IDFA Spotlight Award at East Doc Platform goes to Sareen Hairabedian and Azza Hourani for Swinging Fields

    After three days of online pitching at Prague's East Doc Platform, producer-director team Sareen Hairabedian and Azza Hourani took home the IDFA Spotlight Award last week for their project Swinging Fields (France, USA, Ireland).

    The observational documentary paints a raw picture of daily life in the militarized region of Artsakh, Nagorno-Karabakh, where an eleven-year-old boy has grown up in the ongoing Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. Co-produced by David Rane and Julie Paratian, the project is currently in pre-production, with production scheduled to begin this summer.

    As the winners of the IDFA Spotlight Award (formerly the IDFA Project Award), Hairabedian and Hourani will receive travel and hotel stay during IDFA 2021 in addition to mentorship within the IDFA industry network and accreditation to IDFA Forum.

    “The IDFA Spotlight Award goes to a project that shows us the long-term effects of growing up in a part of the world torn by decades of conflict and war. The humanistic, observational camerawork shows how a young boy full of innocent dreams becomes a patriot ready for the army. Starting with a mass wedding to boost birth rates, we enter around 10 years later into the world of a young boy, a product of this wedding, to see how this child is growing up to become a soldier,” said Head of IDFA Industry Adriek van Nieuwenhuijzen.

    “We are extremely honored to win the IDFA Spotlight Award and have our first feature film recognized within such a prestigious documentary film space. Despite the pandemic and a deadly war in the region of our film, we are committed to telling the human story of our protagonist and his society that have been living under the shadow of war in the Republic of Artsakh. We are now in the process of raising funds to go into production in the summer of 2021,” said Swinging Fields director Sareen Hairabedian and producer Azza Hourani.

    Read more about Swinging Fields via East Doc Platform.

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