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2010 Silverdocs Award Winners
The AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs Documentary Festival announced its award winners at a typically low-key awards ceremony on Saturday afternoon, culminating the weeklong festival activities that included the screening of 102 films representing 54 countries, a free outdoor screening, live performances, and a five-day concurrent International Documentary Conference.
This year's Sterling Award for Best US Feature was won by WO AI NI MOMMY (I LOVE YOU, MOMMY) directed by Stephanie Wang-Breal, which documents eight-year-old Chinese Fang Sui Yong and her adoption by a Jewish couple from Long Island who name her "Faith." The film follows Faith and her parents' twist-and-turn journey over a year and a half. The director will receive $5,000 cash.
This year's Sterling Award for Best World Feature was given to the Swiss documentary THE WOMAN WITH THE 5 ELEPHANTS directed by Vadim Jendreyko, which chronicles eighty-five-year-old Svetlana Geier who has dedicated her life to language. Considered the greatest translator of Russian literature into German, Svetlana has just concluded her magnum opus, completing new translations of Dostoyevsky's five great novels-known as the five elephants. The director will receive $5,000 cash.
Special Jury mention went to STEAM OF LIFE directed by Joonas Berghäll and Mika Hotakainen, whose film allows the viewer to become a fly on the wall as it listens in on men-naked men-talking to other men in the sanctuary of Finland's ubiquitous saunas.
The Cinematic Vision Award went to MARWENCOL directed by Jeff Malmberg. The film offers a unique portrait of Mark Hogancamp, a New York State man who suffered a savage beating with near-total amnesia and severe physical injuries. With no money for traditional therapy, he obsessively builds a miniature World War II-era village in his backyard and populates it with detailed dolls and Nazi intrigue.
The WITNESS Award in honor of Joey R. B. Lozano was given to BUDRUS directed by Julia Bacha, which examines one Palestinian village and its unlikely hero-humble family man turned activist Ayed Morrar-who reveals the power of ordinary people to peaceably fight for extraordinary change.
The Writers Guild of America, West and the Writers Guild of America, East have named Yael Hersonski as the winner of the WGA Documentary Screenplay Award for her film A FILM UNFINISHED, the story of never before seen footage from a lost reel of an incomplete Nazi-produced propaganda film about Warsaw's Jewish ghetto in 1942. The film captures images of manipulated and staged ghetto life mixed with stunning photographic evidence and testimony-all making for a riveting experience.
The Festival hosted over 25,000 attendees, including more than 1,000 filmmakers, film and television executives and media professionals exploring the documentary in action, with a particular emphasis on youth, education and next generation media artists. For more information on the films and the events, visit the Festival's website: www.silverdocs.com
Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor
About Silverdocs Documentary FF
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