On my sixth day in Maryland we announced our winner.
All week I’ve been serving on the Sterling World Feature Jury here at the Silverdocs Documentary Festival with friends Sean Farnel and Karina Longworth. We’ve watched eleven movies for the past few days and then last night sat down for a leisurely dinner to deliberate and choose a winner.
We gave a special mention to Leonard Retel Helmrich for his new film “Position Among the Stars” (the third in a trilogy) and awarded the Grand Jury Prize to Latvian filmmaker Andris Gauja (pictured above) for his third documentary, “Family Instinct.”
Our jury statement about the shocking and celebrated new film sums it up very well:
A slice-of-fucked-up-life portrait, the director of this film clearly had fly-on-the-wall access to his subjects, but some scenes, shot from multiple angles, are so formally composed as to seem staged. That’s not a bad thing: For all the desperation and depravity of the story, the filmmaker rescues a narrative of deep sadness and yearning that’s as touching as the circumstances are shocking.
Want to see the movie? Catch it at Rooftop Films tomorrow, June 26th, in Brooklyn!
photo by eugene hernandez