Special jury award went to Attacking the Devil [pictured], while Lifetime Achievement was presented to Roger Graef.
Sheffield Doc/Fest has unveiled the winners of this year’s awards.
The Inspiration Award was presented to Laura Poitras, while Roger Graef received the Lifetime Achievement award. Accepting the award, Graef paid tribute to “those souls who have been brave enough to let us capture them”.
Judged by Mark Cousins, Eugene Hernandez, Kate Kinninmont, Karolina Lidin and Dawn Porter, the Special Jury prize went to Jacqui Morris & David Morris’ Attacking the Devil: Harold Evans and the Last Nazi War Crime.
Porter commented: “We unanimously found this film to be an elegant examination of complex themes. We appreciated his film on all levels - it is a work approached with relevance and rigor, a historical film that feels contemporary and engaging, blossoms like a novel, and is surprising when least expected, epic in its scope, traversing decades and exploring big themes while revealing intimate details.”
Honourable mention went to Andre Singer’s Night Will Fall, with Porter adding that “this intellectually bracing film reveals the power of documentary and why it matters”.
Katerina Cizek’s A Short History of the Highrise scooped the Sheffield Innovation Award, with Cizek dedicating her award to Peter Wintonick who she described as “a dear friend and huge inspiration to so many of us in terms of understanding and thinking through how documentary can be innovative and how it can change the world”.
On behalf of the jury of international film and interactive media industry experts, film-maker Laurence Topham said that the jury unanimously agreed “all of the work in this category demonstrated quality and innovation – it was a strong field combining risk-taking, strong storytelling and interactivity across multiple platforms”.
The award recognises cutting edge documentary practise, rewarding the project that exhibits originality in approach to form, storytelling and delivery.
Brian Knappenberger’s The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz won the Sheffield Youth Jury Award, with a special mention going to Thomas Balmès’ Happiness, while the Sheffield Green Award went to Jolynn Minnaar’s Unearthed.
Tomasz Sliwinski’s Our Curse and Ondi Timoner’s Amanda F***ing Palmer on the Rocks took home the Sheffield Student Doc Award and the Sheffield Short Doc Award, respectively.
Celebrating the life and legacy of photojournalist and humanitarian Tim Hetherington and presented by Tim’s mother Judith Hetherington and Dogwoof’s Oli Harbottle, the Tim Hetherington Award went to Profession: Documentarist, directed by Shirin Barghnavard, Firouzeh Khosrovani, Farhnaz Sharifi, Mina Keshavarz, Sepideh Abtahi, Sahar Salahshoor and Nahid Rezaei.
Meanwhile, the inaugural Peter Wintonick Award, in honour of the late Canadian documentary filmmaker, was awarded to Diana Whitten’s Vessel.
The festival’s Audience Award will be announced on June 16.