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'Flee', 'Summer of Soul', 'Writing With Fire' win big at 37th IDA Awards

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Danish animated docudrama ‘Flee’ and Ahmir Thompson’s ‘Summer of Soul’ emerged as top winners at the 37th edition of the International Documentary Association (IDA) Awards, reports ‘Deadline’.

While Flee clinched the honour for Best Feature Documentary, ‘Summer of Soul’ bagged three awards, including best director for Ahmir Thompson, who is professionally known as ‘Questlove’. In addition, ‘Writing With Fire’ earned the Courage Under Fire Award for Indian-origin directors Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh.

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Rintu’s films, which are looked upon as tools for social impact, have become catalysts for new conversations. Her films have been included in the curriculum of universities and exhibited globally in spaces such as the United Nations Climate Change Conference and The Lincoln Center for Performing Arts.

Sushmit Ghosh is a director – cinematographer whose work has been supported by the Sundance Institute, Tribeca Institute, Doc Society, SFF Film Fund, IDFA, The Bertha Foundation, Sorfond and the Finnish Film Foundation.

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Writing With Fire, also won two awards at Sundance ’21 (Audience Award and Special Jury Award: Impact for Change) and has been nominated for this year’s Academy Awards in the Best Documentary Feature category.

Talking about Flee, the animated feature tells the story of a gay Afghan youth who fled his homeland for life in the West. As per ‘Deadline’, the film competed against nine other contenders for Best Feature, including rivals ‘Summer of Soul’ (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), and fellow Oscar nominee ‘Writing With Fire’.

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Jonas Poher Rasmussen, the director of ‘Flee’, who first met the subject of his film, Amin Nawabi, when they were teenagers in Denmark, accepted the night’s top award as he said, “First of all, I want to thank Amin, the subject of the film, for your generosity and courage to share this story with me.

“I also just want to use the opportunity to say that the situation in Afghanistan right now is really bad. It’s winter and there’s a scarcity of food and other necessities and that these people are in a very vulnerable situation. So, please remember the people of Afghanistan and please help out any way you can”, he added.

‘Summer of Soul’ is about 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, a long-overlooked series of extraordinary concerts by soon-to-be or already famous African American performers. The film won Best Music Documentary, Best Editing, and the directing award for Thompson.

‘Flee’ and ‘Summer of Soul’ and ‘Writing With Fire’ are set to square off again on March 27 at the Oscars. They are nominated alongside ‘Ascension’ and ‘Attica’.

The 37th edition of the IDA Awards were supposed to be held in February but were postponed owing to the Omicron surge. The ceremony was held virtually and was hosted by filmmakers Kate Amend, Jerry Henry, Pedro Kos, and Renee Tajima-Peña.

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