Saving Mes Aynak continues to travel the world in 2016. In April, Saving Mes Aynak played at a packed house at the San Francisco Green Film Festival (where the line stretched around the block and people had to be turned away!) and the Hong Kong screening with Buddhistdoor & Center for Buddhist Studies at the University of Hong Kong, where over two hundred people came out to support Mes Aynak.
Spring 2016 was perhaps the busiest period ever for Mes Aynak events with international and local screenings⎯spanning Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sweden, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, India, Hong Kong, France, Canada, and in the U.S., Seattle, New York, San Francisco, San Diego, and Santa Cruz.
Director Brent E. Huffman on NHK
In celebration of the May 1st Buddha Day, Saving Mes Aynak was also highlighted on NHK, a premier broadcasting station in Japan.
Saving Mes Aynak won Silver Plaque of the 52nd Chicago International Television Awards. The film was expressly chosen from a long list of submissions, both domestic and international. In Bulgaria, Saving Mes Aynak received Special Jury Mention at the Master of Art Film Festival in Sofia. Saving Mes Aynak was further honored by the 37th Telly Awards, best in the Film/Video documentary category and voted for People’s Choice Award.
American Conservation Film Festival selected Saving Mes Aynak for this year’s Green Spark Award. Chosen out of nearly 300 films submitted, Saving Mes Aynak was cited as ”the most deserving of the Green Spark Award for drawing attention to a conservation hero.”
Artifact from Mes Aynak in spotlight at the National Museum of Czech Republic
Saving Mes Aynak will screened alongside an exquisite exhibition, Afghan Tales, by the National Museum of World Culture in Göteborg, Sweden. The exhibition will feature 22 contemporary Afghan photographers and objects in the collection of the Museum. This continues the film’s strong partnership with museums, starting with Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University, the Rubin Museum of Art in New York, Seattle Art Museum, and currently at the National Museum of Czech Republic. Artifacts from Mes Aynak are in the spotlight at the exhibition coined “Afghanistan – Rescued Treasures of Buddhism” until the end of April.
Saving Mes Aynak has been shown to the Afghan community at the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul and in Pakistan at the Center for Media & Design at Habib University. The Pakistani and international students, faculty, and special guests at this event discussed documenting and preserving the heritage and histories of diverse religious communities in the Middle East and South Asia.
Through the second half of 2016, Saving Mes Aynak will make its way to the Art Institute of Chicago, a premier museum in the U.S., Italy, Singapore, France, Greece, Lebanon, and Iran. The film will also have an encore screening with the San Francisco Green Film Festival this September at the San Francisco Public Library.