After winning the European Documentary Network’s EDN Award earlier this year, Syrian filmmakers and DOX BOX founders Diana El Jeiroudi and Orwa Nyrabia last week received another award at the Sarajevo Film Festival.
“We are honoured to receive the Katrin Cartlidge Award in Sarajevo, the city that gives us great hope at such a dark moment in Syrian history,” they said. “We understand that the award is a tribute to all brave Syrian filmmakers, working under extremely dangerous condition to express the Syrian people’s agony, to tell the world about the atrocities of dictatorship, the lessons not learned and the great power of art as a form of freedom.”
In 2002, Diana and Orwa started Proaction Film, which is today the only independent documentary film outfit operating in Syria. Most of the films they produce and make tackle human rights, gender, and social justice issues.
Their debut feature documentary, Dolls - A Woman from Damascus premiered at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) in 2007 and was screened in over 30 international festivals worldwide.
In early 2008, they launched DOX BOX in Syria, the Independent Documentary Film Festival, which quickly grew to become the largest and most significant documentary film festival in the Arab region, also developing 30 Arab regional documentary films at the DOX BOX CAMPUS every year.
Last year, in protest against the killings in Syria and as a clear stand against the Syrian ruling regime, they decided not to hold the fifth edition of the Festival and instead initiated a Global Day for Syria, screening Syrian documentaries in 38 cities around the world on March 15, the very first anniversary of the Syrian revolution.