Dhaka doc wins ICCL human rights award


Last night Machine Man/ Hombre Maquina took the top prize at the Irish Council for Civil Liberties Human Rights Film Awards Gala.

The Spanish short takes the viewer to Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh, to examine the lives of the multitudes who toil in the city’s streets, factories and building sites. By paying these “machine men” paltry wages, the bosses enable Western consumers to pay artificially low prices for goods.

“This award comes at just the right time to encourage us to continue working on these important issues,” said directors Roser Corella and Alfonso Moral. “The recognition that this award gives to Machine Man gives us that extra motivation to keep working in the defence of human rights through documentary film-making.”

Now in its fourth year, the event, which took place at Dublin’s Light House Cinema, remains the only domestic film competition associated with a human rights theme. This year’s jury featured such luminaries as Kirsten Sheridan, Stephen Rea, Brenda Fricker and Victoria Smurfit.

Among the other films short-listed for the top prize were Anna Rodgers’s Hold on Tight, concerning attitudes

to same-sex relationships; Adam Shapiro’s Chen Guangcheng – Caged Bird, the story of a Chinese human rights lawyer; Anna Byrne’s Leave to Remain, studying young immigrants in Ireland; and Liz Lobato’s Spanish adoption drama, Parents.

Catch clips at humanrights filmawards.org.