2021 will be a year full of prestigious awards for Watchdoc after more than 10 years of working in producing documentaries and doing work on strengthening democracy, human rights and advocating for marginalized groups. The awards are the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Award and the Ramon Magsaysay Award.
Watchdoc received the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Award in early 2021. The Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Award is a prestigious award from South Korea. This award was given by the May 18th Memorial Foundation of South Korea inspired by the events that occurred on May 18, 1980 in the city of Gwangju, South Korea. At that time, South Korean people, especially in the city of Gwangju, held demonstrations demanding democracy against the government of President Chun Doo Hwan. However, the struggle of the pro-democracy society was met with force by the Chun Do Hwan regime. Hundreds of people died in the incident. This spirit of struggle then prompted the awarding of special awards to various parties in various countries in Asia who carried out activities to defend human rights and encourage the realization of democracy.
In late 2021, Watchdoc Documentary Maker received the Ramon Magsaysay award. Watchdoc won the Ramon Magsaysay award for the Emergent Leadership category. In addition, Watchdoc became the first organization to receive the Ramon Magsaysay award for the Emergent Leadership category. Previously, all award winners in this category were individuals. This award is given because Watchdoc’s documentary films are considered as investigative journalism that uses new and creative platforms to highlight social, environmental and human rights issues. In addition, Watchdoc is also considered to empower marginalized and vulnerable communities, as well as inspire young people to seek the truth. “Watchdoc’s works take something that not many people talk about or avoid, and distribute it to a new generation,” said Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation President Susan Afan of Manila.
Based on data from the official Raymon Magsaysay website, before Watchdoc there were a number of individuals and organizations from Indonesia who had received Raymon in various categories, including Mochtar Lubis (1958), Ali Sadikin (1971), Abdurrahman Wahid (1993), Pramoedya Ananta Toer (1995). ), Ahmad Safi’i Maarif (2008), and the Corruption Eradication Commission (2013). Several globally recognized figures have also received the Raymon Magsaysay award, including the Dalai Lama of Tibet (1958) and Mother Teresa of India (1962). The Ramon Magsaysay Prize is often referred to as the Asian version of the Nobel. This award has been given since 1957 to individuals or organizations that are considered superior in their respective fields. The name of the award is taken from the name of the President of the Philippines who died in a plane crash in 1957. Raymon is remembered as a leader who brought the Philippines into a golden era with a climate of good democracy and free of corruption.