2010 Winners

Living for the Dead

Living for the Deadwatch trailer

In the journey of life, death is the final truth. Everyone hopes and wishes for a death with dignity. In a country of more than a billion people, where many don't even find dignity in life, asking for a venerable end is hoping for the impossible.
This documentary is a heartrending, emotional journey into the lives of the few exceptional individuals who have found meaning to their lives through the dead and dying. One of them is a man who has performed over 1500 cremations on unclaimed bodies and has kept a meticulous record of the deceased - dog-eared files, tattered diaries, photographs - in case the family someday comes looking for the dead relative. The protagonists are common people who have turned personal tragedies into inspiring stories of hope and humanity.

Message from the Director
In a little over a year I have seen 63 cremations, visited 5 mortuaries and have seen countless dead bodies, young and old, women and children. Dead Bodies that belonged to families and unclaimed ones which just lay there all alone. When I started this film I would get nightmares of entering a dark room and slipping on the floor, only to realize that I have slipped on blood and have landed on limbs and torsos of dead people. I often wondered why I even chose to work on this topic, but I did make my peace.
Making this film has changed me; I came across a case where a woman died and was survived by her 2 children who were too young and penny less to do the cremation. Shunty singh was asked to do the cremation and I shot this alone, since at such short notice no camera person was available and while shooting I could not feel the children's sorrow, instead I zoomed my camera on the young sons face to get a shot of his tears rolling down while he looked upon their mother being cremated. I shot for three hours and saw the two children leave at the end of it all. I will never see these children again in my life but neither will I ever forget their faces.
  • Vikram Mishra
  • Director
  • Vikram MishraIndia
  • Vikram Mishra

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The Rest of My Life is for Sale

The Rest of My Life is for Salewatch trailer

A 23-year-old girl opens an online shop selling "the rest of her life". In her own words posted on the website: "It's your right to arrange my life, and it's my duty to serve you. I'll fulfill your wishes. I'll take pictures of the process and put them on my website so all people will know how I live with your arrangements."
The price for her life? USD1 for 8 minutes, USD3 for an hour, and USD15 for a day. Watch as she undertakes a myriad of requests - from bringing cat food to an old lady who takes care of 200 vagrant cats, to collecting 100 pictures of 100 smiling men for a girl's birthday. From the day she opened shop, this girl has been living 2 separate lives - one is her reality, the other, her virtual world.

Message from the Director
We've shot over 200 hours of footage in almost a year and a half's filming. Such abundant footage had provided us multiple choices in telling the story when we enter the post-production. But it is also a big challenge to present the story well enough in just 52 minutes. Fortunately, we've got great support from NHK. The producer had come twice to Beijing to work together with us using his international view and rich experience to help us find the right path to our destination. NHK's involvement has brought new opportunities to our film. It is much like what Internet had brought to our main character Chen Xiao.
  • Liu Shuo
  • Director
  • Liu ShuoChina
  • Liu Shuo
  • Fei Youming
  • Director
  • Fei YoumingChina
  • Fei Youming

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Angels of Troubled Paradise

Angels of Troubled Paradisewatch trailer

Many children in Kashmir, some of whose fathers have been killed, arrested, or are missing, are forced to help their families survive. One such boy is Aadil, who lives with his parents in an area referred to as the "Gaza Strip" of Kashmir.
He collects tear gas shells fired by police at protesters and sells them to a scrap dealer. Because the scrap dealer won't accept the shells unless they are cleared of the explosive material, he must often remove the detonator and take out the explosives from the shells by hand. There is always the danger of it exploding, but as Aadil says, "I prefer to die bravely collecting shells rather than dying of hunger."

Message from the Director
I spent almost three years on making "Angels of Troubled Paradise". Because of the nature and theme of the film, I faced a tough time while shooting it. The security scenario demanded extreme care and caution and it was not advisable to move with a full fledged crew. I basically had to make it a one man crew, which actually ended up helping me move more freely. Adil, the main character whom I followed, would call me whenever there were protests and I would go with my camera, without bothering to organise my team. Being in close association with Adil, his family and his friends, I practically experienced firsthand the truth behind the adage "survival of the fittest" as children like Adil know it best.
  • Raja Shabir Khan
  • Director
  • Raja Shabir KhanIndia
  • Raja Shabir Khan

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Street Teachers

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This documentary follows three passionate individuals who are trying to make a difference in the lives of Thailand's homeless children.
As they go around town, witness how they discover what life is really like when you are struggling to survive without a home or family.See the obstacles they must overcome, and the extraordinary acts of kindness that turn these children's lives around. This "classroom" is often the only safe haven these kids have, and through the relentless efforts of the teachers, the walls of distrust and low self-esteem are broken down - and hope is restored.

Message from the Director
The largest challenge in filming "Street Teachers" was the constantly changing locale of the kids. It was hard to keep the story moving forward when you have to wait 9 months for your characters to get out of jail. It also would have been impossible to enter the world of the homeless without the friendship of Kru Nang who treated us like family from day one. Most of the children don't even want to be talked to - let alone filmed, and because they trusted her they trusted me. When things were difficult I thought about how hard the teacher's job is, and that my obstacles were so small compared to theirs.
  • Pitchapuk Malone
  • Director
  • Pitchapuk MaloneThailand
  • Pitchapuk Malone

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