The James W. Foley Legacy Foundation (JWFLF) is proud to announce that Jim: The James Foley Story, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 23, has received the Audience Award in the US Documentary category at Sundance. Brian Oakes, a childhood friend of Jim’s and the film director, accepted the award on behalf of the film team. The Audience Award is based on the ratings received from the audience at each screening during the Festival.
Jim: The James Foley Story can be viewed on HBO or through HBO NOW and HBO GO (visit the HBO website for the viewing schedule). The film has been praised as a powerful look into journalistic bravery and provides dramatic insight into Jim’s life and captivity through the personal experiences of former hostages, his former colleagues and his family.
“We are honored that HBO has chosen to make Jim a part of the HBO family. Jim’s story is important for so many reasons, most notably it speaks to the silent crisis faced by families if a loved one is taken hostage. It also shows the world the risks that are undertaken by freelance journalists to tell the frontline stories our nation depends on. We could not be prouder of our son and we are grateful to Brian Oakes for creating a film that captured these issues so poignantly,” said John and Diane Foley.
The documentary was honored by legendary musician Sting, who not only wrote a song titled The Empty Chair for the film, but also spoke at length about the power and influence of the Jim documentary. “It’s a very devastating film and at the end I had to be picked up off the floor… this movie is the antidote to the nonsense that we see going on in the world now,” said Sting while performing The Empty Chair for a live audience at the Sundance ASCAP Music Café in Park City, Utah.
“We are so humbled and honored to be a part of Jim and the effort to show the world who Jim really was. Brian Oakes, the filmmaker, was Jim’s childhood friend and has known our family for nearly 4 decades. The film is a beautiful representation of who Jim really was, his humanity and his unwavering desire to help those in need,” added Diane and John Foley.
“It is a very small solace to learn that Jihadi John may have been killed by the U.S. government.
“His death does not bring Jim back. If only so much effort had been given to finding and rescuing Jim and the other hostages who were subsequently murdered by ISIS, they might be alive today.
“Our focus is on Jim’s life and all the good that he did in the world. We remain humble and proud of his unwavering commitment to give voice to the voiceless as a journalist, a teacher and a friend.
“As we continue to honor Jim’s life, we are grateful to the thousands of people who supported Jim throughout his captivity and who continue to support his legacy today through The James W. Foley Legacy Foundation.
“The Foundation is committed to defending the rights of every American citizen by advocating for the safe release of Americans kidnapped abroad, advancing safety measures for freelance journalists in conflict zones, and providing underprivileged youth with access to education.”