After naming the feature-length documentary “Garbage Dreams” by director Mai Iskander the winner of the 2009 REEL Current Award at the Nashville Film Festival (NaFF), Al Gore, Nobel Peace Prize winner, Academy Award winner and former Vice-President of the United States, presented the award to Iskander on Friday of last week during a private meeting in Nashville.
"'Garbage Dreams' is a moving story of young men searching for a ways to eke out a living for their families and facing tough choices as they try to do the right thing for the planet,” said Al Gore of the film. “Mai Iskander guides us into a 'garbage village,' a place so different from our own, and yet the choices they face there are so hauntingly familiar. Ultimately, 'Garbage Dreams' makes a compelling case that modernization does not always equal progress."
The REEL Current Award is chosen and presented by Gore each year to a documentary at NaFF that provides extraordinary insight into a contemporary global issue.
"Garbage Dreams" follows three teenage boys born into the trash trade and growing up in the world's largest garbage village, on the outskirts of Cairo. It is the home to 60,000 Zaballeen, Arabic for "garbage people." Far ahead of any modern "Green" initiatives, the Zaballeen survive by recycling 80 percent of the garbage they collect. When their community is suddenly faced with the globalization of its trade, each of the teenage boys is forced to make choices that will impact his future and the survival of his community.
Iskander presented Al Gore with a piece of original artwork created by one of the children at the recycling school profiled in the film.
"'Garbage Dreams' portrays our desire to live with dignity and to continue to recover, recycle and protect the environment,” said the Zaballeen in a joint statement. “Our heartfelt thanks to the Nashville Film Festival and Vice President Al Gore for this wonderful honor, as it will help bring our story to a worldwide audience"
"Garbage Dreams" is playing at the Seattle International Film Festival (June 9th & 10th, 2009). To view other upcoming screening or to learn more about the film visit www.garbagedreams.com