Peter Middleton & James Spinney, (United Kingdom) – Following the Emmy Award-winning short film of the same name, the feature version of Notes on Blindness takes a creative approach to the documentary form. After losing his eyesight, John Hull knew that if he did not try to understand blindness it would destroy him. In 1983 he began keeping an audio diary, a unique testimony of loss, rebirth and renewal, excavating the interior world of blindness. With exclusive access to these recordings, the doc encompasses dreams, memory and imaginative life, exposing his interior world as actors lip-synch the testimonies, brilliantly blurring boundary between drama and documentary. Boldly adventurous and achingly honest supported by exceptional sound design and beautiful cinematography.The Man Who Saved The World – Peter Anthony
Peter Anthony, (Denmark) – Tells the extraordinary story of Stanislav Petrov, once a colonel in the Soviet army who averted the third world war…and possibly life on earth…in 1983. Director Anthony’s style is compelling, moving back and forth from narrative, biopic-style historical scenes to documentary footage of Petrov in the present day, now a crotchety alcoholic haunted by the past, as he visits the US to be recognized for his deeds. Sergey Shnyryov is excellent as Petrov’s younger self and the present and the past are fluidly seamed together by talented editing and a potent score. With appearances by Robert De Niro, Matt Damon, Ashton Kutcher, Walter Cronkite and Petrov’s hero – Kevin Costner.
Michael Leoni (USA), American Street Kids, Doc Feature – Leoni began filming a PSA on the streets of LA to show the epidemic of homeless youth. Once in their world he could no longer be an observer; every day is a matter of life or death.Touching, gritty and authentic, magic happens when Michael becomes part of the story changing lives and changing the world.
Grace Baek (USA), The Black Zone, Doc Short – A decade long journey follows workers from a covert and daring medical relief program as they struggle to provide aid amidst war atrocities in the jungles of Burma. Peabody Award winner Baek teams up with Emmy-nominated Sean Publisi for an impactful film with gritty, surreptitiously gotten and heart stopping footage.
Sue Williams (USA), Death by Design, Doc Feature – The true cost of our digital dependency is uncovered – a global story of damaged lives and environmental destruction. Veteran director Williams teams up with Emmy winner Hilary Klotz Steinman to leave even eco-minded viewers with a sense of urgent responsibility.
Renee Silverman and Peter Miller (USA), Refugee Kids, Doc short – Intimate, emotionally touching stories of refugee children who have escaped the world’s most volatile conflicts. Silverman and Miller, coordinating producer of Oscar winner “American Dream”, deliver a heart touching film as we follow their triumphs and setbacks over a formative summer.
Ilana Trachtman (USA), The Pursuit, Doc Feature – A thoughtful retrospective of the last 50 years is combined with an intimate look at the present and the fight for LGBT rights. Emmy award-winner Trachtman takes us on a journey that is poignant, tragic, and often fun and reminds us that while there have been momentous changes, the fight for rights continues.
James Brundige (USA), Wild Ways – Corridors of Life, Doc Feature – Part of the NOVA Series, it travels the globe to dramatic places where biologists are helping vanishing species with innovative solutions. Brundige combines his exceptional experience (PBS, BBC, Discovery, ABC, CBS, NBC, NatGeoTV) with achievable solutions to conservation problems.
Brendan Shoebridge (Australia), The Bently Effect, Doc feature – Documents the saga to keep a unique part of Australia gas-field free. This timely story of a community’s heroic stand shows how strategic action and peaceful protest from a committed community can overcome industrial might and political short-sightedness. Illuminating, profound and uplifting.
Rebecca Carpenter (USA), Requiem for a Running Back, Doc Feature – Daughter of an NFL player with CTE turns detective when she hits the road to meet other CTE families & headline stealing doctors, in order to put her troubled relationship with him back together again. An important story bringing this health crisis to light with wit, wisdom and a big helping of heart.
Jim Aikman (USA), Jeff Lowe’s Metanoia, Doc Feature – The story of a legendary athlete and his battle with a debilitating disease. He embraces his failing health and mortality with the same vision, courage and grace that he brought to climbing. Choosing love over fear Jeff ‘s indomitable spirit shines through under the deft direction of award winning filmmaker Aikman.
Brendan Byrne (United Kingdom), Bobby Sands: 66 Days, Doc Feature – Bobby Sands terminal hunger strike shifted the struggle for Irish independence away from terrorist violence. Veteran director Bryne tells the story of this icon with creative editing, wordless reenactment elements and impressive animated sequences. Narrated by award winning Martin McCann.
Alexander Kronemer (USA), The Sultan and The Saint, Documentary Feature
Armando P. Ibanez, Pluma Pictures (USA), South Texas Gentle Men of Steel – Los Padres, History / Biographical
Beth Kruvant (USA), Levinsky Park, Documentary Feature
Brett Schwartz (USA), Insatiable: The Homaro Cantu Story, Documentary Feature
Cheryl Halpern (USA), Two Zions: The Living Legacy of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon, History / Biographical
Chris and Maurice Micallef, CMM Productions (Malta), THE UNSOLVED MYSTERY, History / Biographical, Research
Christoph Ph. Nick (Germany), Journey to JOYCE’S VILLAGE – Creating the Place of Hope, Documentary Feature
Crystal R. Emery (USA), Black Women In Medicine, Documentary Feature
Danilo Arenas (Brazil), Huni Kuin – The Last Guardians, Documentary Short
David Beriain (Spain), The CIA’s Lost Army, Documentary Feature
Deborah C. Hoard and Rachel Ferro (USA), RE:Thinking, Documentary Feature
Derek Wayne Johnson (USA), John G. Avildsen: King of the Underdogs, Documentary Feature
Doris Liu (Canada), In The Name Of Confucius, Documentary Feature
Gayle Nosal and Beret E. Strong (USA), Sauti (voice), Documentary Feature
Jeffrey Scott Gould (USA), Quiet Please…, Documentary Feature, Contemporary Issues / Awareness Raising
Johanna B Kelly (USA), The Gateway Bug, Documentary Feature
Kacey Cox (Canada), Anastasia Lin: The Crown, Documentary Short
Kenn Bell, ASPCA (USA), Second Chance Dogs, Documentary Feature, Contemporary Issues / Awareness Raising, Viewer Impact: Motivational / Inspirational, Nonprofit / Fundraising
Leo Baker and Katie Bennie Bender (Australia), The Will To Fly, Documentary Feature
Lisa Heenan and Isaebella Doherty (Australia), Polyfaces, Documentary Feature
Luke Terrell (USA), Gabe, Documentary Feature
Marcos Moreno (USA), ASSAULT TO FREEDOM, Documentary Feature
Marino Colmano (USA), Pipeline Fighters, Documentary Feature
Melanie de Klerk, Get Lost Productions Inc. (Canada), Get Lost In Myanmar, Documentary Short, Viewer Impact: Content / Message Delivery, On-Camera Talent (Sophie Lui), Women Filmmakers
Mike Wargo (USA), Road to Hope, Documentary Feature
Panos Anestis (Greece), Newton: The Force of God, Documentary Feature
Sherry Malone (USA), What’s My Price?, Original Song (A League of Your Own composed by Gary Lynn Floyd)
Simon Panay (France), Nobody Dies Here, Documentary Short
Sophia Kruz (USA), Little Stones, Documentary Feature
Terrence Turner (Canada), Parviz Tanavoli: Poetry in Bronze, Documentary Feature
Tom Jennings (USA), Challenger Disaster: Lost Tapes, Documentary Feature
Torsten Kjellstrand, Rob Finch and Jamie Francis (USA), Finding Refuge, Documentary Short
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