November 18, 2008 10:34 ET

Deborah Fletcher Award of Excellence Presented to Canadian Documentary on Doctor's Humanitarian Efforts

GATINEAU, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Nov. 18, 2008) - The 2008 Deborah Fletcher Award of Excellence in Filmmaking on International Development will be awarded to a documentary film on the life and work of Canadian physician, writer and humanitarian Dr. James Orbinski. The award ceremony and screening, to be held this evening at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, are part of International Cooperation Days, a biennial conference organized by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). CIDA President Margaret Biggs will present the award on behalf of the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation.

"I'm pleased that White Pine Pictures will be honoured with the Deborah Fletcher Award for Excellence in Filmmaking on International Development," said Minister Oda. "The film is an impressive reflection of the outstanding work of Dr. Orbinski with Medecins sans Frontieres in Somalia and Rwanda. His dedication to those suffering under the devastation of famine and genocide recognizes his commitment to all humanity."

The documentary, Triage: Dr. James Orbinski's Humanitarian Dilemma, focuses on the life and work of Dr. Orbinski, who practiced medicine in some of the world's bleakest places including Somalia during the 1992 famine and Rwanda during the 1994 genocide.

Each year, CIDA's Deborah Fletcher Award recognizes an outstanding international development film by a Canadian producer or filmmaker. The award commemorates the contribution of Deborah Fletcher, a journalist and filmmaker who fostered excellence in filmmaking and helped create an enduring body of work that continues to have a profound impact on Canadians.

Triage was co-produced by Peter Raymont and the National Film Board of Canada and directed by Patrick Reed. In the deeply resonant documentary, Dr. Orbinski revisits his past in order to write a book about his experiences and tries to make sense of the horror and heroism he has encountered. The Deborah Fletcher Award jury selected Triage for its ability to treat unsettling subject matter in a thought-provoking manner.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
    Jean-Luc Benoit
    Director of communications
    Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
    Media Relations Office