Drik film wins at prestigious Jackson Wild Festival 2023

29 September 202 


Press Release

Drik film wins at prestigious Jackson Wild Festival 2023 


The India/Bangladesh co-produced documentary film ‘Goni’ by Drik Picture Library and Untamed Planet wins in Global Voices category in prestigious Jackson Wild Festival 


Dhaka, Bangladesh – 29 September 2023 – Drik Picture Library is proud to announce that our film, ‘Goni', has received the top award in the Global Voices section of the prestigious Jackson Wild Media Awards 2023. This recognition highlights our commitment to human rights and to excellence in storytelling. 


The nature equivalent of the Oscars®, the Jackson Wild Media Awards celebrate excellence and innovation in science and nature storytelling. The 2023 submissions included over 1100 category entries from over 74 different countries. Finalists were selected by more than 200 international judges who together screened over 1,200 hours of media. Considered the highest bar of achievement in natural history filmmaking, the Jackson Wild Media Awards celebrate excellence and innovation in nature, science, and conservation storytelling. It is a forum for Innovation where diverse and passionate storytellers come together to share bold new ideas that push the frontiers of storytelling about nature, science and conservation. 


‘Goni’ a film produced by Drik Picture Library in Bangladesh and Untamed Planet in India, on the plight of Bangladeshi migrants who work in the construction industry in the Middle East won the prestigious award in the Global Voices category. 


Winners were announced during the Grand Teton Awards Gala on Thursday, September 28, 2023 at the Jackson Wild Summit in Grand Teton National Park, WY. 


The executive producers were Drik’s managing director and National Geographic Explorer at Large Shahidul Alam and National Geographic explorer Malaika Vas, who also directed the film. 


The captivating and thought-provoking production by Drik, has been honoured with the coveted award at the 2023 Jackson Wild Media Awards where it was recognised for its exceptional storytelling, stunning cinematography, and its contribution to raising awareness about the plight of migrants. 


"We are deeply honoured to receive this award at the Jackson Wild Media Awards. ‘Goni’ represents the hard work, dedication, and passion of our talented team who have tirelessly strived to create a film that not only entertains but also educates and inspires viewers about the plight of migrant workers, a mainstay of the Bangladesh economy. This recognition serves as a reminder of our responsibility to ensure that the rights of the millions of workers who take great risks and endure inhuman conditions to send remittance home" said Shahidul Alam, the managing director of Drik and the film’s co-executive producer.  


The film was initiated by Drik in December 2021 in Qatar and initial research was followed by filming in Bangladesh. Untamed Planed joined in July 2022 and further filming took place in Bangladesh and Qatar. The film is told through the eyes of Abdul Goni, a former migrant worker who now works as a photojournalist at the Daily ittefaq. Goni also won the top award in the Bangladesh Press Photo Contest 2023, organised by Drik. 


The other finalists in the Global Voices section included “Keepers of the Land” Kitasoo Xai'xais Nation with Moonfish Media Inc., “Nkashi: Race for the Okavango” by National Geographic Society Impact Story Lab and “The Elephant Whisperers” a Netflix Documentary and Sikhya Entertainment Production. 


‘Goni’ includes documentation in Bangladeshi migrant homes as well as the effect of climate change upon Bangladeshis living in vulnerable conditions. It also includes footage of the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar as well as previously unrecorded underground coverage of the living conditions of migrants in Qatar. 


Drik extends its gratitude to the Jackson Wild Media Awards and the dedicated audience who appreciate the art and importance of filmmaking. We are excited about the positive impact that the film is expected to make and hope it will lead to reforms in the way migrant workers are treated within Bangladesh and overseas. We hope this will be a wake up call for the Bangladesh government who must ensure that our migrant workers are treated with respect and dignity, and that those responsible for the deaths of workers are held to account. 


Protagonist Abdul Goni, director Malaika Vaz, cinematographer Rusha Bose, executive producers Shahidul Alam and Malaika Vas, editor Aalok Padhye, composer Zahaan Khan, researcher Parvez Ahmed and production assistants Tushikur Rahman and Atower Rahid were amongst the team members. 


Set up on principles of social equality, Drik uses media to highlight issues relating to human rights, democracy and governance. It has trained working class children, women, physically challenged people and people of minority groups. Drik finds creative expressions for highlighting discrimination and stigma. We aim to create impactful media that educates and inspires positive change. 


Media Contact: 

Amina Neyamat  

Equality, Diversity and Communications Officer  

DrikPath Bhobon, Level - 6, 16 Sukrabad, Panthapath, Dhaka-1207, Bangladesh 

Office phone: +880 2 58155713, +880 2 8141817 

Mobile: +8801786502671, +8801708416074  

Email: amina@drik.net 

Web: www.drik.net  


Published: September 29, 2023

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