Once Upon a Time in Uganda and On the Other Side are the big winners from DOC NYC this year. The festival announced the docs as the winners of the Grand Jury Prizes for the U.S. and international competition, respectively. Directed by Cathryne Czubek, co-directed by Hugo Perez, and produced by Gigi Dement, Cathryne Czubek, Matt Porwoll, Hugo Perez, and Kyaligamba Ark Martin, Once Upon a Time in Uganda tells the story of a brick-maker who becomes an unlikely action film director. The jury remarked its appreciation for the way in which the film “demonstrates the connective power of international film festivals in asserting that ‘the audience is our family.”
On the Other Side was called a “testament to a courageous, emotional, and deeply personal endeavor by filmmaker Iván Guarnizo” by the jury. The Colombian doc sees the director and his brother retrace what happened when their mother was kidnapped during the war between the FARC and the State.
On the shorts front, NASIR, directed by Nasir Bailey and Jackson Kroopf, won the Grand Jury Prize. The film is a self-portrait of Bailey’s decision to transition as conveyed through phone calls to family members. “Energized by the subject’s effortless charisma and potent musical gifts, the film emerges as a deeply human study of self-actualization and personal evolution,” noted the jury. As a result of its DOC NYC win, Nasir is now eligible in the Oscar race for Best Documentary, Short Subject provided it meets all other criteria.
The full list of DOC NYC winners is as follows:
DOC NYC Grand Jury Prize Winners
U.S. Competition: Once Upon a Time in Uganda – Cathryne Czubek, Hugo Perez, Gigi Dement, Matt Porwoll, , and Kyaligamba Ark Martin.
Special Mention: Refuge – Erin Berhardt and Din Blankenship.
International Competition: On the Other Side – Iván Guarnizo, Jorge Caballero.
Special mention: After the Rain – Jian Fan, Richard Liang, S. Leo Chiang.
Kaleidoscope: Nude at Heart – Yoichiro Okutani, Asako Fujioka, Eric Nyari
Special mention: Nothing but the Sun – Arami Ullón and Pascal Trächslin
Metropolis: Hold Your Fire – Stefan Forbes, Tia Wou, Fab Five Freddy, and Amir Soltani.
Special mention: Charm Circle – Nira Burstein and Betsy Laikin.
Shorts: NASIR – Nasir Bailey and Jackson Kroopf
Special mention: American Scar – Daniel Lombroso, Yara Bishara, Melissa Fajardo, Stephania Taladrid
DOC NYC Short List Winners
Directing Award: In the Same Breath – Nanfu Wang
Producing Award: Flee – Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sørensen, Charlotte De La Gournerie
Editing Award: Ascension – Jessica Kingdon
Cinematography Award: Faya Dayi – Jessica Beshir
Special Jury Prize for Cultural Treasures: Summer of Soul (… Or When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) – Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, produced by Joseph Patel, Robert Fyvolent, David Dinerstein
Directing Award – Short Film: Don’t Go Tellin’ Your Momma – rubberband, Topaz Jones
Special mention: The Queen of Basketball – Ben Proudfoot
IF/Then Shorts x The Redford Center Nature Access Pitch: Between Earth and Sky, directed by Andrew Nadkarni and pitched by Nadkarni and producer Swetha Regunathan