Dirty Difficult Dangerous, wins 2023 MOZAIK Bridging The Borders Award at Palm Springs International Film Festival


Burbank, CA – January 16th 2023. Today Palm Springs International Film Festival announced its 2023 winners and Dirty Difficult Dangerous (France, Italy, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Qatar) directed by Wissam Charaf won MOZAIK Bridging The Borders Award.

The Honorary Mentions went to The Happiest Man in the World (Macedonia Belgium Slovenia Denmark Croatia and Bosnia) directed by Teona Strugar Mitevska

The Borders Award  is presented by Cinema Without Borders and award sponsored and prize provided by MOZAIK  The winner of Bridging the Borders Award will receive a cash prize of $2500.

In the following video message, Keely Badger the Executive Director of MOZAIK and a jury member announces the winners of 2023 MOZAIK Bridging the Borders Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.

Here is MOZAIK Bridging The Borders Award jury statement announced by Keely Badger : “My name is Kelly Badger and I serve as the executive director of MOZAIK Philanthropy we are a national Foundation committed to democratizing philanthropy in the arts and we are very proud to be this year’s award sponsor. The Bridging The Borders Award celebrates courageous independent cinema where viewers find inspiration and solidarity in the universality of human experience and in turn are moved to take meaningful action to address some of the greatest Global struggles of our time. Started over 15 years ago Cinema Without Borders was founded by Bijan Tehrani and today this prestigious award is presented to an array of extraordinary films and filmmakers that dozens of festivals around the globe. These are filmmakers who each in their own ride have brilliantly challenged the notion of borders that seek to differentiate and divide us and have instead devoted their filmmaking to uniting and inspiring us through the power of story.

This year our jury received an incredibly competitive submission pool from filmmakers from all corners of the globe and all marks of life. I am proud to present our Honorary Mention this year to a film The Happiest Man in the World directed by Teona Strugar Mitevska with co-production in North Macedonia Belgium Slovenia Denmark Croatia and Bosnia, centering along speed-dating event in the war-torn city of 40-year-old Asje is matched with 43-year-old Zoran. As they participate in the activities, it gradually becomes clear that Zoran is not looking for love, but forgiveness. Ultimately this is a beautiful story of forgiveness and we’re honored to present this Honorary Mention to The Happiest Man in the World

The winner of the 2023 MOZAIK Bridging the Borders Award is Dirty Difficult Dangerous directed by Wissam Charaf with co-production in France, Italy, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. A downtrodden Ethiopian maid and a handsome Syrian refugee who subsists on scavenging the streets of Beirut are the unlikely couple at the center of this quirky Lebanese drama that explores difficult circumstances with an unexpectedly light and humorous touch. Congratulations to our winner of the 2023 MOZAIK Bridge the Borders Award, Dirty Difficult Dangerous

Cinema Without Borders’ jury members to decide the 2022 winner of the MOZAIK Bridging The Borders Award were:

Keely Badger is Executive Director of MOZAIK, a new millennial-led philanthropic organization committed to exploring and modeling new practices in philanthropy with disruptive, creative, and catalytic potential. 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 by working to democratize philanthropy through participatory grantmaking praxis.

Bambadjan Bamba
Bambadjan Bamba is an award-winning actor, filmmaker, and activist. He has worked in prominent roles on numerous hit television shows like “The Good Place,” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” and in blockbuster films like “Black Panther,” and “Suicide Squad.” He was recently featured in the Will Smiths’ Netflix series “Amend: The fight for America.” In 2017 Bambadjan publicly disclosed that he was a recipient of the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) that is in danger of being terminated. Ever since Bambadjan has used his inspirational story to advocate for immigrant rights.

His writing was published in Variety, LA Times, the Washington Post, NBC, CNN to name a few, and he is a contributor in the New York Times bestseller “American Like Me: Reflections on life between cultures” by award-winning actress America Ferrera.
Bambadjan is also the recipient of the Courageous Advocate Award from the ACLU and the Courageous Luminary award from NILC (National Immigration Law Center).

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 Glasgow, 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 travels 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 star singer Maryla Rodowicz.
After immigrating to the United States, he worked on 11 films with the late Paul Leder.
In 1999 he founded the Polish Film Festival Los Angeles and served as a director till 2019. Now is serving as the Festival’s Programmer.
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.
Awarded by Polish Government with the Cavalier & Officer Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland and Gloria Artis for promoting Polish culture abroad.

Granaz Moussavi
Granaz Moussavi was born in Tehran. She started writing professionally as a book review writer and literary critic at the age of 17. Her first poems were published when she was almost 16 years old and since then, her poetry is translated and published in 9 languages while she has presented her poetry in various poetry festivals, seminars, and symposiums including the Paris festival, SOAS, Oxford, Maryland, and Stanford Universities, as well as Mondorf Symposium of Pluralism (Luxembourg 2009) , and Caravan of poetry through France (2004).
Her second book, “Barefoot Till Morning” was the winner of best poetry book of the year award in 2001 in Iran and is currently re-published its fourth edition. The Italian translation of her poetry won a prize for best translation in Italy in 2013 (Songs of the Forbidden Woman, ELENCO PREMIATI XIX edition). She has 4 solo translated books in German, Italian, French, and Kurdish.
Granaz studied drama in Tehran/Iran 1991-94 and continued her studies in Australia entering a BA course in Screen Studies in 1998; then finished an honors degree in Flinders University in 2002. She is a graduate from Postgraduate degree in film editing from Australian Film School (AFTRS) and in 2013 successfully completed a Doctorate in Film Studies and Filmmaking in University of Western Sydney with a thesis project on the aesthetics of poetic cinema.
Granaz’s debut feature film My Tehran For Sale won an Australian IF award for best independent film and was internationally premiered in Toronto film festival.
Granaz’s second feature film, When Pomegranates Howl was shot entirely on location in Kabul/Afghanistan and premiered in Tokyo International Film Festival and nominated for best youth film in Asia Pacific Screen Awards 2021.

Bijan Tehrani
Bijan Tehrani founder and Editor in Chief of Cinema Without Borders (CWB) online- publication and Cinema Without Borders Foundation 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 Tehrani has organized a numerus cultural events dealing with international cinema and social justice. The ongoing ELAC International Animation Day is an annual festival showcasing international animation and I, Immigrant International On-line Film Festival portrays the positive impact of immigrants in their new societies.

Bijan is also the creator of the Bridging the Borders Award that is offered in ten international film festival in US, UK, and Australia. Bridging the Borders Award goes to the films that help bringing people of the world closer together.

Bijan Tehrani has won several awards and has been recognized by several film festivals and cultural institutes as Ambassador of International Cinema because of his services to the world film community through 15 years of publishing Cinema Without Borders.

Terry George, Academy winner and director of Hotel Rwanda, had this to say on the 10th anniversary of CWB:” At a time when media consolidation is threatening diverse and unique voices, Cinema Without Borders provides a forum for underrepresented perspectives and stories. Now more than ever, we need to reach across cultural, political, and national lines. Cinema Without Borders is part of this critical work.”


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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