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The Washington Diplomat: Argo, Difret Take Honors at America Abroad Media

AAM Awardees

Honoree Mithat Bereket; AAM President and Founder Aaron Lobel, and honorees Zeresenay Mehari, Mehret Mandefro, Noura Al Kaabi, Neaza Ashenafi and Aberash Bekele.

by Karin Zeitvogel

Journalists and filmmakers rubbed shoulders with ambassadors past and present, U.S. lawmakers, State Department officials and movie stars — as well as the ordinary people those stars have played in cinematic roles — at America Abroad Media’s third annual “Power of Film” awards dinner, held Oct. 23 in Washington.

This year’s winners included two films: 2013 Academy Award winner Argo, which tells the story of six American diplomats in Tehran and attempts to rescue them during the U.S. Embassy hostage crisis 36 years ago, and Difret, an Ethiopian docudrama that chronicles a crusading woman lawyer’s defense of a teenage girl accused of murdering the man who forcefully took her as his wife and raped her.

Also honored for their contributions to “independent thought and the exchange of positive ideas” were Turkish journalist Mithat Bereket and Abu Dhabi media executive Noura Al Kaabi.

“In every country, there is so much potential to be a force for good, a force that facilitates honest, civil discussion, the values of pluralism and critical thinking,” said Aaron Lobel, AAM’s founder and president. “That’s why it’s so important for us to be gathered here tonight to honor those who make that possible: outstanding filmmakers, journalists and media leaders. These are people are making an enormous difference every day and they deserve our recognition.”

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