Story of reconciliation after Sierra Leone’s brutal war is fifth winner of Nashville Public Television Award.
Nashville Public Television (NPT) has chosen “Fambul Tok,” director Sara Terry’s film that follows victims and perpetrators of Sierra Leone’s brutal war engaging in an unprecedented reconciliation program of forgiveness, as the 2011 recipient of the NPT Human Spirit Award at the Nashville Film Festival.
The NPT Human Spirit Award, presented each year by NPT to a Nashville Film Festival documentary selection, acknowledges a filmmaker’s work that best explores and captures the human spirit. The film must illuminate in a high artistic manner the important characteristics of what it means to be human: generosity, kindness, mercy, compassion, fortitude and honor. The award will be presented to Terry prior to the Tennessee Premiere of the film at the Nashville Film Festival, Monday, April 18, 5:15 p.m. at Regal Green Hills Cinemas.
The NPT Human Spirit Award jury is Kevin Crane, VP of programming and technology; Justin Harvey, program manager; and Brian O’Neill, director of brand management and creative services.
“The capacity for forgiveness and reconciliation is intrinsic to the human spirit,” said the jury in a joint statement. (Fambul Tok International founder) John Caulker is the embodiment of the power of embracing that spirit for the betterment of humankind, and in turn, our compass. He is accomplishing what hundreds of millions of dollars could not.
“The compassion of the people of Sierra Leone and their desire to rebuild there lives and country is captured by Sara Terry with a combination of honesty, rawness and beauty that is rare. She has given us stories of people, then and now, and asked to look within ourselves to discover our own capacity for forgiveness and reconciliation. The result is transformative.”
In “Fambul Tok,” victims and perpetrators of Sierra Leone’s brutal civil war come together for the first time in an unprecedented program of tradition-based truth-telling and forgiveness ceremonies. Through reviving their ancient practice of fambul tok (family talk), Sierra Leoneans are building sustainable peace at the grass-roots level — succeeding where the international community’s post-conflict efforts failed. Filled with lessons for the West, this film explores the depths of a culture that believes that true justice lies in redemption and healing for individuals — and that forgiveness is the surest path to restoring dignity and building strong communities.
The NPT Human Spirit Award comes with Nashville Public Television’s intention to broadcast the film so that others may celebrate the generous role that great filmmaking plays in our lives. Previous winners of the NPT Human Spirit Award are “Raw Faith” (Dir. Peter Wiedensmith, 2010); “Crude” (Dir. Joe Berlinger, 2009); “Sons of Lwala” (Dir. Barry Simmons, 2008); and “The Clinton 12” (Dir. Keith McDaniel, 2007).
The 42nd Nashville Film Festival takes place April 14-21, 2011 at the Regal Green Hills Cinemas.Fambul Tok Trailer