The Boys from Baghdad High was well received from its initial screening. It was nominated for a Youth Jury Award at the 2007 Sheffield Doc/Fest, shortlisted for an Amnesty International 2008 UK Media Award in the category for Television Documentary and Docudramas, and the European Independent Film Festival named it the Best News and Current Affairs film. It was nominated for the Readers' Award in the Radio Times, and in May 2008 it won the Premiere Prize at the Sandford St. Martin Trust Awards, which acknowledges excellence in religious broadcasting. The Trust's chairman and former BBC Head of Religious Broadcasting Colin Morris said of the documentary, "We saw the way faith breaks into secular life in the chaos of present day Iraq. Coming from different ethnic and religious backgrounds the boys showed that despite the war their daily preoccupations were much the same as those of teenage boys the world over – girlfriends, parents, sport, fashion, exams, music. Would their friendship survive? Ultimately the programme confronted British viewers with the question: 'What in God's name are we doing there?'" The film received a standing ovation from the audience at the Traverse City Film Festival, and at the Tribeca Film Festival it was short-listed for the 2008 World Documentary Feature Competition, competing against eleven other non-fiction films for Best Documentary Film and Best New Documentary Filmmaker.
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