On the last day of the festival Sheffield Doc/Fest unveil this year’s award winning films in six categories and one new guest category, as well as the winner of the Inspiration Award. Matthew Akers wins Special Jury Award with his art documentary Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present.
Matthew Akers’ Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present was chosen by the Jury to win the Special Jury Award. The film is an an extraordinary documentary bringing us a mesmerizing portrait of the pioneering and controversial performance artist focusing on her MoMA show – which is based on an almost humanly impossible task.
With a personal goal to use her performance at the MoMA to show that performance art is not ‘experimental’ she embarks upon not just a physical but also mentally challenging task which is based around transference. The power of Akers’ film is that it manages to capture some of the artists remarkable strength and draws the audience into the film in a way that will stay with them long after they have left the cinema.
Other nominees for the Special Jury Prize were:
Alison Klayman’s Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry
Malika Zouhali-Worrall and Katherine Fairfax-Wright’s Call Me Kuchu
James Kent’s Chopin Saved My Life
Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami’s Going Up The Stairs
Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher’s Off Label
Gentian Koçi’s Not A Carwash
Marius Markevicius’ The Other Dream Team
Sean McAllister’s The Reluctant Revolutionary
The jury consisted of Elena Fortes from Mexico’s Ambulante Documentary Film Festival, the BBC’s Greg Sanderson, Caroline Libresco from the Sundance Film Festival plus filmmakers Louis Theroux and Carol Morley who announced the award.
The other award categories at the festival include the Sheffield Innovation Award, the Sheffield Green Award, the Sheffield Youth Jury Award, the Student Doc Award and the Sheffield Doc/Fest Audience Award. Another category, Best Female-Director Film, was awarded for the first ever time.
This year’s Inspiration Award, given to a filmmaker that has excelled in the field of documentary, was already announced as going to British director Penny Woolcock, whose new documentary From The Sea To The Land Beyond was shown with a live score of the band British Sea Power as Sheffield’s opening night live event.
The Sheffield Innovation Award went to the much acclaimed project of the National Film Board of Canada, Bear ’71 by Leanne Allison and Jeremy Mendes. The other nominees in this category included;
Morgan Matthews’ Britain In A Day
Bill Morrison’s The Miners’ Hymns
Question Bridge: Black Males
Victor Kossakovsky’s ¡Vivan Las Antipodas!
Michael Grigsby’s We Went to War.
The Sheffield Green Award went to The Law of the Jungle by Michael Christoffersen & Hans La Cour.
The other documentaries competing for the award included:
With quite an impressive selection to choose from the Youth Jury chose Ross McElwee’s Photographic Memory as their best film of the festival. This film won the award from the following list of nominees:
Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky’s Indie Game: The Movie
Macky Alston’s Love Free Or Die
Jerry Rothwell’s Town Of Runners
Brian Knapperberger’s We Are Legion: The Story Of The Hacktivists.
The Sheffield Student Doc Award 2012 goes to The Betrayal directed by Karen Winther. The student jury chose the film from the following list of eight nominees:
Hnin Ei Hlaing’s Burmese Butterfly
Ed Emsley’s Fabalous
Jim Smith’s No Regrets
Josh Bamford and Sebastian Feehan’s Mostar
Albina Griniute’s A Place We Call Home
Chloe White’s This Life That Chose Me
Ferdinand Haberl’s The War Next Door.
There was also a strong line-up of nominees competing for the first ever Best Female-Director Film Award, which was awarded by the Alliance of Women Film Journalists (AWFJ). The director chosen was Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami for Going Up The Stars which she directed and produced.
Other nominees for the award included:
Alison Klayman for Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry
Malika Zouhali-Worrall and Katherine Fairfax-Wright for Call Me Kuchu
Lisanne Pajot for Indie Game: The Movie
Karen Winther for The Betrayal
Karen Guthrie and Nina Pope for Jaywick Escapes
Lindsey Dryden for Lost and Sound,
Mareike Wegener for Mark Lombardi: Death Defying Acts of Art and Conspiracy
Penny Woolcock for One Mile Away
Catherine Scott for Scarlet Road
Lucy Walker for The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom
Pietra Brettkelly for Maori Boy Genius
Christy Garland for The Bastard Sings the Sweetest Song
Lise Birk Pedersen for Putin’s Kiss
The Audience Award will be announced on Monday 18 June.