The 2013 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival Award Winners were announced Sunday afternoon at the festival’s annual Awards Barbecue.
The top prize, the Reva and David Logan Grand Jury Award was presented to American Promise directed by Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson. This personal film follows the directors’ son and his best friend from their first day of kindergarten through high school graduation, and how their lives diverge.
Considered one of the nation’s premier documentary film festivals, Full Frame is celebrating its 16th annual festival. For the first time, Full Frame is a qualifying event for consideration for nominations for both the Academy Award® for Best Documentary Short Subject and The Producers Guild of America Awards.
2013 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival Award Winners
The Reva and David Logan Grand Jury Award
The Reva and David Logan Grand Jury Award was presented to American Promise directed by Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson. This personal film follows the directors’ son and his best friend from their first day of kindergarten through high school graduation, and how their lives diverge. This award is sponsored by The Reva and David Logan Foundation.
The Jury, Greg Barker, Nina Davenport, and Tia Lessin, stated: “We chose this film – which spans twelve years in the lives of two African American families – for the elegance and honesty with which filmmakers Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson tell the story of their son Idris and his best friend Seun growing up in Brooklyn. This epic cinema-verite film is at once a revealing and affecting depiction of the contemporary black male experience and a deeply personal and beautifully observed portrait of a family.”
The Full Frame Jury Award for Best Short
The Full Frame Jury Award for Best Short was given to By Her Side directed by Niels van Koevorden, In this film, three fathers-to-be share their hopes, dreams, and anxieties as they anticipate the birth of their children. The Full Frame Jury Award for Best Short is provided by Drs. Andrew and Barbra Rothschild.
The Jury, Ross McElwee, Elise Pearlstein, and Angela Tucker stated: “By Her Side takes the simple approach of intercutting interviews with three expectant fathers followed by the births of their children to deliver a surprisingly profound take on the act of becoming a father.”
The shorts Jury awarded an honorable mention to A Story for the Modlins directed by Sergio Oksman, stating “we also felt inspired to recognize the experimentation and inventiveness of A Story for the Modlins, which felt like it deserved a category of it’s own.” After discovering a stranger’s box of family photos on the sidewalk, Oksman pieces together a sketch of the Modlins’ bizarre lives.
Full Frame Audience Awards – Feature
A Will for the Woods, directed by Amy Browne, Jeremy Kaplan, Tony Hale and Brian Wilson, received the Full Frame Audience Award Feature. This film explores the green burial movement by focusing on one man’s quest for a final resting place that will do no harm to the earth.The Audience Award Feature is sponsored by Merge Records.
Full Frame Audience Awards – Short
The Record Breaker, directed by Brian McGinn, received the Full Frame Audience Award Short. Even though he holds more Guinness Book of World Records than anyone else on the planet, McGinn’s film shows that Ashrita Furman is not slowing down. The prize for the Audience Award Short is provided by Vimeo.
The Center For Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award
The Center For Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award was given to A River Changes Course, directed by Kalyanee Mam. Is convenience progress? The film is a beautiful and heartbreaking vérité look at three families subsisting in (what may be the end of) rural Cambodia. Provided by the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, this award honors a documentary artist whose work is a potential catalyst for education and change. Representatives from the Center for Documentary Studies juried the prize: Randy Benson, Katie Hyde, Lynn McKnight, Dan Partridge, Tom Rankin, Elena Rue, Teka Selman, and April Walton.
The Charles E. Guggenheim Emerging Artist Award
Cutie and the Boxer, directed by Zachary Heinzerling, was awarded The Charles E. Guggenheim Emerging Artist Award. Provided by the Charles E. Guggenheim family, this prize honors a first-time documentary feature director. In this film, the tension between an artist and his supportive wife of forty years is further strained when a curator expresses interest in her work. Robin Hessman, Alison Klayman, and Mark Landsman participated on the Jury.
Full Frame Inspiration Award
God Loves Uganda, directed by Roger Ross Williams, received the Full Frame Inspiration Award. The film captures how American Christian evangelists export virulent anti-gay teachings to Sub-Saharan Africa with deadly consequences. Sponsored by the Hartley Film Foundation, this award is presented to the film that best exemplifies the value and relevance of world religions and spirituality. Andrew Garrison, Sarah Masters, and Petna Ndaliko Katondolo participated on the Jury.
Full Frame President’s Award
The Full Frame President’s Award was presented to the Pablo’s Winter, directed by Chico Pereira. Former Almadén mercury miner Pablo spends his halcyon days cursing, kvetching, and chain-smoking to the chagrin of his wife and his doctor. Sponsored by Duke University, representatives on behalf of the President’s Office juried the prize.
The Kathleen Bryan Edwards Award for Human Rights
After Tiller, directed by Martha Shane and Lana Wilson, received The Kathleen Bryan Edwards Award for Human Rights. After the murder of their friend and colleague Dr. George Tiller, only four physicians continue to perform late-term abortions, risking their lives for women’s right to choose. Provided by the Julian Price Family Foundation, this award is presented to a film that addresses a significant human rights issue in the United States. Representatives from the Kathleen Bryan Edwards family juried the prize: Anne Arwood, Laura Edwards, Clay Farland, Margaret Griffin, and Pricey Harrison.
The Kathleen Bryan Edwards Family awarded an honorable mention to The Undocumented directed by Marco Williams. This film offers an unvarnished account of the repatriation of the remains of immigrants who died crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in the Arizona desert.
The Nicholas School Environmental Award
The Nicholas School Environmental Award was presented to A Will for the Woods directed by Amy Browne, Jeremy Kaplan, Tony Hale and Brian Wilson. This film explores the green burial movement by focusing on one man’s quest for a final resting place that will do no harm to the earth. The Nicholas School Environmental Award honors the film that best depicts the conflict between our drive to improve living standards through development and modernization, and the imperative to preserve both the natural environment that sustains us and the heritages that define us. Representatives from the Nicholas School of the Environment juried the Prize: Cindy Horn, Stephen Nemeth, Hart Bochner, Rebecca Patton, and Tom Rankin.