The 2019 Camden International Film Festival (CIFF) hosted their annual Awards Ceremony, presenting five awards for documentary features and two for documentary shorts, in addition to its Points North Pitch Award.
This year’s Points North Pitch Award, went to Director/Producer Nesa Azimi’s work-in-progress feature documentary, Driver. A Special Jury Mention was awarded to Tailings, Directed by Pedro de Filippis and Produced by Bronte Stahl.
An Academy-qualifying festival for short films, the winner of the Camden Cartel Award for Best Short is eligible to enter the Documentary Short Subject competition for the Academy. This years award went to a short film about trauma, healing and love. Using New York City as its dancing stage, the film masterfully weaves together a story of veterans’ recovery from PTSD told through the medium of dance. With poetry and gracefulness, the films lyrical scenes unfold like a performance. The 2019 Camden Cartel Award went to Exit 12 by Mohammad Gorjestani. The short film honorable mention went to an imaginative film that is a personal conversation between past and present. It is a tender love letter to getting through grief. The 2019 honorable mention went to A Love Letter To Latasha by Sophia Nahli Allison.
CIFF awarded this year’s John Marshall Award to Lucie Viver for her film Sankara is Not Dead (Sankara n’est pas mort). The film provides a layered and engaging portrait of post-colonial Burkina Faso, through the journey of Bikontine, a young Burkinabe poet who goes in search of his country.
The 2019 Cinematic Vision Award was awarded to Elke Margarete Lehrenkrauss’ Lovemobil, however she was denied entry to the U.S., with no reason given by the US Embassy in Berlin, and she was not able to present her film nor accept the award in person for the North American Premiere of her award-winning feature. A special mention was given to Ja’Tovia Gary’s The Giverny Document (Single Channel).
The 2019 Harrell Award for Best Documentary Feature was presented to Nikolaus Geyrhalter’s Erde (Earth) for capturing a rare and epic sense of scope and scale that demonstrates the magnitude of mankind’s imprint on the earth. Special Jury mention to Feras Fayyad’s The Cave for its immediacy, urgency and humanity.
The 2019 Camden International Film Festival Audience Award also went to The Cave’s Feras Fayyad.