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WishMakers Wins Big at the IFFWSZ 2017 and Send Good Wishes to Special Needs Community

Crown Prince Blahbatu Bali presented the Best Film Award to Cheryl Halpern


International Film Festival For Women, Social Issues & Zero Discrimination (IFFWSZ) chose WishMakers, directed by Cheryl Halpern from the United States, as the best film in this year competition. WishMakers is a documentary about a residential adult special needs community who work in a tulip winery. This inspirational documentary is selected for bringing a strong message about women, children, and social issues, and anti-discrimination. The eyes of the judges of the Festival were gleaming with tears as they watched such caring conditions to nurture dignity and give a new bright purpose for the residents.

Damien Dematra as the founder and director of the festival said that this festival had opened many eyes to fight for women's rights. "I hope this festival will inspire the world," said the man who has won more than 500 international awards in film industry and photography.

Ambassador for Women, Natasha Dematra added that the issue of gender equality should be the spread through women and men. "An open mind and tolerance for others are two of the many things that can be done to make the world safe and secure for both sides," she said.

In celebration of International Women's Day (March 8) and Anti-Discrimination Day (March 1) that were initiated by the United Nations (UN), the International Film Festival for Women, Social Issues, and Zero Discrimination (IFFWSZ) and World Woman Awards (WAA) chose Bali as the place to conduct their international events.

Crown Prince of Blahbatu Bali, Anak Agung Ngurah Kakarsana, on behalf of the people of Bali welcomed all the international filmmakers who attended this festival and hoped in the future this festival could be held in Royal Palace Blahbatu, a kingdom which was established in 1583.

Attending winners who were presented with the beautiful awards were Teresa Mullar from the United States, Hiromi Takagi from Japan, Cheryl Halpern from the United States and much more. Last year, IFFWSZ awarded special recognition awards to 3 (three) female leaders: the Indonesian Social Affairs Minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa, Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya Bakar, and Director of Radio Republic of Indonesia Rosarita Niken Widiastuti. 

This year, IFFWSZ chooses gender equality as the key issue. These are the following issues being raised:

- Protection of women workers
- Elimination of violence against women
- Public policy to women with disabilities
- Rights to gender equality

The festival is organized by the International Film Festivals Group, which was founded in 2011 and currently based in South East Asia. Since then, this Film Festivals Group has grown rapidly. Stars like Leonardo DiCaprio to Pope John II, President Joko Widodo, President Jimmy Carter, etc, have been awarded from this festival. The main mission of the Festival Group is to support the United Nation to celebrate its International Days, such as International Day for Peace, International Day for Human Rights, Tolerance, Environment, etc. The Festivals Group believes that film could play an important role and become a bridge to change people lives. Kings and Queens and Government Ministers has been attending their festivals ceremonies. Nowadays, this Festival Group is the largest International Film Festivals Group in the region. It wouldn't be a surprise if one day, the scale would change into a global one, as many filmmakers from all over the world would still be attending these festivals every year.

IFFWSZ is currently working with several other international film festivals, including the International Movie Awards, World Filmmakers Festival, World Short Directors Awards, Cinema Documentary Prize, and the World Social Heroes Prize. This festival is also fully supported by the Creative People's Council, World Film Council, the i-Hebat International Volunteers, Film Festivals Alliance and the Radio Republic of Indonesia as the media partner.

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