Aurora Prize recognises best humanitarian short films and photos
(Featured photo was taken by Areg Balayan, the Aurora Prize-winner)
Ten international film-makers and photographers were awarded for shedding light on humanitarian issues around the world
Colombian film-maker Maria Fernanda Moreno and photographer Areg Balayan from Artsakh, South Caucasus, have won the Aurora Prize, an international competition for short films and photographs with humanitarian content, according to the jury at the ceremony in Armenia on 28 May.
The jury was composed of the Academy Award-winning George Clooney, four Nobel Prize-winners and five other intellectuals.
“This competition has broadened the humanitarian movement initiated by the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative. We are joined by thousands of talented young people from over 50 countries who illustrated their own vision on the ideas of humanity and gratitude,” said Arman Jilavian, a jury member of both the film and photography categories.
Areg Balayan received the award for Finally, Some Rest, one of the pictures in his project MOB (Military Mobilization), which depicts the violent situation in Stepanakert, the capital of the unrecognised Nagorno-Karabakh Republic in South Caucasus.
Meanwhile, Maria Fernanda Moreno won the top prize for The Desire, an animated video simulating the imaginary travel of a girl who made a wish by blowing a dandelion.
In the photography category, Armenian Sargis Bulghadaryan won second place with Everyday Water Issue in Tlik Village, and Visarut Sankham from Thailand took the third prize with Behind Tin Walls.
The jury also made special mention of photographers Anahit Hayrapetyan (from Armenia) for Refugee Father and Son in Artsakh, and Ana Caroline de Lima (from Brazil) for Rajashtani Boy.
The Aurora Prize awards $2,500 to the both best photographer, and best film director, while those in second and third place receive $1,500 and $1,000 respectively.
The competition is part of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative (AHI), a project supported by the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative Foundation, Inc. (New York, USA), the 100 Lives Foundation (Geneva, Switzerland) and the Initiatives for the Development of Armenia (IDeA Foundation).
AHI was launched on behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide carried out by the Ottoman Empire in 1915, where 1.5 million people died.