It is a great honor for me to receive this Lifetime Achievement Award from the Women's International Film & Television Showcase, it only saddens me that my husband, Tony Blanco, cannot be with me to share this moment, as he would be as honored and proud as I am.
I congratulate you on the beautiful initiative to support and celebrate the dedication, passion and integrity of women in film everywhere, and I thank TheWIFTS Board for considering me worthy of this precious award. I am very sorry to be unable to receive it in person. Thank you!
THE WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL
FILM & TELEVISION SHOWCASE
DECEMBER 10TH 2017
Passion & Integrity
Commerce & Creativity
Equality Not Hierarchy
Chelo Alvarez-Stehle - United States
The Best Documentary Award (Humanitarian)
Producer - Director - Writer
Chelo Alvarez-Stehle is the recipient of TheWIFTS Best Documentary Award (Humanitarian) 2017. Her first feature-length documentary, Sands of Silence, is a remarkable film, in that through the potency of its storytelling, it exposes the humanitarian issue, both on the surface and beneath, of the suffering of individuals affected by this odious crime. The film has embolden others to speak and to no longer live in the ‘silence.’
Born in Spain, Chelo Alvarez-Stehle is reporter, documentary filmmaker and advocate. Alvarez-Stehle has worked for close to two decades exposing stories of sexual exploitation and trafficking. She worked in Japan in documentaries for NHK Enterprises and became Tokyo’s and then Los Angeles’ correspondent for Spain’s El Mundo daily. In 1995, she moved to California.
Alvarez-Stehle’s commitment to denounce sexual exploitation was sparked in 1997 in remote Western Nepal when as a world reporter working for print publications in Spain she met young girls that had been sold to temples as the Goddesses’ vestals or trafficked to brothels in India. Chelo continued writing about sexual exploitation, from the sexual abuse that most of Australia’s Aboriginal children of the Stolen Generation were subjected to, to the mass rape of Nepali women caught in Bhutan’s ethnic cleansing. In 2002, when one of her articles on child trafficking in the Himalayas was turned into the documentary film Tin Girls (Niñas de Hojalata) by Canal+ Spain.
Her first feature-length documentary, Sands of Silence: Waves of Courage, has won several awards, such as First Prize and Biznaga de Plata Asserting Women's Rights at the Malaga Film Festival, the Southern California Best Documentary Feature award by the L.A. Press Club, several Best Documentary and Audience awards from Malibu and Los Angeles to Guayaquil and Rio de Janeiro; was nominated as Best Documentary Feature to the Imagen Awards (the Latino Golden Globes) and received the Fada (fairy) Cultural Award, second prize in Barcelona.
Chelo produced/directed several short documentaries, among them, Sold in America: A Modern-Day Tale of Sex Slavery, and, most recently, she coproduced Through The Wall, a short documentary about a family divided by the US/Mexico border, which screened at DOC NYC, and won the 2106 Imagen Awards. Chelo is currently producing/directing SOS_Slaves, a social impact video game and SOS Interactive, a micro-documentary series on sexual exploitation and trafficking.