Winner of 2016 Accolade Humanitarian Award

In the Name of Confucius was recently awarded the honourable Humanitarian Award of Distinction from the 2016 Accolade Global Film Competition. The award was given for the film’s craft and spirit of humanitarianism.

In the Name of Confucius explores the extension of Chinese Communist soft power through Confucius Institutes (CI) in Canada. It features exclusive story of former CI teacher Sonia Zhao, played by Miss World Canada Anastasia Lin in re-enactments. Before Sonia was sent to Canada to teach at a Confucius Institute at McMaster University, she had to sign a contract that requires instructors not to associate with Falun Gong, a spiritual meditation practice that has been brutally persecuted in China since 1999. Being a Falun Gong practitioner herself, Sonia lived in constant nervousness while working at the Confucius Institute, fearing that she could lost her job and be sent to prison once she was discovered to be a practitioner of Falun Gong. At the end of her one year term, Sonia made a difficult decision to defect from the Confucius Institute and sought refuge with the Canadian government. She later filed a human rights complaint that directly led to the closure of the CI at McMaster University.

The goal of the Humanitarian Award is to honour filmmakers who are raising awareness in society through promotions of global topics such as human rights, nature, health and spiritual well-being. Winners are hand picked by judges and staff from an entry pool throughout 2016.

In winning a Humanitarian award from Accolade, In the Name of Confucius joins the ranks of other high-profile winners of this important award such as Emmy Award winner Alfre Woodard and her documentary Soft Vengeance, Emmy winner Vic Sarin for The Boy from Geita, Letters from Generation Rx, narrated by Academy Award winner Tilda Swinton and many more.

Rick Prickett, the competition director says, “We firmly believe that film can make impactful changes globally and Accolade Global Film Competition Humanitarian Awards are designed to give recognition to those illustrious filmmakers whose craft and message enlightens and inspires audiences to make a difference!”

For more information about the Accolade Humanitarian Award and a list of recent winners, please visit: http://accoladecompetition.org/humanitarian-award/humanitarian-award-winners-2016/

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