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Award Winners from Doc/Fest 2009

By Hussain Currimbhoy 10 November, 2009

Climbing out of the bath it does really feel like I've just lived through a dream. The fest was brilliant and it went so fast I'm kinda looking around and wondering where all this laundry came from....

Well the upshot is that, aside from ticket sales being up by 54% (!!) we have some award winners to talk about!

Special Jury Award:

Videocracy by Erik Gandini took out the first Special Jury award at doc/fest. I must say I'm really proud of the jury for bringing this film to the fore. Not only is it a creative inspiration but its also a kind of black letter to me, warning Europe (and the world) that if you get complacent your tv will turn on you and the plight Italy has now could be your reality just as easily.

The jury's Special Mention went to I'm Dangerous With Love by Michel Negroponte. Michel and his shaman, Dimitri were here at the fest and after dinner together I was even more enamoured with the courage it took to make that film. Michel is the New Yorker that all America fears: he loves the outlaws, thinks the South should go to hell, and has no time for stardom or films of half measure.

Sheffield Innovation Award:

The first Innovation prize was given to LoopLoop by Patrick Bergeron. It was so simple and short that in hindsight I should have known a jury like that would see the light on this quick! But their special mention to Book The Big Issue
was just as meaningful. Broadcasters rarely have the courage to commission these kinds of films. For that alone I'm grateful this film was honoured. Hopefully more will step up and see the impact cross platform films will have on issues as sensitive as obesity.

Sheffield Green Award:

These guys took hours to decide the winner! The restaurant was winding up and stacking chairs and the jurors were still talking (calmly as always) into the night. They came out with Henry Singer's The Blood Of The Rose. Henry is one of the nicest guys in show business and the World Premiere of the film could not have been given a better launch.

Sheffield Youth Jury Award:

The first day I met the youth jury we found ourselves discussing everything from racism in America to the roots of homosexuality in the space of about 12 minutes. I had the sensation that this was going to be a tough one for this year's jury! The winner was Britain's own, Andrew Lang for his first feature: Sons Of Cuba.

Sheffield Audience Award:

Junior got a lot of audience awards around the traps this year and this hardened, Leftist, unified, politically active and concerned audience that makes up Sheffield's core demographic chose the film with the most simple bonds of love and connection at its core. You shoulda been there for the Q&A! Tears were shed after the loudest applause I've ever heard after a screening ever. A most deserving film.