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Documentary about Berezovka Honored at International Film Festival

This week, the documentary Karachaganak: Children in Exchange for Oil, a documentary about the tragedy of the children of Berezovka, Kazakhstan, took second place at “The Right Cut,” the first international human rights film festival for short documentaries in Caracas (Venezuela). It also won the Best Screen Award. The documentary was produced by Crude Accountability.

Thirteen documentaries were among the finalists, while 5 short films from Venezuela, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Afghanistan and Russia were named as the winners http://bit.ly/1WfghyG. “The Right Cut” festival is devoted to human rights that are often violated in favor of government authorities, criminals and big business, despite the obligation of government to protect them made in 1948 at the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Harvard University and the NGO “World without Censorship” were among the organizers of the competition that included the world’s largest universities and non-profit organizations.  The award winners will have their films showcased at Harvard (USA) and in Prague (Czech Republic) in April and May.

Karachaganak: Children in Exchange for Oil (http://bit.ly/1qwi8Du) is about the mass poisoning of the young residents of the village of Berezovka. The poisoning occurred on November 28, 2014, and was the result of emissions from the Karachaganak Oil and Gas Field. For more than a year, neither the government nor anyone in the consortium of oil producers recognized the right of these children to receive medical evaluations, treatment, and compensation from the perpetrators of the tragedy.

“I have never heard of anything like it in all of my experience. But I had to hear. Children on the rusted skeletons of the ships in the sands of the Aral also said that when they grew up, they would become railroad workers who would leave and never come back. Here, the tragedy is happening today, right now, “said Vitaly Chelishev, columnist for the well-known Russian magazine Journalist and member of the Russian Union of Journalists, about the documentary.

“This recognition at an international festival is an opportunity to spread the word globally about the tragedy. We hope that it can help get medical evaluations for children and treatment from toxic poisoning, not from made-up causes like the school boiler room emissions,” added Sergey Solyanik, consultant for Crude Accountability, co-coordinator of the “Children or Oil?” coalition.

The Karachaganak Field is exploited by the KPO consortium whose members include the oil companies, Chevron, BG Group, Eni, Lukoil and KazMunaiGaz. The filmmakers call on these companies and the Kazakhstani authorities to take responsibility for the tragedy, and provide medical evaluations and treatment for the children who are victims of toxic poisoning.

Other films honored with prizes are showcased on the Festival website: http://sinmordaza.org; https://www.facebook.com/sinmordazas/?fref=ts

For more information:

Sergey Solyanik, Crude Accountability consultant             “Children or Oil?” Coalition

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