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DOC NYC awards

DOC NYC, New York's documentary festival, now in the midst of its inaugural year, announces its award winners the night of Sunday, November 7th at the festival's gala screening of Errol Morris's new film Tabloid at NYU's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. Prizes were awarded by juries in both the "Viewfinders" and "Metropolis" sections; festival audiences also selected an official DOC NsYC Audience Award. DOC NYC takes place at IFC Center the Ziegfeld Theatre and at New York University venues; the event began on Wednesday November 3 and continues through November 9th with encore screenings of the competition films and award-winners, as well as a tribute to acclaimed film historian and filmmaker Kevin Brownlow.

Windfall was awarded the Grand Jury Prize in the Viewfinders section, which showcases filmmakers with a distinct directorial voice in a lineup of eight features, including two world premieres, three U.S. premieres and several international festival favorites. Directed by Laura Israel, Windfall explores the darker side of "green" energy through the tale of one upstate town. In giving the award, the jury cited the film's "superior use of storytelling, cinematography, sound and music towards illuminating critical environmental issues, small-town drama and the lesson that it's not going to be so easy being green."

The jury for the Viewfinders competition was comprised of John Anderson (film critic for Variety, the Washington Post, and Newsday), Christopher Campbell (head writer for indieWIRE's Spout blog and longtime contributor to Cinematical), and Adella Aladjevardi (Grants Manager at NY-based nonprofit film production company Cinereach).

In the "Metropolis" section, with six films that tell New York stories (including four world premieres and one US premiere), To Be Heard was awarded the Grand Jury Prize. Directed by Roland Legiardi-Laura, Edwin Martinez, Deborah Shaffer and Amy Sultan, To Be Heard follows the lives of three Bronx teenagers whose involvement with a radical poetry workshop transforms their lives. In a statement about the decision, the Metropolis Jury wrote, "The members of the jury were very impressed with all of the films in this section and would like to offer our sincere congratulations to all of the filmmakers for their celebration of human creativity. But while each film presented a unique look at one of the diverse artistic communities of New York City, To Be Heard stood out for both its dramatic scope and its intimacy in showing us the transformative power of art to reshape lives."

Additionally, the jury awarded a Special Jury Prize to Josef "Birdman" Astor's Lost Bohemia, the story of the last days of the artists' residential studios above Carnegie Hall and the unique characters who made their homes there. "The unexpected is one of the gifts of documentary filmmaking, changing and deepening the cinematic experience. Astor's film begins as a warm, nostalgic, hand made film about a little known slice of New York's artistic history and then becomes a window into the vicious development policies that are ripping at the city's soul. We gave Lost Bohemia a Special Jury Prize to acknowledge the film's dual achievement."

The Metropolis jury was comprised of Nelson George (author of City Kid, producer of Good Hair, and director of A Walk Through Fort Greene), Tom Hall (Artistic Director of the Sarasota Film Festival, Programming Director at newportFILM and writer for the blog The Back Row Manifesto), and Mary Kaye Schilling (culture editor for New York Magazine).

To Be Heard was also the recipient of the DOC NYC Audience Award, selected by audiences from all films screening in the festival's two competitive sections.

The Grand Jury Award recipients in both the "Metropolis" and "Viewfinders" sections receive a 35mm Film Recording and Digital Cinema Package provided courtesy of DOC NYC's major sponsors The Documentary Film Group at PostWorks New York and Laser Pacific Los Angeles.


Festival passes and tickets for the remaining two days of the festival are on sale at www.docnyc.net and IFC Center box office.

DOC NYC was conceived by and is hosted by the IFC Center, itself one of the country's most important presenters of documentaries, both for theatrical premieres and through the weekly "Stranger Than Fiction" series, launched in 2005 and now New York's leading documentary showcase.

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