Palm Springs International Film Festival announces the nominees for the 2017 HP Bridging The Borders Award offered by Cinema Without Borders


Burbank, CA – January 4, 2016: Today, Cinema Without Borders has announced jury members and the seven nominees for HP‘s Bridging The Borders Award at 2017 Palm Springs International Film Festival selected by Palm Springs International Film Festival Programers. The Bridging The Borders Award at the 2017 Palm Springs International Film Festival will be given to the most successful film in bringing the people of our world closer together.

Cinema Without Borders’ jury members to decide the 2017 winner of the HP Bridging The Borders Award are:

Susan Morgan Cooper
Susan Morgan Cooper is a Director/Producer/ Writer and her credits include:

To the Moon and Back, Documentary, Director/Producer/Writer 2016 (A cinematic act of love and courage’ … Broadway World) – Hopper [In his own words] Documentary, Producer/Writer 2013 (“I was moved to tears” Mike Medavoy) – Mulberry Child, Documentary, Director/Producer/Writer 2012 (‘A powerful and touching film’… 31/2 stars. Roger Ebert) – An Unlikely Weapon [The Eddie Adams Story]..Documentary, Director/Producer/Writer 2008 ( ‘A terrific documentary’ The Hollywood Reporter) – Making Of Shadows in The Sun, Documentary, Director/Producer/Writer 2005 – Heroes And Sheroes. Television Series, Director/Producer/Writer 2000
Mirjana: One Girl’s Journey, Documentary, Director/Producer/Writer 1997 – Stringers, Narrative Short Director/Producer/Writer 1990 – Hadley’s Rebellion, Narrative Feature Associate Producer 1989

Vladek Juszkiewicz
Born in Poland. He graduated from the Szczecin Technical University. While attending the University he became a member of The Szczecin Technical University Choir, serving as a President and manager of the group. His travels with the choir took him to 18 countries.
When he moved to Warsaw he became the manager of the Polish international star singer Maryla Rodowicz.
In Warsaw was responsible for the students’ international cultural exchange at the Headquarter of the Polish Student Association.

After immigrating to the United States he was introduced to producer, writer and director Paul Leder. He worked on 11 films with the late Mr. Leder.

In 1999 he founded the Polish Film Festival Los Angeles and is serving as the Festival’s Director.

Served on the juries of the Los Angeles Hungarian Film Festival, the Los Angeles South East European Film Festival, New York Polish Film Festival and Palm Springs International Film Festival.

In 2007 the President of Poland awarded him with the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland for promoting Polish culture abroad.

Vera Mijojlic
Vera Mijojlic is the founder and director of SEEfest, the South East European Film Festival in Los Angeles. Over the past dozen years she has positioned the festival as the premier cinematic showcase of eighteen Southeast European countries. Vera also works as a creative adviser to independent filmmakers, and has a distinguished record in humanitarian work. She began as a cultural reporter and film critic in Sarajevo, and holds a degree in journalism from the University of Belgrade.

Daniel Wyatt Phillips
Daniel Wyatt Phillips is a director, illustrator, and reviewer born and raised in Chicago, IL, currently transplanted to Los Angeles and working as a Virtual Reality director and Assistant Editor to Cinema Without Borders.



Bijan Tehrani
Bijan Tehrani a film director, film critic and writer, works as Editor in Chief of Cinema Without Borders while teaching Language & History of film workshops and organizes film screening events and festivals. Bijan has won several awards in international film festivals and book fairs for his short films and children’s books.



The seven nominees for HP’s Borders Bridging The Borders Award are: Abacus: Small Enough to Jail (USA),A Billion Colour Story (India), Death in Sarajevo (Bosnia & Herzegovina/France) , Goldstone (Australia), Keep Quiet (UK/Hungary), Layla M. (Netherlands/Belgium/Germany/Jordan) and Mercenary (France). The Bridging The Borders Award winning film will be announced on Saturday, January 14th, at the Palm Springs International Film Festival award ceremony.

2017 HP’s Bridging the Borders Award, is offered by Cinema Without Borders and Prize provided and Award sponsored by HP Workstations. Director of the winning film will receive an HP ZBook 15, an approximately $4000 value.

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
Director: Steve James
The only US bank prosecuted for mortgage fraud in the wake of the financial meltdown of 2008, Abacus was definitely not “too big to fail.” Hoop Dreams filmmaker James turns expectations upside down with this immensely sympathetic portrait of a Chinese community bank charged with malfeasance.

A Billion Colour Story
Director: N. Padmakumar
A liberal, middle-class, irreligious mixed Muslim-Hindu family gets a rude awakening when they move into a poorer part of Mumbai and encounter religious fundamentalism for the first time. Shot in black and white and told through the idealistic eyes of the family’s smart, 11-year-old son, this is a heart-warmer.

Death in Sarajevo
Bosnia & Herzegovina/France
Director: Danis Tanović
EU bigwigs converge on the Hotel Europa to mark the centenary of the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, but there’s turmoil in store in this multi-faceted political thriller from Oscar-winner Tanović (No Man’s Land), a beautifully choreographed ensemble piece that deftly illuminates and satirizes the perpetual Balkans crisis. Winner: Grand Jury Prize, FIPRESCI Prize, Berlin.

Director: Ivan Sen
A missing person inquiry brings indigenous detective Jay Swan to a frontier town. What seems like a simple investigation opens a web of crime and corruption. This follow up to Mystery Road is another stylish and political neo-noir.

Keep Quiet
Directors: Sam Blair, Joseph Martin
While still young, anti-Semite Csanád Szegedi became vice president of Jobbik, Hungary’s far-right political party. Then he discovered he was Jewish and converted to Orthodox Judaism… Sam Blair and Joseph Martin’s captivating film is judiciously even-handed about Szegedi’s supposed change of heart. Or is it?

Layla M.
Director: Mijke de Jong
This powerful, nuanced and resonant drama follows a teenage girl living in Amsterdam, who becomes disillusioned by daily encounters with racism, and turns to Islam. Her relationship with a Jihadist completes her radicalization, but her journey is far from over… Winner: Outstanding Performance, Philadelphia.

Director: Sacha  Wolff
A fierce, moving thriller about a massive Polynesian rugby player recruited to play in France, this stunning debut film shows us a violent, unfamiliar world through the eyes of an unforgettable outsider.


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Sara Tehrani

Sara Tehrani, is a film publicist and a fan of international cinema

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