Sheffield Doc/Fest 2016 Awards

SHEFFIELD DOC/FEST AWARD CEREMONY

The Sheffield Doc/Fest Awards Ceremony, which awards jury prizes in film, interactive and virtual reality categories, were announced on Tuesday 14 June, 22.30hrs BST at The Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, hosted for the first time by Doc/Fest fan, KG Tha Comedian.

Says Liz McIntyre, CEO & Festival Director, Sheffield Doc/Fest: “I am so proud tonight to be celebrating an extraordinary year of brilliant creativity and originality across the film and Alternate Realities programmes; an awe-inspiring display of talent, both home grown and from around the world.”

CREATIVE LEADERSHIP AWARD supported by COACHING FOR LEADERS to honour an individual’s essential contribution to the international documentary industry was awarded to Sheila Nevins, President of HBO Documentary Films, who has brought innovative and passionate stories to millions of film and television audiences.
Linda Aspey, Founder of Coaching for Leaders says: ‘Creative Leaders sense a great opportunity and bring diverse individuals together to create something unique, often ground breaking.  Throughout her incredible career, Sheila Nevins is someone who has laid out the big ideas and inspired teams to produce works that’s truly outstanding. Together with her intellect, curiosity, bravery and humour, Sheila Nevins is truly deserving of Doc Fest’s first-ever creative leadership award.”

AWARD FOR UNSUNG HERO IN FACTUAL TV supported by CHANNEL 5
to honour a vital, under-the-radar contribution to factual television, was awarded to Jan Tomalin, Managing Director of Media Law Consultancy who has expertly advised almost all of the UK’s top documentary makers, companies and broadcasters on the trickiest editorial matters imaginable – and won the day.
Guy Davies, Commissioning Editor, Channel 5 says, “Awards in our industry are richly deserved by talent on both sides of the camera – but Channel 5 wanted to look beyond the obvious. There’s a whole load of people whose contributions are essential, critical even – but often underplayed and unsung. People who make the trickiest productions possible when they could easily fall apart.

Quite simply many of the most challenging and important programmes of the last twenty years would not have got on air were it not for this winner’s creativity, tenacity, awesome knowledge…and nerve. The UKs best producers and directors simply love her and trust her. She’s a one off”.

TIM HETHERINGTON AWARD supported by DOGWOOF and presented by Dogwoof, Sheffield Doc/Fest and the Tim Hetherington Trust is awarded to TEMPESTAD directed by Tatiana Huezo (Mexico, 2016)
Special Mention: HOOLIGAN SPARROW
The award carries a £1,000 cash prize.

Judith Hetherington says: “Tempastad documents contemporary human rights abuses against women and is an extraordinary piece of filmmaking with tension, empathy, curiosity and information. All related with steely, uncompromising words and visual poetry… It experiments with the documentary format whilst maintaining a strong personal relationship with its subjects. It’s astounding”.

The DR CLIFFORD SHAW AUDIENCE AWARD SUPPORTED BY CURZON HOME CINEMA – named in honour of Dr Clifford Shaw who was a great cinephile and supporter of Doc/Fest and the Sheffield film community and passed away in 2015, goes to Presenting Princess Shaw directed by Ido Haar (Israel, 2015). The award was collected by Samantha Montgomery, aka Princess Shaw.

STORYTELLING AND INNOVATION AWARD supported by WELLCOME TRUST celebrates compelling stories inspired by science, research and collaborations, told through innovative filmmaking is awarded to NOTES ON BLINDNESS directed by James Spinney, Peter Middleton (UK, France, 2016 an “beautiful, immersive and innovative films” says Lucy McDowell, Project Manager, Broadcast, Film and Games, Wellcome Trust.

WHICKER’S WORLD FUNDING AWARD
WINNER: ALEX FOR BURMA’S LOST ROYALS
RUNNER UP: AMERICAVILLE – ADAM JAMES SMITH

The top prize is the Funding Award of £80,000 to under-30s looking to make their first full-length documentary is awarded to Alex Bescoby for Burma’s Lost Royals which centres around a forgotten monarchy and an intriguing quest that threatens to tear a family apart.

Valerie Kleeman said: “Alan would‘ve loved this story of the Burma Royals, he would have jumped at the chance to have made it himself. I look forward to viewing the finished film.”
Roger Graef added: “Burma’s Lost Royals is a royal story with a twist, a strong and timely dimension and the revelation of their hidden existence. This is documentary journalism that is both urgent and significant for our understanding of a country at a crossroads.”

The runner’s up prize of £10,000 is awarded to Adam James Smith for Americaville – on the pursuit of Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness in a Chinese replica of an American town, right down to lessons in cooking with Jello.

Roger Graef said: “Americaville is a precious and idiosynchratic story that tells us much about China and its ambivalent attitude to the US.”

Jurors
Valerie Kleeman – Founder / UK
Liz McIntyre – CEO & Festival Director, Sheffield Doc/Fest / UK
Roger Graef – filmmaker / UK
Mak CK – filmmaker / Singapore and Mexico

Films
Burma’s Lost Royals
Inga of The Amazon
Americaville
Mukesh
Lessons from My Father

WHICKER’S WORLD VETERAN’S AWARD
WINNER: FLUECHTLINGE – REFUGEE

The £4,000 winner of the award for veteran first-timers over the age of 50 goes to Keith Earnest Hoult, for Fluechtlinge – Refugee.

The judges were impressed that he made this entirely self-funded film as ‘a simple tale of ordinary people helping other ordinary people at their time of most desperate need’.

Keith a fan of Alan Whicker’s ‘gentle approach’ to interviewing was inspired to create a ten-minute film about Syrians seeking refuge in a disused airport used for the Berlin Airlift. When he witnessed his friend’s wife Caroline trying to help refugees against a growing backlash he ‘felt the urge to film it if only for her family to reflect on later in life’. Keith learnt his filmmaking skills at the SAE Institute after redundancy and divorce turned his life upside-down. Judges were impressed that he made this entirely self-funded film as ‘a simple tale of ordinary people helping other ordinary people at their time of most desperate need’.

The runner up prize of £1,000.00 goes to Reporter /Presenter Norman Fowler for The Truth About Aids: Producer Smita Patel / Editor Hugh Levinson for BBC World Service.

Films
Fluechtlinge – Refugee
The Truth About Aids

WHICKER’S WORLD AUDIO AWARDS
WINNER: LITTLE VOLCANOES
RUNNER UP: THE DHAMMAZEDI BELL

The winner of the first prize Whicker’s World Audio Award of £4,000 goes Little Volcanoes, recorded, written and produced by Catherine Fitzgerald, sound mix by Matt Thompson and Mike Woolley. A Sky Arts online commission. 

Catherine follows the rhythms of a day at Pilgrims Hospice, Margate, from early morning, meeting Claudia the cat at the end of the night shift to the nurse’s final “goodnight” to her patient. We hear conversations with patients as they talk about their illnesses; the things and people they love, and find out that people are Little Volcanoes.

Alan Hall said: “The gathering and compiling of materials in Little Volcanoes is particularly artful. The artifice is very well hidden, though the use of sound is highly accomplished and people are treated with an open sensitivity. It gives you an insight in to a world that most of us haven’t previously inhabited.”

Rikke Houd added: “All the components work well together, Catherine gathers up all these small scenes and puts them together in a way that makes the listener feel that every moment has been cared for. You can definitely hear that carefulness. It’s extremely well woven together.”

The runner’s up award of £1,000 goes to The Dhammazedi Bell. Produced by Francesca Pancetta for BBC Radio 3.

Jurors
Rikke Houd – Independent producer / Denmark
Kim Normanton – BBC Radio / UK
Jane Ray – Artistic Director Whicker’s World Foundation / producer / UK
Misha Glenny – Writer and broadcaster / UK
Alan Hall – Falling Tree Productions / UK

Projects
Lore’s Story
The Dhammazedi Bell
Shoah in Jerusalem
Little Volcanoes
Johnny O: The Pirate’s Story

GRAND JURY AWARD supported by Screen International & Broadcast
Winner: CAMERAPERSON
Special Mention: THE SETTLERS
The Grand Jury Award carries a prize of £2,000

The Sheffield Doc/Fest Grand Jury Award, supported by Screen International & Broadcast which honours one film that best displays excellence in style, substance and approach to documentary filmmaking goes to Cameraperson directed by Kirsten Johnson (US, 2016).

On behalf of the jury Nino Kirtadze said: “A work that´s both expansive and intimate, formally ambitious and morally humble. Though this filmmaker has travelled the world to tell others stories, her real bravery with this film is when she makes the decision to turn the camera on herself, questioning her own ethical choices and exposing her own personal fragilities. A film unlike any other, intuitively constructed to reflect ideas and choices and emotions, rather than a standard narrative thread, it invites the viewer to contemplate and feel these experiences along with her.” 

The jury also gave special mention to The Settlers directed by Shimon Dotan. Kirtadze commented, “We wanted to give a special mention to a film that stood out in the competition, a psychological spiral in storytelling that drags you deeper and deeper into the history of this very delicate issue blending together a personal and political story.

The film amazed the jury by its methodical research and incredible access gained over years of filming, it provides a brutally honest portrayal of the settler movement in Israel and as events continue to unfold will be as relevant in 10 years time as it is today.”

Jurors
Eric Hynes – MOMI/Indiewire / USA
Nino Kirtadze – Director / France
Sean McAllister – Ten Foot Films / UK
Marie Nelson – PBS / USA
Barbara Truyen – VPRO / Netherlands

Nominated Films
Bobby Sands: 66 Days
Brothers
Cameraperson
City 40
The Confession
Jim: The James Foley Story
The Land of the Enlightened
Notes on Blindness
Presenting Princess Shaw
The Settlers
Tempestad
Sour Grapes

ENVIRONMENTAL AWARD supported by Discovery Communications
Winner: SEED: THE UNTOLD STORY
Special Mention: DEATH BY DESIGN
The Environmental Award carries a prize of £2,000.

The 2016 Sheffield Doc/Fest Environmental Award, supported by Discovery Communications, awarded to the documentary that best addresses or raises awareness of the environmental challenges faced by the world, goes to SEED: The Untold Story directed by Jon Betz, Taggart Siegel (US, 2016). Jon Betz and Taggart Siegel collected the award and received a £2,000 cheque presented by ….
On behalf of the Environmental Jury Ryan Harrington said: “It was beautifully crafted and creatively and emotionally finds a way to make the audience care about preserving the biodiversity of our planet”.

The Jury also gave a special mention to Death by Design directed by Sue Williams, “We would like to give a special mention to Death by Design for its daring journalism which truly motivates the viewer to change their consumerism/habits.”

Jurors
Ryan Harrington – Discovery Channel, Animal Planet & Science / USA
Leonard Retel Helmrich – Director/Cinematographer / Netherlands
Jerry Rothwell – Director / UK
Kate Townsend – BBC Storyville / UK
Melanie Wallace – NOVA WGBH TV/PBS / USA

Nominated Films
The Age of Consequences
Born to be Free
Death By Design
Footprint
Freightened – The Real Price of Shipping
Kivalina
SEED: The Untold Story
There Will Be Water
Zud

ALTERNATE REALITIES INTERACTIVE AWARD
WINNER: NEW DIMENSIONS IN TESTIMONY
SPECIAL MENTION: WALDEN, A GAME

The winner of the Sheffield Doc/Fest 2016 Alternate Realities Interactive Award – one of only a few such awards in the documentary world – is New Dimensions in Testimony created by Heather Maio and produced by Stephen Smith for USC Shoah Foundation (USA 2016).

Speaking on behalf of the jury, Shanida Scotland said, “This is not a story, nor a database of video clips. It’s an invitation to have a real and deeply personal conversation with the recording of someone else. The simplicity and fundamental user friendliness make you forget the complexity of the technology and filmmaking beneath it.”

Jurors
Nico Daswani – World Economic Forum / Switzerland
John MacFarlane – POV Digital / USA
Francesca Panetta – The Guardian / UK
Shanida Scotland – BBC / UK
Caspar Sonnen – IDFA / Netherlands

Nominated Projects
#Hacked: Syria’s Electronic Armies
Antariksha Sanchar – Transmissions in Space
Avatar Secrets
The Enemy
John Lennon: The Bermuda Tapes
New Dimensions in Testimony
A Polish Journey
This War of Mine: The Little Ones
Trick or Treat : Bhai-O-Scope
Two Billion Miles
Undoing Time
Walden, a Game

ALTERNATE REALITIES VR AWARD
WINNER: NOTES ON BLINDNESS: INTO DARKNESS
SPECIAL MENTION: HOME – A VR SPACEWALK EXPERIENCE

The Alternate Realities VR Award celebrates the ever-growing number of high-quality virtual reality documentaries in what has now become a new creative and experiential storytelling genre.
The winner of the Sheffield Doc/Fest 2016 Alternate Realities VR Award is Notes on Blindness: Into Darkness created by Arnaud Colinart, Amaury La Burthe, Peter Middleton, James Spinney.
On behalf of the all-female jury Ingrid Kopp said, “VR at its best allows us into an otherwise inaccessible world. A visual piece about blindness seems a paradox but through imaginative interactivity and storytelling we experience it as an expansion of senses, a new way of being in the world. John Hull’s testimony enriches our lives. It’s a work we want to savor and return to. The Award goes to Notes on Blindness: Into Darkness.”

Jurors
May Abdalla – Anagram / UK
Annika Gustafson – BoostHgb / Sweden
Siobhan Sinnerton – Channel 4 / UK
Ingrid Kopp – Tribeca Film Institute / South Africa
Francine Stock – Broadcaster/Critic/Writer / UK

Nominated Projects
6×9: A Virtual Experience of Solitary Confinement
Across the Line
Collisions
Easter Rising: Voice of a Rebel
Home – An Immersive Spacewalk Experience
Home : Aamir
In My Shoes: Dancing With Myself
Invisible
Mars 2030
Notes on Blindness: Into Darkness
Origins
We Wait

YOUTH JURY AWARD
Winner: SONITA

The 2016 Sheffield Doc/Fest Youth Jury Award goes to Sonita, directed by Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami (Germany, Islamic Republic of Iran 2015).
Speaking on behalf of the Youth Jury of five of the UK’s brightest and most passionate documentary lovers aged between 18 and 22 Maxine Sibanda said, “During the deliberation process, our criteria eventually centred on how effectively the winner portrayed the various struggles, experiences, trials and tribulations involved in ‘growing up’.
With all of us now entering adulthood ourselves, leaving behind our youths,  the film hits particularly close to home.
All of these films no doubt portrayed their concept with heart, soul and intelligence in abundance, but we settled eventually on an unanimous winner, the brilliant ‘Sonita’.
Empowering, compelling, sensitive and stylistically rich all at once Sonita is an inspiration to us all regardless of age, race, class or nationality.

Jurors
Hannah Binney
Simone Dembitzer
Ross McDonnell
Maxine Sabinda
Kristofer Thomas

Films
Flotel Europa
Lyari Notes
Snow Monkey
Sonita
Storyboard P, a stranger in Sweden

SHORT DOC AWARD
Winner: I’M NOT FROM HERE

The winner of the 2016 Sheffield Doc/Fest Short Documentary Award – which now qualifies for the 2017 Academy Awards, is I’m Not From Here directed by Giedrė Žickytė, Maite Alberdi (Chile, Denmark, Lithuania, 2015).
The spokesperson for the Short Doc Award Jury, Kathleen Lingo said, “Like a work of great literature this film has a high level of sophisticated storytelling technique to investigate fate, memory and the meaning of home. The Jury remarked on the cinematic quality of both the camerawork and dramaturgy that effectively, and with a great creative vision evokes the magic of quotidian moments.”
Jurors
Sergi Doladé – Medimed / Spain
Klara Grunning-Harris – Swedish Film Institute / Sweden
Seetha Kumar – Creative Skillset / UK
Kathleen Lingo – New York Times / USA
Al Morrow – Met Film / UK
Shane Smith – Hot Docs / Canada
Michał Szcześniak – Filmmaker / Poland

Films
Brillo Box (3¢ off)
Bunkers
Extremis
Gatekeeper
I’m Not From Here
Johnny Physical Lives
Recorded Absence
Silent Voices
Toucan Nation
When You Awake

STUDENT DOC AWARD
Winner: MY ALEPPO

The 2016 Sheffield Doc/Fest Student Doc Award, made by filmmakers from film schools and universities around the world, goes to My Aleppo directed by Melissa Langer (US, 2015)
Speaking on behalf of the Student Doc Award jury Benjamin Huguet
Said, “While confronting the refugee crisis, My Aleppo takes a step aside, offering an intimate portrait of a Syrian family. The film doesn’t victimize its protagonists but rather shows them as they work to build a new home in South Africa.

Served by beautiful observational cinematography, the camera tracks its characters very closely as they contemplate their domestic computer screen, helpless and anguished, watching the destruction of their home country and the dreadful fate of those who remain.

This interrogation of images within the new family home allows the audience to put itself in the position of its protagonists and to get a glimpse of what these people are going through – making the film a profound emotional journey for its audience and a documentary of unique value.”

Jurors
Jemma Desai – British Council / UK
Sylvia Harvey – University of Leeds / UK
Benjamin Huguet – Director / UK
Matimba Kabalika – BFI / UK
Kyoko Miyake – Director / UK

Films
Burnout
Continental Drift
Eye for an Eye
Grey Area
Joan
Klavierkunst
My Aleppo
PULSE
Saving Sungei
Tarikat
Transit Zone

AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS

Throughout the Festival audiences have been voting for their favourite documentary short, Alternate Realities Interactive Project and Alternative Realities VR project. The winners are:

Short Documentary:

Tarikat directed by Jasmijn Schrofer (Netherlands, Turkey 2015)

Alternate Realities, Interactive:

New Dimensions in Testimony, created by Heather Maio and produced by Stephen Smith for USC Shoah Foundation (USA 2016

Alternate Realities, VR project:

Home – An Immersive Spacewalk Experience created by Kate Barlett and Tom Burton.

The Sheffield Doc/Fest award winners each received a bespoke trophy designed by Caithness Glass.

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