Advocate wins GoE Bridging The Borders Award at Palm Springs IFF


Burbank, CA – January 11th, 2020 – Today Advocate (Israel/Canada/Switzerland) Directed by: Rachel Leah Jones & Philippe Bellaiche, was announced as the winner of  GoE Bridging the Borders Award, presented by Cinema Without Borders at 2020 Palm Springs International Film Festival

This year’s award ceremony festival was held at Hilton Hotel in Palm Springs. The Editor-in-Chief of CWB, Bijan Tehrani, filmmaker, jury member Susan Morgan Cooper, activist and  jury member Keely Badger and Adam Shepherd from Go Energistics (Award and prize sponsor via a video message) presented the award for this year’s GoE Bridging the Borders award winner. The winner received a cash award of $2500 from CWB’s generous sponsors.

Announcing the award Bijan Tehrani said: “Before our award announcement ,I want to say a few words as an Iranian/American. In the last few days I have been in touch with my filmmaker friends in Iran. I have shared their worries  about the threat of a war.They are not worried about not being able to make films, even though the world of cinema may not be able to see another masterpiece from the kind of Asghar Farhadi. Their concern is the loss of millions of innocent lives in meaningless war…Iranian lives and American lives .I’m sure I speak for all the artists in the world  that no war can justify the loss of even one life.

Wars are celebrated by arms dealers whose business is destruction.  I hope you can join us in the campaign of No War With Iran”

Next Susan Morgan Cooper talked about the award and nominees: ” GoE Bridging the Borders Award, offered by Cinema Without Borders and sponsored by Go Energistics, is offered to a film that helps bringing people of our world closer together. For the 2020 GoE bridging the Borders Award, we had eight brilliant films nominated, half documentary and half narrative It was not an easy task to choose our honorable mention and winner.”

Keely Badger from Neda Nobari Foundation, a social justice activist and a jury member announced jury’s Honorable Mention: “Our jury awards the Honorable Mention to a feature documentary that thoughtfully addresses universal issues of racism through the eyes of an aboriginal Australian star athlete who protests in order to preserve his dignity and inspire others. This beautiful film is The Australian Dream directed by Daniel Gordon.”

Adam Shepherd, CEO of Go Energistics, the sponsor of the Bridging The Borders Award announced the winner in his video message.”The winner of 2019 GoE Bridging the Borders Award is an extraordinary documentary that masterfully and unflinchingly explores issues of social justice in one of its most complicated forms. This film tells the story of courageous Israeli human rights lawyer Lea Tsemel, whose practice represents Palestinian defendants with unwavering principles of fairness and compassion.

The winner of the 2020 GoE Bridging the Borders Award that receives a $2500 cash award, is Advocate, directed by Rachel Leah Jones and Philippe Bellaïche.”

In the last section of GoE Award presentation an award acceptance video message by Rachel Leah Jones and Philippe Bellaïche, directors of Advocate was played for the award ceremony audience.

Cinema Without Borders’ jury members to decide the 2020 winner of the GoE Bridging The Borders Award wrer:

Keely Badgers
Keely Badger is Executive Director of Neda Nobari Foundation (NNF), a philanthropic organization promoting social and environmental justice through arts and education. Based in Los Angeles, CA, Keely leads the foundation’s strategic grantmaking, programs and community engagements, working with a range of nonprofit organizations in the local, national and international advocacy space.

As a millennial expert and advocate on international human rights and development issues, Keely pioneers’ durable solutions for underrepresented voices, communities and causes in alignment with the foundation’s focus areas: Holistic Education, Innovative Arts, Transparent Media, Earth Advocacy, and Social Impact Cinema.

Marcy Garriott
Marcy Garriott is an independent documentary filmmaker based in Austin, Texas. An electrical engineer and still photographer coming out of college, she was a telecommunications executive for 15 years before turning to filmmaking and social activism. Her Director/Producer credits include the award-winning documentary films SPLIT DECISION and INSIDE THE CIRCLE.

Marcy also produced THE LEAST OF THESE (about immigrant child detention) and the CNN documentary AN UNREAL DREAM: THE MICHAEL MORTON STORY. Most recently she served as an Executive Producer on the documentary films PEACE OFFICER and BUILDING THE AMERICAN DREAM. Marcy is a former board member and President of the Austin Film Society, and a current Advisory Board member of Cine Las Americas

Vladek Juszkiewicz
Born in Glogow, Poland. He graduated from the Szczecin Technical University with a degree in Engineering. While attending the University he became a member of The Szczecin Technical University Choir, serving as a President and manager of the group. His traveled with the choir to 18 counties including United States where he visited the White House.
When he moved to Warsaw, he became the manager of the Polish international singing star Maryla Rodowicz.
After immigrating to the United States, he co-produced 11 films with the late Paul Leder.
In 1999 he founded the Polish Film Festival Los Angeles and served as the Festival’s Director till 2019. Now serving as Director Emeritus.
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.
The Polish Government awarded him with the Cavalier’s and Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland and Medal of Gloria Artis for promoting Polish culture abroad.


Daniela Kon
Daniela Kon is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, producer and consultant working at the intersection of human rights, global development and impact media. She is a board member of the Human Rights Watch Film Committee and HRW’s Women’s Rights Committee Los Angeles. She founded SIMA and the Social Impact Media Awards in 2012, and via SIMA Studios, reaches over 50,000 students and 5 million viewers in over 40 countries every year. Today, SIMA is the largest network of social impact creatives with the broadest global footprint, helping advance education and empower engagement for social change from the grassroots level up.
Born in Frankfurt, Germany, Daniela earned an MA in Documentary Production at the University of London. She moved to New York in 2003 working for Emmy award-winning director Marc Levin at Blowback Productions and was the researcher and assistant editor for HBO and THINK Film’s “Protocols of Zion,” an Official Sundance Selection. She founded impact agency, DEEDA, in 2005 and has since worked with filmmakers, NGOs and aid organizations around the world. Her film credits range from the award-winning documentary TALIBE, the UN FAO Ending Hunger Campaign, and the Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development, to collaborations with grassroots initiatives in Education, Voluntourism, Youth Leadership, Girls and Women’s Empowerment, LGBT Rights, Water Management, Children’s Rights, and Modern-day Slavery.

Jim Miller
Jim Miller is the Executive Director of Brave New Films, a position he has held for the past 11 years. Most recently he produced the documentary ‘Making A Killing: Guns, Greed, and the NRA. In addition, he produced the docs ‘Koch Brothers Exposed’, ‘War on Whistle blowers’ and ‘Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars’. Jim is responsible for helping to form our partner coalitions to help spread our videos throughout the world. His film experience began over 25 years ago working on the film…



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

Bijan Tehrani
Founder and Editor in Chief of Cinema Without Borders (CWB) and CineEqual is an award-winning author of children’s books and short films. Tehrani has been a passionate advocate of human rights, which he has actively pursued as a filmmaker, -historian, and -critic over the past five decades.

Bijan initiated CineEqual, a multi-faceted program that includes I, Immigrant and is administered by the CWB Foundation, in 2018. Since its founding in 2005, CWB has interviewed and introduced over 2,000 filmmakers from around the globe, a majority of them champions of social justice and human rights.

Bijan Tehrani is the recipient of several awards for his services to international cinema, including SEEfest’s Ambassador of International Cinema, Polish Film Festival’s Friend of the Festival, and Hungarian Film Festival’s Gateway to International Cinema.

The eight nominees for GoE Bridging The Borders Award at 2020 Palm Springs International Film festival were:14 Days, 12 Nights (Canada), Adam (Morocco/France), Advocate– (Israel/Canada/Switzerland), The Australian Dream (Australia), Gay Chorus Deep South (USA), Gaza (Ireland/Canada/Germany), Lingua Franca (USA/Philippines) and Murmur (Canada).

Advocate– (Israel/Canada/Switzerland) Directed by: Rachel Leah Jones & Philippe Bellaiche – This intimate and moving documentary spotlights fiercely optimistic and compassionate human rights attorney Lea Tsemel as she continues her lifelong mission of defending the defenseless, despite the torrent of backlash she receives for being an Israeli lawyer seeking justice for Palestinians accused of terrorism.

The Australian Dream (Australia) Directed by: Daniel Gordon – This powerful documentary uses the remarkable and inspirational story of Aboriginal football legend Adam Goodes as the prism through which to tell a deeper and more complex story about race, identity and belonging.

About Go Energistics
Go Energistics is dedicated to “Serving Those Who Serve”
Federal and Private Sector healthcare facilities form the back-bone of an industry focused on healing environments and serving the needs of their patients. As a trusted partner of choice, Go Energistics’ mission is to dramatically improve healthcare buildings and delivery systems to empower optimal performance and promote the best possible care. Whether it is planning services, design, procurement assistance, medical equipment installation, logistics support or “all-of-the-above,” Go Energistics is committed to “Building Solutions that FiT Your Healthcare Needs.”


About Author

Bijan Tehrani

Bijan Tehrani a film director, film critic and writer, works as editor in chief of Cinema Without Borders while teaching Language of Film and Film History at workshops nationwide. Bijan has won several awards in international film festivals and book fairs for his short films and children's books.

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