film and talent on the international stage.

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New Zealand

Catherine Fitzgerald

Recipient

From Catherine Fitzgerald and Samoan writer/director Tusi Tamasese – Sweet Lips is about a nineteen year old Samoan using her dressmaking skills to save her family and support her country’s struggle for independence in 1929. The panel found an endearing story in this surprising drama from the Pacific.

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Israel

Rachel Leah Jones

Recipient

Filmmakers Rachel Leah Jones and Philippe Bellaiche follow an extra-filmic development from their last movie that calls for a collective reckoning with hope, despair, and the meaning of personal, political, and professional responsibility in Israel/Palestine, and beyond.

Born in Berkeley, California in 1970 and raised between Berkeley and Tel Aviv, Israel, Rachel Leah Jones is a socially and politically engaged documentary filmmaker who specialises in Israel/Palestine. Her directorial credits include: 500 Dunam on the Moon (2002) about a Palestinian village transformed into a Jewish artists’ colony; Targeted Citizen (2010) about the inequality of Palestinian citizens of Israel; and Gypsy Davy (2012) about her father, a white American who reinvented himself as a Spanish flamenco guitarist. She received her first APSA nomination in 2019 for Advocate, which played at the Sundance Film Festival and which she won multiple awards and was nominated for the Best Documentary Feature Film at APSA. Jones has also produced others’ works including Simone Bitton’s Wall that played the 2004 Cannes Film Festival and won the Special Jury Prize at Sundance.

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