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Fighting for Life wins the Peace and Sport Documentary Prize at the SPORTEL Awards in Monaco


- The SPORTEL Awards recognise the most outstanding sports images of the year

Fighting for Life wins the Peace and Sport Documentary Prize at the SPORTEL Awards in Monaco
Fighting for Life by Jamillah van der Hulst and Ian Greyvensteyn

The feature documentary Fighting for Life [+see also:
film profile
, directed by Jamillah van der Hulst and Ian Greyvensteyn, produced by Jaja Films from the Netherlands in association with Mike Downey of Film and Music Entertainment (Ireland) and Mark Dornford May of the Isango Company, has picked up the Peace and Sport Documentary Prize at the SPORTEL Awards in Monaco.

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Fighting for Life offers an insightful look at the work of female Dutch boxing coach Sharita van der Hulst as part of the rehabilitation programme for prisoners that are serving heavy sentences inside the South African Drakenstein Correctional Center. Sharita delivers a one-week coaching course to prisoners wishing to become boxing coaches. The Drakenstein Correctional Center, formerly called Victor Verster Prison, is the place where Nelson Mandela served his last 18 months of captivity before he was released in 1990. During his time as president, Mandela, himself a boxer, changed the prison system in South Africa by introducing his vision for rehabilitation.

The SPORTEL Awards is an international competition that rewards the most outstanding sports images of the year. Every year, numerous Olympic champions and celebrities from the sporting world take part in this awards ceremony, which takes place under the High Patronage of HSH Prince Albert II and under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee. 

“It’s great that such a powerful and (literally) hard-hitting film should pick up this prestigious award,” says Mike Downey. “The story of Sharita and her boxing coaches, and the great social message therein, will resonate far and wide, and it can only be helped by this award.”

Film and Music Entertainment (Ireland) and Jaja Films are currently in post-production with the third feature-length documentary in the Streetkids United series. Streetkids United III – The Road to Moscow, featuring a team of Indian girls, has been directed by Jacco Groen (Lilet Never Happened) and will be delivered in November. Plans are afoot for a fourth part of the series, taking in the newly founded Street Child Cricket World Cup in London in 2019. 

Fighting for Life’s international sales are handled by Madrid-based Feel Sales.

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