Feature documentary, ONCE MY MOTHER this week received its third award in two months after winning BEST DOCUMENTARY BIOGRAPHY in the 2013 ATOM Awards.

The film, in which Australian filmmaker Sophia Turkiewicz investigates the reasons why her Polish mother abandoned her in an orphanage as a child and uncovers the truth behind her mother’s wartime escape from a Siberian gulag, recently won the FOXTEL AUDIENCE AWARD FOR BEST DOCUMENTARY at its premiere screening at the Adelaide Film Festival and followed with the AUDIENCE AWARD at the Canberra International Film Festival, an unusual honour for an Australian documentary, according to festival director, Lex Lindsay.

In accepting the Best Documentary Biography ATOM award for Once My Mother, producer Rod Freedman said:
"At a time when one-off documentaries are struggling to find a place on Australian television, director Sophia Turkiewicz and I are proud to receive this award from ATOM, an organisation that continues to promote the importance of documentaries in recording stories that matter. This award will boost our aim to reach educators and students with the film and the accompanying ATOM study guide. We also thank Screen Australia's Signature Docs Fund for supporting the film."

Sophia Turkiewicz, director of Once My Mother, said:
"I’m delighted that a film about my mother, an illiterate Polish refugee, will now be used in schools as an educational resource and that her story will be known to Australian students. Thank you to ATOM and the judges for this recognition of Once My Mother."

Associate Producer Bob Connolly recently cited Once My Mother in a passionate plea for one-off documentaries to receive better funding and priority from the broadcasters, provoking a series of responses from commissioning editors and filmmakers, which in part lead to the formation of INDIEDOCO, a campaign to support independent, authored documentaries in Australia (


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