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Sheffield Doc/Fest awards

It was announced today at the annual Sheffield Doc/Fest awards ceremony, hosted by Jeremy Hardy, that the 20th edition of Sheffield Doc/Fest in 2013 will see the introduction of The Tim Hetherington Award presented by Dogwoof. Says Oli Harbottle, Dogwoof,  “We are delighted to be collaborating with Doc/Fest on this award. Tim’s legacy will forever define what we do at Dogwoof, and his approach will inspire filmmakers for generations to come”. The Tim Hetherington Award will include a cash prize and be decided by a jury including Tim’s mother Judith Hetherington. Says Hussain Currimbhoy, Doc/Fest film programmer, “Sheffield Doc/Fest is the natural home for this award.  Doc/Fest is where the British and international doc-making community gather every year, so it’s right that we honour one of Britain’s great documentary filmmakers in the programme in this way”

The seven awards for 2012 announced today were: Inspiration Award; Special Jury Award, Sheffield Innovation Award, Sheffield Green Award, Sheffield Youth Jury Award, and Student Doc Award and the EDA Best Female-Directed award presented by the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, Inc.

The Sheffield Doc/Fest Audience Award will be announced Monday, 18 June.
Inspiration Award

Sheffield Doc/Fest’s Inspiration Award, now in its third year goes to British documentary filmmaker Penny Woolcock.
Alex Graham, Doc/Fest Chairman, praised Penny that she “combines a real empathy for her subjects, and never underestimates the intelligence of the audience”. About her creative process, he described how she, “starts with a question, circles round the subject like a hawk ready to pounce. The longer you can stay in the not-knowing-place, the better”.

In accepting the award, Penny said that it’s the, “rebellious, rambunctious, refusal-to-lie-down (of her subjects) that excites and inspires me. My instinct is to walk towards things that most people would run away from”.

Special Jury Award

The Special Jury Award is awarded to Marina Abromović: The Artist is Present (Matthew Akers/ USA, 2012, 105 mins)

Special Mention to Call Me Kuchu  (Dir. Malika Zouhali-Worrall, Katherine Fairfax-Wright/ USA, 2012, 87 mins) and The Reluctant Revolutionary  (Dir. Sean McAllister/ UK, 2012, 69 mins)

Special Jury spokesperson Carol Morley commented, “Matthew Akers’ Marina Abromović: The Artist is Present becomes a performance in itself and blurs the boundaries beyond performance, filmmaking and art and questions ideas of authenticity that allow art to come alive whilst giving an insight into a world that is often closed. The jury considered it an intelligent and insightful portrait of a compelling, charismatic artist.”

In accepting the Special Jury award, Matthew Akers said, “This film really was born out of skepticism on my part and fearlessness on Marina's part. I want to say that it was my great privilege to show Marina the kind of love that she's displayed to the rest of the world. This experience reinvigorated my belief in art being transformative and it was my aim to transfer that thought to the rest of you”.
The Special Jury:
Carol Morley (director, Dreams of A Life, UK)
Elena Fortes (Ambulante Documentary Film Festival, Mexico)                                                                                   Greg Sanderson (Editor, BBC’s The Review Show, UK )                                                                                                Caroline Libresco ( Sundance Film Festival, USA)                                                                                       Louis Theroux (TV presenter, UK)                                                                                                                                

The nominated films:
Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (Dir. Alison Klayman/ China, 2012,  91 mins)
Call Me Kuchu  (Dir. Malika Zouhali-Worrall, Katherine Fairfax-Wright/ USA, 2012, 87 mins)
Chopin Saved My Life  (Dir. James Kent/ UK, 2012,  52 mins)
Going Up the Stairs  (Dir.  Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami/ Iran, 2011,  52 mins)
Marina Abramovic : The Artist is Present   (Matthew Akers/ USA, 2012, 105 mins)
Off Label   (Dir. Michael Palmieri, Donal Mosher, USA, 2012, 80 mins)
Not A Carwash  (Dir. Gentian Koçi/  Albania, 2012, 49 mins.                                                                                                                                      The Other Dream Team  (Dir.  Marius Markevicius/ USA, Lithuania, 2012, 89 mins)
The Reluctant Revolutionary  (Dir. Sean McAllister/ UK, 2012, 69 mins)
Sheffield Youth Jury Award

The Sheffield Youth Jury Award was awarded to Photographic Memory  (Dir. Ross McElwee/ USA, France, 2011, 84 mins)

Special Mention to Indie Game: The Movie  (Dir. Lisanne Pajot, James Swirsky/ Canada, 2012, 103 mins)

Youth jury spokesperson Rhys Holland commented, “we found Photographic Memory to be applicable to this and every generation ... we admired how this films' self-shot form illustrates to emerging filmmakers the ability for anyone to tell honest and heart felt stories, without the necessity for big production values”.

In accepting his award, Ross McElwee, thanked the jury and said “This has been a great festival, wonderful to get this award. The film is brand new to the festival circuit, and this is a great start.”

The Sheffield Youth jury:
Rhys Holland, Driffield, UK 19
Lily Phillips / Sheffield, UK / 20
Amy Garrod / Surrolk, UK / 20
Isla Badenoch / Sheffield, UK / 21
Abech Zewdneh / Sheffield, UK / 20
The nominated films were:
Indie Game: The Movie  (Dir. Lisanne Pajot, James Swirsky/ Canada, 2012, 103 mins)
Love Free or Die  (Dir. Macky Alston/ USA, 2011 , 82 mins)
Photographic Memory  (Dir. Ross McElwee/ USA, France, 2011, 84 mins
Town of Runners   (Dir. Jerry Rothwell/ UK, Nairobi, 2011 , 85 mins)
We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists  (Dir. Brian Knapperberger/ USA, 2011, 89 mins)
Sheffield Innovation Award

The Sheffield Innovation Award is awarded to Bear 71  (Dir.  Leanne Allison, Jeremy Mendes/ Canada, 2011, 20 mins)
Special Mention to Question Bridge: Black Males (USA, 2012, 180 mins)
Siobhan O’Flynn, spokesperson for the Innovation Jury said for “We define innovation as breaking new ground in documentary making and the demonstration of new modes of engagment in the use of new digital technologies. Bear 71 demonstrates strong storytelling and allows audiences to interact with content by questioning our relationship with natural world.”
The Sheffield Innovation jury:
Arnaud Dressen (Honky Tonk Films, France)                                                                                                Siobhan O'Flynn (Digital Interactive Media Consultant , Canada)                                                                        Nick Phillips (Artist, UK)                                                                                                                                                       Lucy Wurstlin  (Digital Interactive Media Consultant , UK)                                                                                                Tunji Akinsehinwa (filmmaker, UK)
The nominated films were:
Bear 71  (Dir.  Leanne Allison, Jeremy Mendes/ Canada, 2011, 20 mins
Britain In A Day  (Dir. Morgan Matthews/ UK, 2012, 89 mins)
The Miners' Hymns (Dir. Bill Morrison, UK/ 2011, 52 mins)
Question Bridge: Black Males (USA, 2012, 180 mins)
¡Vivan Las Antipodas!  (Dir. Victor Kossakovsky/ Germany. Netherlands, Argentina, Chile, 2011,  104 mins)

Sheffield Green Award

The Sheffield Green Award is awarded to Law of The Jungle (Dir. Michael Christoffersen, Hans la Cour/ Denmark, 2012, 85 mins) 

Special mention to The Island President (Dir. Jon Shenk/ USA, 2011 , 101 mins)

Jury spokesperson, Juliet Ellis commented, “A timelessly powerful film, Law of The Jungle  has done what only the best documentaries can do. It has delivered very uncomfortable and disturbing truths to powerful organisations, whilst holding an iron grip on the heart strings of its audience. And of course – who doesn't like a great David vs. Goliath court room drama?”

In accepting the award, director Michael Christoffersen said via Skype link: “wonderful for all of us involved in this film to receive this award. Hans La Cour, the main director and cinematographer, got cancer and died quite early in the filming so this award means a lot for everybody involved. All the issues that the film describes are still going on in Peru. Hopefully this award will help to make a difference”.
The Sheffield Green Jury:
Juliet Ellis (actress)                                                                                                                                        
Anthony Baxter (filmmaker)
HeardInLondon (Activist)                                                                                                                                                        Shiv Malik (journalist)                                                                                                                                                   Rupert Murray (filmmaker)

The nominated films:
Aluna  (Dir. Alan Ereira/ UK, 2012,  90 mins)
Baka: A Cry from the Rainforest  (Dir. Philip Agland/ UK, 2011 , 89 mins)
Chasing Ice  (Dir. Jeff Orlowski/ USA, 2012 , 74 mins)
A Fierce Green Fire  (Dir. Mark Kitchell/ USA, 2012, 114 mins)
The Island President  (Dir. Jon Shenk/ USA, 2011 , 101 mins
Law of the Jungle  (Dir. Michael Christoffersen, Hans la Cour/ Denmark, 2012, 85 mins)

Student Doc Award
The Student Doc Award was awarded to The Betrayal  (Dir.  Karen Winther/ UK, Norway, 2011, 64 mins)

Jury spokesperson Kim Longinotto, said, “we voted for this film because of its courage and intensity and the beautiful way it was put together”.

Receiving the award, Karen Winther acknowledged the, “National Film and TV School”, and thanked Kim Longinotto for, “inspiring me to become a filmmaker”.

The Student Doc Jury:
Ryan Harrington (Director of Documentary programming, Tribeca Film Institute, USA)                               Tabitha Jackson (commissioning editor for arts, Channel 4, UK)                                                                        Kim Longinotto (filmmaker, UK)                                                                                                                         Katrina Sedgwick (Head of Arts, ABC ,Australia)                                                                                                  Seth Tabatznik (Founder/Director of OneWayTheatre, UK)
The nominated films:
The Betrayal  (Dir.  Karen Winther/ UK, Norway, 2011, 64 mins)
Burmese Butterfly  (Dir. Hnin Ei Hlaing/ Myanmar, Germany , 12 mins)
Fabalous   (Dir. Ed Emsley/ UK, 2012, 6 mins)
No Regrets  (Dir. Jim Smith/ UK, 2012 , 11 mins)
Mostar  (Dir. Josh Bamford, Sebastian Feehan/ UK, 2011, 19 mins
A Place We Call Home   (Dir.  Albina Griniute/ Lithuania, Estonia, 2012, 20 mins)
This Life that Chose Me  (Dir. Chloe White/ UK, 2011, 15 mins)
The War Next Door  (Dir. Ferdinand Haberl/ UK, 2012 , 24 mins)
The EDA award for Best Female-Director awarded by the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, Inc.

The winner of the EDA award goes to Up The Stairs. (Dir. Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami/ Iran, 2011, 52 mins)
Jennifer Merin, spokesperson for Alliance of Women Film Journalists, Inc for Best Female-Director Film Award, said, “we commend this film about an unlikely artist, 50 year-old illiterate, Iranian woman who is consumed with her need to create, but also embraces the role in a traditional marriage to an older man. She gives us a new understanding of the strength of women in sustaining their dreams in difficult circumstances. Bravo to director Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami and leading lady Akram”.

Unfortunately Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami visa application was delayed by the British Embassy in Warsaw and was unable to travel to the UK to collect her award. In a statement read out by Jennifer Merin, president of the AWFJ, Rokhasreh said,“Repeating  the  phrase.....’the best female directed’ makes me feel better.... I wish the world could be directed in a female way. If it was so, governments wouldn't go for a war. I don't think that embassies would take revenge on artists because of politics. I am sure that artists needn't to prove that they are rich or married to travel abroad for a festival.  They wouldn't hear ‘sorry, we cannot make a decision’ when they are nominated for an award.  Yes, repeating ‘the best femaled directed’ makes me feel better. I am so proud of it. Thank you, Sheffield Doc/Fest staff and AWFJ .”
The international Jury:

Linda Barnard, The Toronto Star, Toronto, Canada
Jennifer Merin, About.com, New York, USA
Nikki Baughan, MovieScope, London, England
MaryAnn Johanson, Flickfilosopher.com, London, England
Karen Krizanovich, Radio Times, London, England
The nominated films:

Call Me Kuchu (Dir. Malika Zouhali-Worrall, Katherine Fairfax-Wright/ USA, 2012, 87 mins)
Indie Game: The Movie (Dir. Lisanne Pajot, James Swirsky/ Canada, 2012, 103 mins)
Putin's Kiss (Dir. Lise Birk Pedersen / Denmark 2011 / 85 mins)
Scarlet Road (Dir. Catherine Scott / Australia 2011 / 70mins)
The Tsunami and The Cherry Blossom (Lucy Walker / US 2011 / 40mins)
Up The Stairs Dir.  Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami/ Iran, 2011,  52 mins)

Full details of the festival can be found at:  www.sheffdocfest.com.

Watch the fest trailer:

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