GIFF Announces Film Award Winners – Greenwich Sentinel

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Greenwich International Film Festival (GIFF) announced the 2024 film award-winners during a Virtual Film Award Ceremony held on Wednesday, May 15.

“999 The Forgotten Girls”, directed by Heather Macadam, has received the Best Social Impact Film Award which includes a $10,000 cash prize, generously underwritten by Ann & Nick Young.

“We are proud to present Director Heather Macadam with GIFF’s prestigious Best Social Impact Film Award for 999 The Forgotten Girls. The documentary exemplifies the type of film that GIFF likes to showcase, shedding light on an important story in history that should not be forgotten. GIFF was honored to include the film in our 2024 slate as part of our Jewish Film Series, underwritten by The Eve & Simon Colin Family Foundation, to help combat antisemitism through film,” Ginger Stickel, Executive Director.

Honorable Mention for Narrative Feature was awarded to “Àma Gloria”, directed by Marie Amachoukeli. Honorable Mention for Documentary Feature was awarded to “Lucha: A Wrestling Tale”, directed by Marco Ricci.


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This year’s film nominees included 10 feature-length films: “Àma Gloria”, “Blaga’s Lessons”, “Coming Around”, “Giants Rising”, “Join or Die”, “Losing Grace Finding Hope”, “Lucha: A Wrestling Tale”, “Supernova: The Music Festival Massacre”, “Susan Feniger”, “Forked”, and “999 The Forgotten Girls”.

The Film Jury that selected the award winners was comprised of four industry professionals: Peter H. Gistelinck, Executive Director of Avon Theatre; Joe Massa, Filmmaker; Jane Shang, Film Producer; and Ann Young, Philanthropist.

A recording of the GIFF’s 2024 Film Award Ceremony is available at www.greenwichfilm.org.

About Greenwich International Film Festival:

2024 marks the 10 Year Anniversary of Greenwich International Film Festival (GIFF), as an all-female founded 501(c)3 non-profit organization that bridges the worlds of film and philanthropy with films, panels and special events. GIFF’s mission is to harness the power of film to serve the greater good by supporting causes that relate to basic human rights, education, the environment and health care. Over half of our screened films are written and/or directed by women, and we work to provide charitable impact within the Connecticut area and around the world. To date, GIFF has raised over $1,100,000 for its charity partners, awarded $190,000 to filmmakers, and has brought attention to important issues facing the world today. To learn more, visit www.greenwichfilm.org

999 The Forgotten Girls Synopsis:
Best-selling author and historian Heather Dune Macadam has adapted her acclaimed book 999 into a powerful documentary that sheds light on a wrenching true story. In March 1942, nearly 1,000 young Slovak Jewish women, mostly teenagers, told by their government that they were embarking on a volunteer work assignment, were instead illegally deported to Auschwitz on what was the first Jewish transport to the Nazi death camp. Rather than strictly focus on the suffering and death experienced by most of the girls, Macadam tells stories of a small group who survived against all odds, even under unimaginable conditions that lasted more than three grueling years. A film of deep research and vivid detail, 999 The Forgotten Girls ensures that these women will no longer be a historical footnote. Note: some images may be disturbing.

Àma Gloria Synopsis:
Six-year-old Cléo loves her nanny, Gloria, more than anything. When Gloria must return to Cape Verde to care for her own children, the two must make the most of their last summer together.

Lucha: A Wrestling Tale Synopsis:
A fresh spin on the story of high school sports as the path to transformation and redemption, Lucha: A Wrestling Tale takes us inside the Taft High School women’s wrestling team on their journey to a championship. Personal challenges abound, from unsupportive families to homelessness, but these four young women from the Bronx – Shirley, Nyasia, Mariam, and Alba – find solace and hope in each other and on the mat. Their empowering story is a testament to the human spirit and true grit.

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