The Present, wins GoE Bridging The Borders Award at 2020 SHORTFEST


Palm Springs International SHORTFEST has announced The Present,  from Palestine, directed by Farah Nabulsi, as the winner of GoE’s 2020 Bridging the Borders Award, presented by Cinema Without Borders and sponsored by Go Energistics The winner  received  a cash award of $2500 courtesy of Go Energistics. 

Palm Springs International ShortFest 2020 was held online do to the Corona virus pandemic.

The 15 nominees for the 2019 GoE Bridging The Borders Award were: Call Center Blues (USA/Mexico) Director: Geeta Gandbhir, Container (Greece/USA) Director: Daphne Maziariaki, Dear Joel (Greece/France) Director: Thanasis Trouboukis, Deserter (Czech Republic/Ukraine) Director: Sasha Stelchenko, Fabiu (Austria) Director: Stefan Langthaler, Heading South (China/USA) Director: Yuan Yuan, Home (USA) Director: Adewale Olukayode, Korea , My Love (France) Director: Yoonyoung Choi, Lena (USA) Director: Gosha Shapiro, The Present (Palestine) Director: Farah Nabulsi, Red Ants Bites (Switzerland/Georgia) Director: Elene Naveriani, Silent Storm (Switzerland) Director: Anaïs Moog, A Story Without You (Germany/Mexico) Director: Michael Nathansky, and White Eye (Israel) Director: Tomer Shushan.

Adam B. Shepherd, President & CEO of Go Energistics, and a jury member announced the winner of 2020 GoE Bridging The Borders Award in a video message:

The following is GoE Bridging the Borders Award’s jury statement: “The Cinema Without Borders Bridging the Borders Award sponsored by Go Energistics will be given at 2020 Palm Springs International Short Film Festival. The fifteen nominees from fourteen countries were all brilliant films ,addressing important issues of our time . Choosing the winning film proved a difficult task for the jury.

Our Honorable mention goes to a documentary from Greece & USA directed by Daphne Maziariaki. Container highlights one of the greatest humanitarian crises of our time where millions of migrants escape their war torn countries in search of refuge while the UN fails to protect them.The film shows the friendships forged by young refugees tragically forced to live inside a shipping container in a refugee camp in Greece.

Receiving the $2500 winning prize and the Go Energistics Bridging the Borders Award is the film The Present from Palestine directed by Farah Nabulsi . At the Israeli border, unsympathetic guards argue with a Palestinian man that the fridge he has bought as a present for his wife is too wide to pass through the gate. A heated conflict ensues. On a side road, the man’s little daughter,with all her might ,slowly and deliberately pushes the fridge across the border, building a bridge between both sides.”

Farah Nabulsi director of The Present, winner of the GoE Bridging the Borders Award has sent Cinema Without Borders an award acceptance message:

Cinema Without Borders presents the Bridging the Borders Awards to the films that are most successful in bridging and connecting people through the power of story, and ultimately, bringing the world closer together. The winner of GoE Bridging the Borders Award, receives a $2500 cash award courtesy of our award sponsor, Go Energistics.

The Present (Palestine) Director: Farah Nabulsi
On his wedding anniversary, Yusef and his daughter, Yasmine, set out in the West Bank to buy his wife a gift. Between the soldiers, segregated roads and checkpoints, how easy would it be to go shopping?

Container (Greece/USA) Director: Daphne Maziariaki
A strong friendship is formed between five unaccompanied refugee boys who live inside a shipping container in a refugee camp in Greece.

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

Bambadjan Bamba is an actor, filmmaker, and immigrant rights advocate. He has been featured in numerous hit television shows, including NBC’s The Good Place, ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, HBO’s Sopranos and in blockbuster films, Marvel’s Black Panther, DC Comic’s Suicide Squad and the Oscar-nominated Beginners. In 2017, Bambadjan publicly disclosed that he was a recipient of the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) and has ever since used his inspirational story to change the conversation around immigration.
Bambadjan gives talks at college campuses, events, and media outlets around the U.S. His writings have appeared in the Washington Post, on NBC and on CNN, and he is a contributor to the New York Times bestseller American Like Me: Reflections on life between cultures by award-winning actress America Ferrera. Bambadjan is the recipient of ACLU’s Courageous Advocate Award and the NILC (National Immigration Law Center) Courageous Luminary award. He serves as a Define American ambassador and is a board member for the African Artists Association.

Michael Franck is an internationally awarded documentarian, who has directed and produced more than 150 documentaries shown both on Finnish television and internationally. His films main focus is on Finnish and Nordic political history and entrepreneurship, future living conditions seen from a scientific perspective as well as socio-political and human bridge building in the Middle East, where his family has been working and living for three generations.

Currently he and his team have several documentary films in production through his own production company Franck Doc in co-operation with Parad Fakta production house. These include the story of the legendary Finnish Student Union, that came to be a base for the country´s globally known education system, and Michael Franck´s documentary portrait “My Godfather and Kekkonen”, featuring the controversial Finnish cold war time pro western parliamentarian Georg C. Ehrnrooth,
the documentarist´s own godfather, whom Michael as a young politician in the 1970’s decided to disagree with.

Michaels both older sons; awarded documentarian Arthur Franck and producer Edvin Franck, also work with their fathers different documentary projects.

Rodrigo Garcia is a Mexican film director that has directed a variety of independent films, including the award-winning “Nine Lives”; the three-time Academy Award-nominated feature “Albert Nobbs,” starring Glenn Close; and “Mother and Child,” starring Annette Bening, Naomi Watts and Samuel L. Jackson. In 2000, Rodrigo’s first film as a writer and director, “Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her,” won the Un Certain Regard Award at the Cannes Film Festival. “Last Days in the Desert,” starring Ewan McGregor, premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and this past January, “Four Good Days,” starring Glenn Close and Mila Kunis premiered at Sundance as well, which was written and directed by Rodrigo.

Among his television credits are the cable series “In Treatment,” on which he served as executive producer and showrunner for the first season and received a Writers Guild of America Award in the New Series category. Other TV credits include “Sopranos,” “Six Feet Under,” “Carnivȧle” and “Big Love,” for which he directed the pilot episode and was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series. Garcia also directed the pilot for CBS’s hit drama” Bull” starring Michael Weatherly and the upcoming ”Party of Five” reboot from Freeform and Sony Pictures Television.

Garcia is also the Co-Chief Executive Officer of Indigenous Media, a next generation digital studio focused on producing original content for digital and emerging platforms worldwide. He is Co-Creator of WIGS, the digital drama channel offering over 180 episodes of scripted content. For WIGS, Rodrigo wrote and directed the WIGS series “Blue,” starring Julia Stiles, and “Christine,” starring America Ferrera.

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

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

Daria Mashouf is Director of Development for 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, Daria is focused on aligning the foundation’s portfolio with its mission and bringing a newfound commitment to Socially Responsible Investing through the lens of diversity, equity and inclusion as well as universal human rights. He bases the foundation of his efforts and guiding principles on promoting social and environmental justice through the arts.

In 2014, he founded the SciFi Film Festival and Veterans Film Festival in Australia and continues to oversee their development and artistic direction.

– Born in Dallas during World War II, Chale Nafus attended public schools, spent summers on his sister’s ranch in Comanche County in the 1950s, learned Spanish from schoolmates, and dreamed of getting out of Dallas. After getting through freshman year at SMU, he worked at Texas Instruments before realizing he really needed a college education. After attending the University of Texas at Arlington (B.A., English), La Universidad Autónoma de México, and UT Austin (M.A., English/RTF), he began a long college teaching career at Texas Southmost College (Brownsville), La Universidad de Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, Borough of Manhattan Community College, Kingsborough Community College (Brooklyn), and finally Austin Community College (1973-1998). At the latter, he founded the Department of Radio-TV-Film, taught classes in film studies, and for seven years served as Chair of Humanities (Northridge Campus). Retiring in 1998, Chale spent 4 years traveling and writing before joining the staff of Austin Film Society as Director of Programming (2002-2015). He is now totally retired and happily serving on the boards of Austin Film Society and OUTsider Fest as well as the advisory committees of IndieMeme (South Asian film organization) and Cine Las Americas.

Adam Shepherd
Adam Shepherd, President and Chief Executive Officer of Go Energistics (GoE), has been a champion for social awareness and strong supporter of numerous non-profit organizations dedicated to healing. As the founder of (GoE) a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), Adam is devoted to serving the men and women of our Nation’s military, Veterans, and their families by supporting the health care systems that serve them.

Adam not only witnessed but experienced first-hand, how people all over the world are eager to connect beyond their borders and despite their [perceived]differences. Continually moved by the spirit of people, Adam actively seeks out opportunities to encourage and enact positive social awareness and change.

Adam’s appreciation for the arts, especially cinema and its power to globally unite people, drives him to serve a higher purpose that goes beyond traditional borders. Adam’s philosophy and core belief that each of us can have a positive impact in our world are echoed through GoE’s sponsorship of the Bridging the Borders Award; which recognizes and highlights those who are most successful in bringing people of our world closer together through film.

Bijan Tehrani
Founder and director of I, Immigrant and founder 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.
Tehrani 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.

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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