The Voice of America won three silver medals at the New York Festivals International TV and Film Awards according to the organization’s virtual announcement on April 21, 2020.
VOA’s TV feature Alvie and the Ozarks won a silver medal in the News Features/Human Interest category. The story is about an 89-year-old retired trucker turned musician and string instrument aficionado Alvie Dooms in the rural Ozark Mountains region of the state of Missouri.
Hell and Hope, VOA’s documentary about the lives of Yazidi girls abducted, raped and tortured by ISIS terrorists in 2014 from Sinjar province in Iraq, won another silver medal in the Documentary/Human Concerns category. Yazidis are a Kurdish religious group living chiefly in Iraq, Syria and Turkey. VOA producer Amish Srivastava and correspondent Dakhil Elias traveled to Germany to record interviews with a few of the girls who managed to escape captivity.
VOA’s third silver medal this year went to The Worth of a Girl under the News Program/Best Coverage of a Continuing News Story category. This documentary looks at child marriage around the globe and explores the economic, educational and emotional impact on girls who marry under age 18. The documentary was part of a yearlong VOA project on child marriage featuring in-depth interviews with child brides from South and East Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas, including the United States.
“I’m so gratified that the festival judges recognized how well we cover the U.S., not just the obvious but the small and personal stories from the heartland,” said VOA Director Amanda Bennett. “I’m also very proud that our women’s programming has been recognized because women’s stories often don’t get the coverage they deserve.”
In addition to the three silver medals, VOA’s five-part series After Parkland, about the community reaction to the mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, was a finalist in the Documentary/National Affairs category.