Meanwhile back in Sydney….

December 10, 2010 by Henry Benjamin
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Dan Goldberg has picked up the Australian Human Rights Commission Human Rights Television Award for his heart-warming documentary “Football United: Passport to Hope”.

The Sydney-based journalist/film-maker made the film about Professor Anne Bunde-Birouste’s use of soccer to help integrate refugee children into Australian society. “Football United” was made for Foxtel.

Dan Goldberg celebrates with the kids

Goldberg told J-Wire: “Our film was basically about the kids featured in it representing the thousand and thousand of children in the world who have been denied the basic human right to be children.”

He added: “I am currently working on an Indigenous project hopefully to be confirmed for national television. We are working in Broome in Western Australia.”

The film’s blurb reads:

“Anne Bunde-Birouste founded the Football United program through the University of NSW, using the world game of soccer to help refugee children integrate into Australian society thereby offering them a passport to a brighter future.

The lottery of life has forced many of these children to become adults overnight, losing their innocence long before their childhood expired. Witnessing some of humanity’s worst crimes, this is a powerful and emotional story about kids who were born into, and have survived, war, drought, famine and bloodshed.

Football United; Passport To Hope tells their remarkable stories and how their lives have changed after meeting Anne and becoming involved in Football United. Together with Anne’s drive, motivation and determination, the program has given eight of them – four boys and four girls – an extraordinary opportunity to represent Australia at the Festival for Hope at the FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

Football United; Passport To Hope is introduced by writer, author, broadcaster and football fan George Negus, who has travelled the globe seeing the world at its best and worst and along the way has met many inspirational people like Anne Bunde-Birouste.

“I met Anne a few years ago and when she gets a bit between her teeth she is bloody near unstoppable. We have gone from adversity to rather marvellous diversity [in Australia] and with the help of Anne and her program, so will these guys,” George says.

This two-part documentary series produced by North One Television Australia follows Anne and the kids as they prepare for and travel to South Africa – a rollercoaster ride during and after the World Cup.

The eight kids come from the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Central America. Each of them faces different challenges: for some it will be an adventure that is frowned upon by traditionalists from their culture; for others, there may be separation issues, linguistic challenges and cultural chasms that bring into sharp focus the complexity of their new lives.”

Goldberg told J-Wire: “It’s a terrific feeling even to have been nominated for this prestigious award…I was up against stiff competition.  The nomination alone will remain recognition for a program designed to changed kids’ lives…but winning it hopefully will be inspirational to others.

Goldberg, who wrote, directed and produced Football United beat competition from two ABC nominations including “Australia Story” and two SBS programs.

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