2018 POEFF Best of Fest Winners

The Field (Israel, 73 min)

  • Directed by Mordechai Vardi
Ali Abu Awwad, a charismatic leader whose autobiography tells a story that normally produces a bitter hardened enemy, began the “Roots” project in the winter of 2014 when he met a settler named Shaul Judelman, and they built together a partnership of peace activists. A joint grass roots project of Palestinians and Israeli settlers meet on the homestead of Ali for meaningful dialogue to find a way to live together in the hope of a better future.

Perception: From Prison to Purpose (USA, 40 min)

  • Directed by Jonathan Reed
In 2009, Noah Schultz was arrested for attempted murder sentenced and incarcerated for seven years. Pushed to better himself and to challenge our perceptions of what it means to be an inmate, Noah took advantage of every program, workshop and educational service provided. From gang member and drug dealer, to college grad, author, and TEDx speaker. Noah’s determination and spirit have launched him to success; and he continues to advocate for programs in youth correctional facilities, and hopes to achieve reform of our prison systems nation’s widespread.

Not One of Us (USA, 9 min)

  • Directed by Bill Jarcho
When a brutish band of clay-morphing meanies invades and conquers a tribe of peaceful natives, their callous actions escalate to a shocking finale. Not One of Us serves as an ominous warning about the perils of building walls in the name of greed, violence, and xenophobia.

Hurria (USA, 15 min)

  • Directed by Travis Rush
A refugee father struggles to escape with his daughter out of war torn Syria before IS fighters attack their camp.

The Arcade Creek Project: A Mosaic of Sustainability (USA, 30 min)

  • Directed by Jierel Almario
The story of a small, deteriorated creek and one group of high schoolers and their teachers and advisor efforts to bring it back to its natural beauty from over a hundred years ago.

Voices Not Heard: The Climate Fight of Malaysian Youth (USA, China, 40 min)

  • Directed by Scott Brown
As climate change begins to wreak havoc, especially on the world’s developing nations, a 23-year-old Malaysian activist travels to Paris to represent young people from countries like his at the COP21 climate negotiations. His journey to discover his role as an activist on a global stage, to speak up for the underrepresented Global South, and to continue fighting now in the face of U.S. President Trump’s abandonment of the Paris Agreement, provides insight into the world of international climate negotiations and activism that is rarely reported to the public.

The Secret Fatwa (USA, 55 min)

  • Directed by Delnaz Abadi
‘The Secret Fatwa’ uncovers a crime unknown to the world and unique in the history of state crimes. In 1988 the Islamic Republic of Iran in a modern day medieval inquisition and religious purging, sent to death 4,000 political prisoners. Filmmaker, Delnaz Abadi, reaches out to former political prisoners who had fled Iran to uncover this horrific story.

Un Besito Más (One More Kiss) (USA, 6 min)

  • Directed by Simón Brand
The emotionally-charged visual follows the harrowing narrative of one family’s undocumented journey and their sudden, tragic separation. The visual is a tribute to fellow Latinos – beyond any border. It’s an emotional narrative and only one of thousands of stories lived daily in the US


Student Voices for Peace Awards
Selected by over 250 6th through 12th graders.

Exposé Awards
Recognizes short and feature documentaries that expose a subject that has received little or no media or public attention, but that shares a potent message and a clear demonstration that change is needed.

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