In 2016 the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights awarded the Marek Nowicki Prize to Nima Sarvestani.
There is no other documentary filmmaker whose films manage to make it into WATCH DOCS program on such a regular basis. Since 2010, every film Sarvestani has made has appeared at WATCH DOCS in December. The films by the Marek Nowicki Prize winner appear as if they were made specifically with this festival in mind.
His just completed trilogy devoted to Afghan women—I Was Worth 50 Sheep, No Burqas Behind Bars, and his latest work, Prison Sisters—Sarvestani's films present a painfully honest picture of a society in which women are able to feel free only in prison. Sarvestani's great sense of the cultures he describes, his tenacity in pursuing often-concealed truths, and his enormous narrative talent bear fruit in his unique kind of documentary action films with stories that, while they really are stranger than fiction, are in fact painfully true.