Mobbed by iPhone cameras and pushy reporters, 23-year-old Nadia Murad leads a harrowing but vital crusade: to find the most influential platforms in the world and speak out on behalf of the embattled Yazidi community who face mass extermination by ISIS militants. Having narrowly escaped with her own life, Nadia must now relentlessly recount on radio shows, at rallies, and even on the floor of the United Nation's General Assembly her ordeal as a Yazidi sex slave and witness to her family's brutal killings. Though excruciating, she forces herself to revisit these realities again and again. For without her testimony, the genocide happening right in front of the world's eyes might go completely unnoticed.
With a formal precision and elegance that matches Nadia's calm and steely demeanor, filmmaker Alexandria Bombach brings us inside an exhausting, destabilizing journey fraught with personal pain and profound ethical urgency. From the refugee camps in Greece to the gilded halls of power, we observe a woman repurpose unimaginable trauma into a powerful rallying cry for justice.
Directing Award: U.S. Documentary
Alexandria Bombach is an award-winning cinematographer, editor, and director from Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her feature-length documentary Frame by Frame had its world premiere at the 2015 SXSW Film Festival and went on to win more than 25 film festival awards. The film follows four Afghan photojournalists facing the realities of building Afghanistan's first free press. She continued her work in Afghanistan in 2016 directing the New York Times Op-Doc, Afghanistan by Choice.