In November, the film traveled the world from the United States, to Europe, to the Middle East. The film first stopped in Lebanon for the Beirut Art Film Festival and then played the next day in Cooperstown, NY at Glimmerglass Film Days. "Saving Mes Aynak" had a successful, full-house screening there, on the shores of Lake Otsego, and had a wonderful post-screening discussion lead by Hannah Bloch, NPR Digital Editor and former Time correspondent in Afghanistan.
At The International Festival of Archaeological Films of Bidasoa in San Sebastian Spain, "Saving Mes Aynak" won big, taking home both the Grand Prize of the Jury and the Audience Favorite Award. It's the first time in the 15 years of the festival that a single film has taken home both prizes. We are very grateful to the festival for the awards and for providing us with Spanish subtitles for the film!
Saving Mes Aynak broadcast on Histoire, a French TV channel, five times throughout October and November. "Saving Mes Aynak" continues to be available on VOD and on air on the Buddhist True Network (BTN) of South Korea.
We were very honored to participate in the 2016 edition of the China Onscreen Biennial as a part of the Dunhuang Projected sidebar. We first screened at the UCLA Film & Television Archives which started with a 30-minute meditation session and ended with a discussion, via Skype, with Director Brent Huffman. Last week, Brent attended the second screening for the Biennial at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. Both screenings were incredibly well attended and mark a very important step in raising awareness of Mes Aynak in the United States.
Starting today, "Saving Mes Aynak" will be a part of Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference at the University of Southampton. "Sightations" is an archaeology-inspired exhibition running as part of this year’s Theoretical Archaeology Group (TAG) conference, featuring mediums of "drawings, photography, comics, painting, sculpture, textiles, ceramic, CGI, film, video, gaming, virtual reality, and digital works" that "unpack what it means to represent archaeology visually in 2016."
We are excited for this opportunity to show the film in the UK for the second time this year, after our Bertha DocHouse screening, alongside various artists who, in their own ways demonstrate "future directions for archaeological visualizations."
It's such an honor to receive this great recognition from the international archaeology community and to continue to share the film in meaningful programs around the world. Thank you! Now, it is more important than ever to spread the word about Mes Aynak throughout our communities to stop this senseless destruction from happening.
RECENT MES AYNAK NEWS
While we continue towards our goal of raising awareness around the world to protect Mes Aynak, we still have an uphill battle to face from those who want to mine and destroy Mes Aynak. That battle became even more difficult and pressing today as we learned of the report that the Taliban in Afghanistan have offered to provide security to major government projects, such as the mining of the copper deposit in Mes Aynak, a natural gas pipeline project, and other highway and railway projects.
Although excavation efforts in Mes Aynak have slowed down significantly due to threats by the Taliban, it was this instability of security that has continued to force MCC to hold off on mining Mes Aynak. Now, with the Taliban on the side of mining, the peace of Mes Aynak is in immediate danger.
People are voicing their frustration at the news: