Immediate Family directed by Denny Tedesco
Immediate Family directed by Denny Tedesco

DocLands Documentary Film Festival 2023 came to a close on Sunday, and the audience selected Immediate Family, Denny Tedesco’s follow-up to his acclaimed documentary The Wrecking Crew, as winner of the DocLands Audience Choice Award. Immediate Family chronicles the journey of a group of close friends who became the premiere studio band for the musical icons of the ‘70s and beyond, giving us a backstage tour of rock history.

A special 2023 Audience Impact Award was announced for director Matt Waldeck’s Lovely Jackson, a boldly cinematic true story about the triumph of hope, forgiveness, and perseverance through the darkest and most hopeless of circumstances that begins in violence and ends with the brightness of love.

DocLands Honors Award was presented to the filmmaker Dawn Porter for her timely commentary on numerous subjects with social and political relevance. The award presentation was followed by an in-depth conversation about her craft as a documentarian, focusing on the original and insightful perspective she brings to each of her films; and the California Premiere of her latest project The Lady Bird Diaries.

Throughout the five days, there were many highlights, including the North American Premieres of Brother Horse followed by a live Zoom conversation with film subject Santi Serra, and The Nettle Dress followed by an on-stage discussion with filmmaker Dylan Howitt and subject Allan Brown; and the US Premiere of Razing Liberty Square with director Katja Esson, producer Corinna Sager, creative producer Ronald Baez, and film subject Aaron McKinney. The Rafael was bristling with excitement as filmmakers and film subjects from across the country showed up to introduce audiences to their latest projects including the West Coast Premieres of Coldwater Kitchen with filmmaker Brian Kaufman, Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project with filmmakers Joe Brewster & Michèle Stephenson, Mom & Dad’s Nipple Factory, a 2021 DocPitch Finalist, with filmmaker Justin Johnson (aka JustinSuperstar), producer Jason Cohen, and film subject Randi Johnson, and No Legs. All Heart. with filmmaker Pablo Durana and subject André Kajlich joining via Zoom.

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