Erik Gandini’s Videocracy has won the inaugural special jury award at the Sheffield International Documentary Festival.

The film, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival and was named best documentary at Toronto, focuses on Italy’s media culture under prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. It was chosen by a jury made up of film-makers AJ Schnack, Kim Longinotto, Nick Broomfield, RJ Cutler and vice president of programming at ITVS, Claire Aguilar.

The award was presented at an awards ceremony in last night (November 7). Speaking about the judge’s decision, Cutler said: “We chose Videocracy as our winner because it was entertaining, masterfully made and featured some awesome characters.”

As the festival heads to a close, organisers said this year’s edition had attracted a record number of industry delegates, at around 1800.

Heather Croall, Doc/Fest festival director said, “This year’s film programme was the best selection of films we have ever had at Sheffield. Our Jury deliberators all had a very big challenge and I know they were debating for many hours, long into the night. It reflects the high standard of nominees in each category.”

The festival closes tonight (November8). The audience award is yet to be announced.

The 16th Sheffield Doc/Fest Awards:

The Wallflower Press Award for the best student documentary in the programme:
Arsy-Versy, Dir: Miro Remo

The Inspiration Award, presented to a figure in the industry who has championed documentary:
Adam Curtis (Pandora’s Box, It Felt Like A Kiss)

The Sheffield Innovation Award:
LoopLoop, Dir: Patrick Bergeron.

The Sheffield Green Award:
The Blood Of The Rose, Dir: Henry Singer

The Sheffield Youth Jury Award, chosen by a jury of young people ages 16-21:
Sons Of Cuba, directed by Andrew Lang 

Channel 4 Pitch Winner:
Lucy Bennett for One Under