AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs Documentary Festival announced its distinguished award winners, culminating the weeklong festival activities that included the screening of 108 films representing 52 countries, a free outdoor screening, live performances and a five-day professional documentary conference. The Festival hosted 27,000 attendees, including more than 1,500 filmmakers, film and television executives and media professionals celebrating the art and business of documentary filmmaking.
This year’s Sterling Award for Best US Feature goes to OUR SCHOOL directed by Mona Nicoara and Miruna Coco-Cozma. Shot over the course of four years, the film follows the attempt to integrate isolated rural Roma (or gypsy) children into the mainstream school system of Romania. Focusing on seven-year-old Alin, 12-year-old Beni and 16-year-old Dana, this fascinating film takes an unflinching look at the challenges of a longstanding tradition of prejudice. The prize is accompanied by a $5,000 cash award.