The WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival, the oldest independent film, and video festival has awarded Noman Robin’s political documentary Blossoms from Ash the Special Jury Remi Award this year. The film won the prestigious award in the ‘Political/International Issues’ category. 

This year, the Worldfest-Houston, the third longest-running film festival, received more than 4500 total category entries from all across the world. 

Blossoms from Ash, produced by Alexander I Blum and directed by Noman Robin, chronicles the recent and previous history of the ongoing genocide in Myanmar, with explosive new testimony regarding the war crimes inflicted upon the Rohingya people. It follows three young refugee children, each of whom has lost everything in the flight, as they struggle to balance education, celebration, and survival.

The IMDb summary of the film reads, “the documentary is an extensive historical retelling of a fractured and silenced past, with exposure to a horrifying yet hopeful present, and a special look at the youth that represent the Rohingya’s unpredictable future.”

With regards to his film bagging the Special Jury Remi Award, Noman Robin said:  “By far, this is the biggest achievement of my film-making career. The Worldfest-Houston is considered the Oscars of documentary films. So, it is a significant and valuable acknowledgment of my work. I would like to  dedicate this award to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina whose strong leadership qualities have brought the Rohingya crisis to the forefront.”

Producer Alexander I Blum said: “I was dismayed by the American media coverage of the Rohingya crisis, which made me determined to make a documentary, based on facts and extensive research, about the oppression of the Rohingya.

“I also wanted to stand by the people of Bangladesh by telling this extraordinary story of resilience and courage. I am grateful to Noman Robin and all the other amazing artists  who helped us make this documentary.”

The Worldfest-Houston festival alumni include big names like Steven Spielberg, Ang Lee, the Coen Brothers, David Winning, and more. Although the festival takes place in April every year, the coronavirus pandemic thwarted such plans for this year.

The 53rd festival has been delayed; however, the organizers have released the list of all the Remi winners.