By Logan Hill, Staff Writer
Sunday night at the New Hampshire Film Festival in Portsmouth, there was a screening and an award for the documentary “E-Team” that was partially filmed by James Foley.
James Foley is the New Hampshire-born journalist who was kidnapped in Syria and executed by ISIL in August.
“E-Team” is a documentary about the Human Rights Watch’s Emergency Response Team, deployed into conflict areas or those under a harsh regime in order to document and expose violations of human rights. They are generally deployed in areas where the country does not voluntarily accept outside observers or other organizations to monitor their human rights.
“E-Team” won the award for best documentary, but that wasn’t the only recognition. Following the event, co-director Ross Kauffman made a special presentation to Foley’s parents, recognizing him and presenting the Sundance award.
“When we were awarded the award at Sundance, we wanted to make sure we recognized James Foley,” Kauffman said.
Foley’s parents came to the podium to accept the Sundance award for his cinematography in the film, and in an emotional few minutes, spoke about James Foley and what he believed in.
“I hope you all remember him for his passion and humanity and not the brutality that was done to him,” said Dr. John Foley, James Foley’s father.
“He committed his life to giving a voice to those who are unable to speak for themselves. I cannot tell you how important this work is and how important it is to continue it,” Dr. Foley said.
Dr. Foley announced the creation of the James Foley Foundation, a foundation dedicated to the values that Foley stood for: education for the underprivileged, the preservation of free speech and the support of hostages and their families.
“Groups like the E-Team and journalists like Jim carry the torch, and we can’t let that fire go out,” Dr. Foley said.
In addition to the Sundance award, “E-Team” received the award for best documentary at the New Hampshire Film Festival.
“This was such an emotional day,” said Barbara Nichols, a Portsmouth resident and attendee at the ceremony, as she wiped tears from the corners of her eyes.
“James Foley made the world a better place,” Nichols said, “and I’m glad this foundation can continue that legacy.”