(Los Angeles, CA, March 2023) – The 9th Annual Women’s Voices Now Film Festival is in the books and the winning films for this women’s rights documentary film festival have been selected by our jury. At the ceremony, Lilan Bowden (Apple TV’s Shrinking & Netflix’s Murderville) accepted the 2nd annual Women Making Waves Award, which seeks to recognize women in the film and television industry whose work shifts and challenges our stereotypical perceptions of women in real life. Bowden also was the keynote speaker for the event and spoke to the theme of the festival, “Holding Ground Under Siege”.


Leslie J. Sacks Best Documentary Feature – With This Breath I Fly (Director Sam French & Clementine Malpas | Afghanistan, United States, United Kingdom)

Lantos Foundation Best Human Rights Documentary – The Neighborhood Storyteller (Director Alejandra Alcala | Mexico, Jordan)

Best Documentary Short – Harvesting Our Tea (Director Sheida Kiran | Turkey, United Kingdom)

Best Creative Documentary – A Very Happy Woman (Director Tamar “Tato” Giligashvili | Georgia)

Best First Time Filmmaker, Documentary Short – Hermanos, Here We Are (Director Jade Rainho | Brazil)

Best First Time Filmmaker, Documentary Feature – Among Us Women (Director Sarah Noa Bozenhardt & Daniel Abate Tilahun | Ethiopia) 

Best Youth Documentary Short – A Walk On My Own (Director Ndèye Fatou Fall -|Senegal) 


Best Documentary Feature – Radiograph of a Family (Director Firouzeh Khosrovan |Islamic Republic of Iran)

Best Youth Documentary:

No Such Right: The End of Roe in Appalachia (Directors Tate Greene, Rebekah McAuley, Sarah Sexton, & Deladis Haywood | United States) 

My Sisters In the Stars: The Story of Lee Yong-soo (Director Ian Kim | Korea)

Best First Time Filmmaker, Documentary Feature

Now that we are together (Director Patricia Balderas Castro | Mexico)

“The filmmakers we’re awarding today are people who go where they are needed. Who tell the stories that need to be told. In times where women are not treated equally, do not enjoy the same privileges, do not make the same pay, are not trusted to make our own choices, there are women everywhere who stand up and say this isn’t good enough, we deserve our space, we deserve peace. I celebrate these women today from the bottom of my heart, and hope to personally inspire women and girls through my work in entertainment, storytelling, and involvement in my community.”- Lilan Bowden, Actor & Director (Apple TV’s Shrinking) 

“The Women’s Voices Now Film Festival is a celebration of women, of film, of advancing women’s and girls’ rights through the power of storytelling. Women’s rights only progress through the persistent, controversial, and risky efforts of those who believe women’s rights are human rights. In this moment, when there are those claiming that ‘women’s rights have gone too far’ – we need each and every one of us to make our voices heard. We have much more to do.” – Heidi Basch-Harod, Executive Director of Women’s Voices Now 

This international women’s documentary film festival promotes emerging women filmmakers creating social-change films that advocate for girls’ and women’s rights around the world, awarded a total of $12,000 USD in cash prizes to winning filmmakers.

 Sponsors included Monster Energy Cares, The Dudley Dougherty Foundation, the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice, and OUT.LI.ER

115 documentaries from 25 countries, across 5 continents were submitted to this year’s edition. The films were in the categories of documentary short, documentary feature, and youth documentary. 

2023 Jury: Amarjit (Amar) Dass, Anne Phillips, Selma Nayebi, Sjoujke Yao Wu, Katie Callahan Neginskiy, Vivienne Tailor, Ausma Palmer, Marta Pinto.

Award presenters included: Katrina Lantos-Swett, President of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice; Roopashree Jeevaji, WVN Advisory Board Member; Tali Bielski, WVN Board Member; and members of the Jury. 

All films available for streaming until March 31, 2023. Tickets are still on sale at 50% off.

Women’s Voices Now (WVN), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, uses film to drive positive social change that advances women’s and girls’ rights globally. We promote, produce, and share social-change films focusing on women’s and girls’ rights issues, providing active support to filmmakers who give voice to unheard women and girls, and activating civil society by moving audiences from empathy to action. We envision a global culture shift in which communities and institutions believe in the value of gender equality, and adapt their behaviors and actions to support systematic advancement of women’s and girls’ rights. WVN has held special consultative status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) since 2017.

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