2018 North Dakota Human Rights Film Festival Award Winners Announced

November 8, 2018

2018 North Dakota Human Rights Film Festival Award Winners Announced

FARGO, N.D. (November 8, 2018)The North Dakota Human Rights Film Festival Jury is proud to announce the award winners for the second annual  film festival. Five films are being recognized and honored for their creativity, talent, approach to content and overall excellence of their films. “We’re excited to recognize these filmmakers and their work,” said Sean Coffman, Executive Director of the Human Family and Chair of the 2018 North Dakota Human Rights Film and Arts Festival.

The award winners include:

Best Documentary Short

empire arts center • Grand Forks, North Dakota

Afternoon Session | 1:00 – 4:30 pm

Hotel Everest (United States)
Directed by: Claudia Sobral
“Hotel Everest” is a story about individuals who have the courage to overcome ancient hatreds, fear and mistrust to find a better and peaceful way for themselves, their communities and their families. They come together to understand the humanity in “the other”, forge connections that promote empathy, understanding and, in their wildest hopes, peace. Our film is not a historical account of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict but a contemporary, experiential film about living within it.

Best Narrative Short

empire arts center • Grand Forks, North Dakota

Evening Session | 6:00 – 10:00 pm

Dak’toká Taíno(I Am Taíno)(United States)
Directed by: Alba Enid García
A young Taíno girl, Marabelí, visits her grandma, Abuela Yaya after Hurricane María. Marabelí expresses her fears of survival, while Abuela Yaya comforts and reminds her of their resilient Taíno ancestors and challenging history. This film warmly reflects in the future of Puerto Ricans as an indigenous society.

Best Animation / Experimental

The Heritage Center & State Museum • Bismarck, North Dakota

evening Session | 6:00 – 10:00 pm

Too Many Bodies (United States)
Directed by: Reena Dutt
“Too Many Bodies” is a music video for Alex Mackey’s “Place Called Us”, addressing America’s need for gun reform through dance, music and passion, culminating in a website of resources for advocacy and survivor support.

Best Student Film

The Fargo theatre • Fargo, North Dakota

Evening Session | 7:00 – 10:00 pm

United Hopes (United States)
Directed by: Arwa Sawan
“United Hopes” addresses the Syrian refugees’ concerns over exercising their basic human rights and freedom of expression and how the United States immigration policy regarding the Syrian refugees’ humanitarian crisis is being shaped by the concerns over the impact of refugees on the USA’s national security.  A documentary that brings awareness to this humanitarian crisis and highlights the important role of communication in promoting human rights protection while addressing concerns of our national security.

The Samuel Sprynczynatyk Storyteller Award: Best Documentary Feature

The Heritage Center & State Museum • Bismarck, North Dakota

evening Session | 6:00 – 10:00 pm

Dodging Bullets (United States)
Directed by: Sarah Edstrom, Kathy Broere, Jonathan Thunder, Bob Trench and Tom Trench
Native Americans have dodged bullets since first contact with Europeans. This film brings a cross-generational sampling of Indigenous people, researchers, and politicians to reveal stunning reasons for their disproportionately high incidences of health and social issues. This collection of remarkable stories, names Historical Trauma as the unique and insidious part of the genetic code that resilient Native American populations are still finding ways to dodge.
The film focuses on Native Americans and is not the typical “tragedy porn” film about Indian Country, it is more of an accurate portrayal of life.


Pre-sale tickets for the 2018 North Dakota Human Rights Film Festival are currently available. Tickets for individual screenings are $12 in advance and $15 at the door, and $2 for Seniors and Students. A Festival Pass to all screenings in Bismarck, Fargo and Grand Forks is available for $40. Follow the following links to get your tickets today: Grand Forks, Bismarck or Fargo.

The mission of the North Dakota Human Rights Film and Arts Festival is to educate, engage, and facilitate discussion around local and world-wide human rights topics through the work of filmmakers and artist. 2018 is the second year for both the film and art festivals.

The 2018 North Dakota Human Rights Film and Arts Festival is made possible through the generosity of the Consensus Council, the City of Fargo’s Human Relations Commission, the City of Fargo’s Native American Commission, the Awesome Foundation: Cass Clay, and The High Plains Reader, and through partnerships with Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, the NDSU Memorial Gallery, the North Dakota Human Rights Coalition. The Fargo screening of the film “Home.” was funded in part by Humanities North Dakota, a nonprofit, independent state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in the screening of “Home.” do not necessarily reflect those of Humanities North Dakota or the National Endowment for the Humanities.




1 (701) 205-0248


PO Box 9468
Fargo, ND 58106-9468


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