The Girl and The Picture, a film by USC Shoah Foundation that centers on a survivor of the 1937 Nanjing Massacre in China, has been nominated for a 2018 International Documentary Association Award, which is considered among the world’s most important recognitions of the documentary genre.
Nominated alongside short films produced by HBO and The New York Times, The Girl and The Picture is a story of family, memory, loss and survival.
Directed and produced by Academy Award winner Vanessa Roth, The Girl and The Picture chronicles events following the massacre that killed up to 300,000 people -- most of them civilians -- by the invading Japanese military. During the mayhem, Xia Shuqin, then-eight years old, and her little sister witnessed the murder of their extended family.
Eight decades later, Madame Xia -- now a great-grandmother -- would be united with the grandson of missionary John Magee, who had documented the atrocities and filmed the two little girls standing in front of the broken remains of their family home, binding his family with theirs forever. Madame Xia, at 88, shares her memory with Chris Magee as well as her granddaughter and seven-year-old great grandson in a film that serves as a monument to all those who have told their stories in the hope of allowing the past to be a teacher in the present.
In August, Roth’s film, produced by USC Shoah Foundation Executive Director Stephen D. Smith and Devorah Palladino, won the Impact DOCS Award for Outstanding Achievement. It now stands against nine other films for the prestigious honor.
“This year’s nominees and winners of the IDA Awards reflects that 2018 has been a remarkable year for brave and bold storytelling,” said IDA Executive Director Simon Kilmurry. “These nominees illustrate how vibrant and essential films are to a healthy democracy.”
Winners of the IDA Awards will be announced on Dec. 8 during a ceremony hosted by actress and talk show host Ricki Lake. IDA members can cast votes for best feature and best short film between Nov. 4 and Dec. 3.