DOC NYC Winners Announced

A World Not Ours takes Jury prize.

by Anne-Katrin Titze

The fourth edition of DOC NYC winners includes a world premiere, a Canadian short, a film on a New York City legend, and a personal world of one's own.

73 feature-length documentaries and 39 short films were screened from November 14-21 at IFC Center and the SVA Theatre. Three competition juries and a SundanceNOW Audience Award were announced. A World Not Ours directed by Mahdi Fleifel, The Pleasures Of Being Out Of Step by David L. Lewis, Softening by Kelly O’Brien, and Web by Michael Kleiman were honored.

A World Not Ours directed by Mahdi Fleifel
A World Not Ours directed by Mahdi Fleifel

Viewfinders Competition Grand Jury Prize Winner – A World Not Ours

Jurors’ statement: “The eight films in our category offered a stunning range of subject matter, and an equally stunning array of artistic and directorial visions. It was a privilege to have to select amongst such fine works for this year’s winner. The 2013 Viewfinders award goes to a deeply personal story that explores the bonds of family, the tragedies of displacement, and the universal quest for belonging… all set within a Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon.

Director Mahdi Fleifel has drawn on his family’s home movies, archival footage, and his own extensive video diaries to invite us into a world completely unfamiliar to most viewers, and one from which most residents cannot leave. Unlike his friends and family who have spent decades living in the camp, Fleifel is free to come and go – but his portrayal of the world of the camp stayed with us long after his film ended.”

Jurors: Jeff Cooperman, Managing Producer, The Colbert Report; Debra Fisher, Global Director of Digital Sales, Cinedigm; Lisa Kennedy, Commissioning Producer, Fault Lines, Al Jazeera TV

The Pleasures Of Being Out Of Step directed by David L. Lewis
The Pleasures Of Being Out Of Step directed by David L. Lewis

Metropolis Competition Grand Jury Prize Winner – The Pleasures Of Being Out Of Step

Jurors’ statement: “Nat Hentoff epitomizes the spirit of New York: an outsider, an underdog, an intellectual and iconoclast. The Pleasures Of Being Out Of Step draws a fascinating portrait of a gifted jazz critic, linking the dissonances and syncopation of an American art form with the right to free speech. The film captures, through a series of interviews and great archival footage, the essence of Hentoff and shows how his self-examined life contributed to the cultural and political debates of the mid late 20th century.”

Jurors: Julie Anderson, Executive Producer, Documentaries & Development, WNET-THIRTEEN; Yoruba Richen, Documentary Filmmaker (The New Black); Elizabeth Sheldon, Vice President, Kino Lorber, Inc.

Softening directed by Kelly O’Brien
Softening directed by Kelly O’Brien

Shorts Competition Grand Jury Prize Winner - Softening

Jurors’ statement: “In her deft mix of vérité, home movies, photographs, recreations, and experimental footage, director Kelly O’Brien bravely presents her own conflicted experience grappling with mothering a disabled child with emotional honesty, integrity and artistry.”

Jurors: Kathleen Lingo, Coordinating Producer, Op-Docs, The New York Times; Libby Geist, Producer and Director of Development, ESPN Films; Milton Tabbot, Senior Director of Programming, IFP.

Web directed by Michael Kleiman
Web directed by Michael Kleiman

SundanceNOW Audience Award - Web

Michael Kleiman's Web had its world premiere and documents the One Laptop per Child program taking place in remote areas of Peru with on-camera contributions from Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales, One Laptop per Child founder Nicholas Negroponte, and Internet technology author Clay Shirky.

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