Kings of Nowhere directed by Betzabé Garcia

The 2015 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival Award winners were announced on Sunday afternoon at the festival’s annual Awards Barbecue. The top prize, Reva and David Logan Grand Jury Award was won by Kings of Nowhere (pictured above), directed by Betzabé Garcia, and (T)ERROR, directed by Lyric R. Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe.

One of the nation’s premier documentary film festivals, Full Frame is celebrating its 18th annual festival. 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. The 19th annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival will take place April 710, 2016.

2015 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival Award Winners

The Reva and David Logan Grand Jury Award
Sponsored by the Reva and David Logan Foundation

The Reva and David Logan Grand Jury Award was presented to Kings of Nowhere, directed by Betzabé Garcia, and (T)ERROR, directed by Lyric R. Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe. Thanks to the generosity of the Reva and David Logan Foundation, each film will receive the full award amount of $10,000.

In the poetically and patiently photographed Kings of Nowhere, a handful of residents stay their ground after a flood leaves their Mexican village semi-submerged.

In (T)ERROR, FBI informant “Shariff” grants filmmakers unprecedented access as he engages in a counterterrorism sting against a white Muslim man, illuminating the controversial methods employed in the government’s war on terror.

The Jury, Marilyn Ness, Sam Pollard, and Bernardo Ruiz, stated, “We are very pleased to honor two important films deserving of greater attention on an international stage, both of which speak to the heart of documentary storytelling in unique and compelling ways. With remarkably assured direction, especially from a first-time filmmaker, Kings of Nowhere delivers artful and thoughtfully paced storytelling. ThoughKings of Nowhere on its face appears to be a local story, in fact it speaks to universal themes confronting humanity worldwide: people abandoned by their governments, facing unimaginable violence, and enduring neglect. Kings of Nowhere represents its characters with dignity and depth and it does so at the highest levels of our craft. But we also wanted to acknowledge the different ways in which films can take risks. With exceptional access, the two filmmakers of (T)ERROR took great personal risks to highlight an urgent issue in the United States while navigating complex journalistic and ethical terrain.”

The Full Frame Jury Award for Best Short
Provided by Drs. Andrew and Barbra Rothschild

The Full Frame Jury Award for Best Short was given to Last Day of Freedom, directed by Nomi Talisman and Dee Hibbert-Jones. Beautiful animation accompanies poignant testimony in this haunting short about a man who discovers his brother has committed a serious crime.

The Jury, J. Christian Jensen, Yael Melamede, and Nicole Triche, stated, “This film demonstrates and reminds us of the simple power and intimacy of the human voice. It interweaves different visual styles of animation and engages the audience fully in an increasingly fraught tale that ultimately presents the supreme cost of doing the right thing.”

Full Frame Audience Award – Feature
Sponsored by BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina

How to Dance in Ohio, directed by Alexandra Shiva, received the Full Frame Audience Award Feature. Three young women on the autism spectrum attempt to navigate social rules and the impending challenges of adulthood as they prepare for their first formal dance.

 Full Frame Audience Award – Short

The Full Frame Audience Award Short was given to Giovanni and the Water Ballet, directed by Astrid Bussink. In this film, Giovanni dreams of becoming the first boy to compete in the Dutch synchronized swimming championship. With the support of his girlfriend, Kim, can he pass one final exam?

The Center for Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award
Provided by the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University

The Center for Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award was presented to Last Day of Freedom, directed by Nomi Talisman and Dee Hibbert-Jones. Beautiful animation accompanies poignant testimony in this haunting short about a man who discovers his brother has committed a serious crime. 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, Morgan Capps, Wesley Hogan, Katie Hyde, Lynn McKnight, Dan Partridge, Teka Selman, Brooke Darrah Shuman, and April Walton.

The Charles E. Guggenheim Emerging Artist Award
Provided by the Charles E. Guggenheim Family

Tocando la Luz (Touch the Light), directed by Jennifer Redfearn, received the Charles E. Guggenheim Emerging Artist Award. In this quietly arresting film, three blind women in Havana, Cuba, share their heartbreaks and hopes, and navigate their profound desire for independence. Provided by the Charles E. Guggenheim family, this prize honors a first-time documentary feature director. Matthew Hamachek, Bari Pearlman, and Maxim Pozdorovkin participated on the Jury.

Full Frame Inspiration Award
Sponsored by the Hartley Film Foundation

The Full Frame Inspiration Award was awarded to The Storm Makers, directed by Guillaume Suon. This film is a heartbreaking exposé of Cambodia’s human trafficking system, revealed through the stories of two guiltless “recruiters” and a young woman who was sold into slavery and escaped. This award is presented to the film that best exemplifies the value and relevance of world religions and spirituality. Ross Kauffman, Sarah Masters, and Ryan White participated on the Jury.

Full Frame President’s Award
Sponsored by Duke University

The Farewell, directed by Alejandro Alonso, was given the Full Frame President’s Award. Long retired from the local mine, Pablo Fabelo spends his days smoking cigars, playing cards, and quietly reminiscing in this languid, lushly photographed short. Representatives on behalf of the President’s Office of Duke University juried the prize.

The Kathleen Bryan Edwards Award for Human Rights
Sponsored by the Julian Price Family Foundation in memory of Melanie Taylor

The Kathleen Bryan Edwards Award for Human Rights was awarded to Peace Officer, directed by Brad Barber and Scott Christopherson. After a former sheriff sees his son-in-law killed in a controversial police standoff, he dives into an obsessive investigation of the militarization of American law enforcement. 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 Nicholas School Environmental Award
Sponsored by the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University

Good Things Await, directed by Phie Ambo, received the Nicholas School Environmental Award. In this film, an aging farmer runs a biodynamic farm in the Danish countryside, prioritizing spiritual methods over contemporary standards. Will new regulations threaten his way of life?

Overburden, directed by Chad A. Stevens, received an Honorable Mention from the Nicholas School Environmental Award Jury. In this film, an environmentalist and a former pro-coal activist in the heart of Appalachia join forces to protect their home from the industry that’s divided their community for decades.

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. Daniel Junge, Sam Cullman, and Farihah Zaman participated on the Jury.

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