October 23, 2011
Independent filmmaker Ali Kamanda of BIKO Studios, has won a prestigious Award of Excellence for Social Justice from the Best Shorts Competition. The award was given for Kamanda’s compelling short film, SALAY, which was shot in rural Sierra Leone with local actors to illuminate the difficult choices women are often forced to make to advance their opportunities in life. SALAY features Abibatu Shaw as Salay, a young woman grieving the loss of her mother, who feels the desire to direct her own life despite the pull of local traditions. Despite an intense rainy season and numerous production setbacks, filmmaker Ali Kamanda persevered to complete this moving portrayal of the dynamic between male and female relations.
“On behalf of everyone involved in the making of this film, I am so grateful and deeply honored for having received the award for Social Justice because the purpose of the film is to reignite the dialogue within my country about the conditions that can enable human traffickers to prey on innocent young women”, says SALAY writer, producer, director Ali Kamanda. “Hopefully this film helps shed light on such an important issue that continues to plague many developing countries.”
The Best Shorts Competition recognizes film professionals who demonstrate exceptional achievement in craft and creativity, and those who produce standout entertainment or contribute to pofound social change. Entries are judged by highly qualified professionals in the film industry. Information about the Best Shorts Competition and a list of recent winners can be found at www.bestshorts.net.
In winning Best Shorts laurels, BIKO Studios joins the ranks of other high-profile winners of this internationally respected award. Thomas Baker, Ph.D., who chairs the Best Shorts Competition, had this to say about the latest winners, “Best Shorts laurels are not easy to win. Entries are received from around the world. The Best Shorts Competition helps set the standard for craft and creativity. the judges were leased with the exceptionally high quality of entries. The goal of the Best Shorts Competition is to help winners achieve the recognition they deserve.”