World Vision film takes GRAND Prize honors at RIIFF

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Highlights

  • World Vision was awarded GRAND Prize for “Best Short Documentary” at the Flicker’s RIIFF. Messania’s Story was one of more than 6,700 submissions from 90 countries.
  • This first win for Messania’s Story comes during unprecedented times with a message that can inspire all.
  • Judges called the film “timely, brilliant and unforgettable. A Chronicle of discovery and personal growth in a hostile world.”
Messania's Story - poster for the short film that took home the GRAND Prize for Short Documentary Film from Flicker's Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF).

SEATTLE (August 10, 2020) World Vision is celebrating a recent film festival appearance, where it took home GRAND Prize honors for “Best Short Documentary” at the Flicker’s Rhode Island International Film Fest. This is the first win for Messania’s Story and comes during unprecedented times with a message that can inspire all. The judges called the film “timely, brilliant and unforgettable. A Chronicle of discovery and personal growth in a hostile world.”

The film is told through the eyes of one Kenyan woman, Messania, in her own words. It traces her life to show the impact of the harmful practice of female genital mutilation. Viewers will see how Messania went from the innocence of childhood, to being cut, married, and becoming a practitioner, cutting girls herself. And then the transformation as she rejected the practice and became a powerful advocate against it.

The film was May Ondeng’s debut as a producer. As a native Kenyan, she worked with local villages to create the reenactments that truly bring Messania’s Story to life. Director Laki Karavias, with World Vision until July of this year, is a Greek-American filmmaker and branded content producer whose work has been featured on Upworthy, Vox, Christianity Today, and more.

Messania’s Story was one of more than 6,700 submissions from 90 countries. RIIFF has earned its prestige, having sent dozens of film nominees to the Academy Awards (Oscars) and produced 11 winners. Messania’s Story now has a chance to be added to the list, as the festival was also selected as a qualifier for Best Documentary Short Subject through the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Festival/Film information: http://www.film-festival.org/pdf/2020_RIIFF_AwardsFNL.pdf

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Editor’s note: Photos and b-roll are available upon request.

About World Vision:
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization conducting relief, development, and advocacy activities in its work with children, families, and their communities in nearly 100 countries to help them reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information, please visit www.WorldVision.org/media-center/ or on Twitter @WorldVisionUSA.