Rising Silence (2018) is a 75-minute feature documentary produced by Komola Collective, Openvizor and Making Herstory
Thespian Leesa Gazi's directorial debut Rising Silence recently won two prestigious awards- Best Feature Documentary at Moondance International Film Festival and Best Investigation 2019 at Asian Media Awards. The Moondance International Film Festival awards were announced on October 17, and the 7th Annual Asian Media Awards were distributed on Thursday, October 24, at the Hilton Manchester Deansgate.
Rising Silence (2018) is a 75-minute feature documentary produced by Komola Collective, Openvizor and Making Herstory. It follows nine Birongona women, as they describe the horrors inflicted on them during the Liberation War and how they coped, never giving up on life.
About winning these two highly prestigious accolades, director Leesa told Dhaka Tribune Showtime about the Asian Media Awards: "Rising Silence was the only independent documentary feature nominated in the investigation category. We were just thrilled to find ourselves in such esteemed company as a fellow nominee. (We ) didn't imagine winning this award. We feel honoured.”
The other nominees for Best Investigation 2019 at the Asian Media Awards were documentary films by media heavyweights: Hometown by BBC Three, Hate Speech Exposed by ITV Tyne Tees, and Homeless and Working by Channel 4 Dispatches.
It’s the UK’s most high profile Asian media event of the year. The awards are given to ground-breaking work, of reporters and producers, in highlighting issues affecting race relations and human rights.
On the other hand, Moondance International Film Festival honours film-makers, writers, and composers who actively increase awareness, provide multiple viewpoints, address complex social issues, and strengthen ties between international audiences. Moondance, which began in 2000 in Colorado, USA, was named as a contrast to the Sundance Film Festival, where no women film-makers had won in 22 years.
“It’s one of the acclaimed and respected film festivals; very well known in Europe,” Leesa said. “You don’t need to have connections in the industry to get into this festival.”
The award system for this festival is also unique. They tie the winners up with distributors, agents, and TV networks.