Voice of America documentaries and special news coverage won an unprecedented ten New York Festivals TV and Film awards in 2023 – two gold, three silver and five bronze awards.
The VOA Russian team’s documentary “Fatema,” about Afghan journalist Fatema Hosseini who escaped the Taliban takeover of Kabul only to face another war soon after in her new home in Ukraine, claimed gold in the Documentary/Heroes category. VOA’s “52 Documentary” series won VOA's second gold award for its entry in the Documentary/Best Nonfiction Series category. Led by Executive Producer Euna Lee, “52 Documentary” connects viewers with the global community through human interest stories.
The VOA documentary “Symphony of Courage,” about the last two young Afghanistan National Institute of Music members’ harrowing escape from Kabul, directed by VOA executive producer Beth Mendelson, won a silver award in the Documentary/Heroes category. “Kyiv-Sofia-Hollywood,” a story about escape from Ukraine produced by VOA’s Ukrainian service, won silver in the Documentary/Human Concerns category. “Mother Ukraine,” by VOA documentarian Christina Cerqueira, also won silver for its entry in the Documentary/Human Rights category.
The bronze award winners include VOA Middle East correspondent Heather Murdock’s “Cause of Death: Migrant Workers and the 2022 World Cup,” in the Documentary/Human Rights category; VOA documentarian Zsuzsanna Geller-Varga’s “School Away from Home” story in the Documentary/Heroes category; the VOA South and Central Asia Division stories “From Republic to Emirate: Afghanistan Under the Taliban” and “Homeland” in the Best Continuing Coverage and Documentary/International Affairs categories, respectively; and the VOA Thai team’s “Who’s My Dad?” in the Documentary/History and Society category. In addition to the award winners, eight other VOA projects were finalists in a number of award categories.
“Congratulations to all our winners,” said Acting VOA Director Yolanda Lόpez. “I’m so proud that the New York Festivals jury members this year recognized our effort to fulfill our mission of addressing critical issues in the news, like war and women’s rights, in a more creative and nuanced way with long format pieces that are attracting new audiences.”
New York Festivals TV & Film Awards honor outstanding media content of all lengths and forms across the television and film industries.