Tuesday, June 28, 2011

SIlverdocs... award winners!

Yesterday I mentioned my favorites from Silverdocs, but of course, my word is not the official word, and frankly, it doesn't really count. Yesterday though, the festival announced its winners and DocFilmOnline would be remiss not to share those with you, so without further adieu:

Sterling Award for Best US Feature - Our School, directed by Mona Nicoara and Miruna Coco-Cozma.

- Special Jury Mention - The Bully Project, directed by Lee Hirsch.

- Special Jury Mention - When The Drum Is Beating ,directed by Whitney Dow.

Sterling Award for Best World Feature - Family Instinct, directed by Andris Gauja.

- Special Jury Mention - Position Among The Stars, directed by Leonard Retel Helmrich.

Sterling Award for Best Short Film - Guanape Sur, directed by János Richter

- Special Jury Mention - Still Here, directed by Alex Camilleri.

Cinematic Vision Award - Life In A Day, directed by Kevin MacDonald.

WGA Documentary Screenplay Award - The Loving Story, written by Nancy Buirski and Susie Ruth Powell.

Audience Award for Best Feature - Donor Unknown, directed by Jerry Rothwell.

Audience Award for Best Short Film - Mr. Happy Man, directed by Matt Morris.

The festival juries consisted of:

  • Sterling US Feature Jury: Claire Aguilar, Programming VP, Independent Television Service; Chico Colvard, Filmmaker (Family Affair); Shannon Kelley, Head of Public Programs for the UCLA Film and Television Archive.
  • Sterling World Feature Jury: Sean Farnel, former Programming Director, Hot Docs; Eugene Hernandez, Director of Digital Strategy, Film Society of Lincoln Center; Karina Longworth, Editor, LA Weekly.
  • Sterling Short Film Jury: Sadie Tillery, Programming Director, Full Frame; Eva Weber, Filmmaker (Steel Homes); José Rodriquez, Program Associate, Tribeca Film Institute.

Monday, June 27, 2011

SIlverdocs... wrap up

So a few personal issues cut the week long festivities short, but I can't help but be pleased with the part of Silverdocs I was able to experience. Now admittedly, there were too many good documentaries and too little time to see everything I hoped to see, but of the ones I watched I was quite impressed.

But enough gushing from me, you want to know which films are worth seeing, right? Well, of course we'll have reviews of each and every film as soon as they can be posted, but in the meantime, here is the list of films I saw in order of favorite to least favorite. Now, as I mentioned, the documentaries were so good, even the ones toward the bottom of this list are worth seeing. So while they are ranked, know that I really wouldn't hesitate to recommend any of them.
  • Miss Representation - I never would have expected feminism to be so enthralling... and educational.
  • Jiro Dreams of Sushi - Beautifully shot with mouthwatering images of delicious sushi.
  • Fire on Babylon - A last minute whim turned out to be a gem of the festival. Cricket fans rejoice!
  • Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest - Fans will love it and newbie's will wish they were cool enough to already be fans.
  • At the Edge of Russia - A coming of age tale where everything is meaningless.
  • The Loving Story - It's more romance than political history, but this is still worth seeing.
  • The Black Power Mixtape 1967–1975 - A compelling premise uses some odd stylistic choices, that limit it potential.
  • Sound it Out - A simple film of obsession music lovers can truly support.
  • The First Movie - A bit too artsy for some, yet this will still make you smile.
  • The Price of Sex - A tough pill to swallow, but worth reflecting on.
  • When the Drum is Beating - A unique idea that failed to meet high expectations.
  • The Night Watchman - A great idea with some good sequences, but never comes together in any meaningful way.