Martha’s Vineyard filmmaker Len Morris receives Iqbal Masih Award

— File photo by Susan Safford

Vineyard documentary filmmaker Len Morris received the 2012 Iqbal Masih Award on March 20 from the U.S. Department of Labor. Deputy Undersecretary of Labor for International Affairs Sandra Polaski presented the award to Mr. Morris in a ceremony held at the Labor Department’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.

“This award recognizes the life’s work of Len Morris in raising public awareness about the plight of working children around the globe,” Ms. Polaski said. “His films and advocacy highlight child labor, hunger in Africa and homeless child laborers.”

The event included a short preview of Mr. Morris’s latest documentary, “The Same Heart,” about children and poverty.

“As the fourth recipient of the award, I thank the myriad crews, editors, donors, and partner organizations that have worked alongside me for years to raise awareness of exploitative child labor,” Mr. Morris said in a press release.

He and his filmmaking partner, Georgia Morris, moved to the Vineyard about 25 years ago. After spending years making entertainment documentaries for television networks such as AMC and TNT, they founded their own production company, Galen Films, in 1980 and began making films about children’s rights issues.

In 2008 the Morrises founded Media Voices For Children, a nonprofit online site that aggregates news, opinion, research, video and photography on topics that impact children in the U.S. and around the world.

Congress established the Iqbal Masih Award in 2009 to recognize exceptional efforts by an individual, company, organization, or national government to end the worst forms of child labor.