Pics focus on social justice issues

LONDON Sundance Institute and broadcast media program WorldView will jointly present cash prizes at the first Sundance London festival this week to four pics focusing on social justice in the developing world.

Helmer Katie Mark’s “Street Girls” will receive a £10,000 ($16,087) grant plus Mark will be mentored by docu helmer Jerry Rothwell (“Donor Unknown”).

“Street Girls” follows three young prostitutes in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, who are arrested and taken into rehab where they must complete a course or face prison.

“Farming,” by helmer-scribe Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, will receive $16,087. Pic is a true story about a Nigerian boy’s search for love and belonging in a brutal skinhead culture.

Sally El Hosaini’s “My Brother the Devil,” which follows two British Arab brothers trying to get by in inner-city London, will receive $8,041 while Musa Syeed’s “Valley of Saints,” about a young man in Kashmir trying to escape his village before meeting a beautiful young researcher, also nabbed $8,041.

The awards will be presented at a private event during Sundance London, which runs Thursday to Sunday.

“Independent film has a legacy of focusing on social justice issues in regions we don’t often hear about, and we applaud filmmakers for taking on these issues,” said Keri Putnam, exec director of Sundance Institute. “We hope the awards announced today help raise awareness around the issues they explore as well as the importance of film as a vehicle for helping bring to life the stories of our world.”

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