Following a week of over 100 films and events, the third edition of the ever-growing DOC NYC Festival came to a close Thursday night with a Closing Night screening of Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, and David McMahon’s “The Central Park Five.” But before the screening, Artistic Director Thom Powers led an awards presentation to hand out the prizes in the Festival’s three Jury Prizes-the Viewfinder Competition, Metropolis Competition, and the Shorts Competition-as well as the SundanceNOW Audience Award.
Of the ten films vying for the Viewfinders Compeition, chosen by the programmers for their “distinct directorial vision,” the Grand Jury Prize went to Jamie Meltzer’s “Informant,” which investigates the radical activist turned FBI informant Brandon Darby. The Special Jury Prize went to Jehane Noujaim and Mona Eldaief’s “Rafea: Solar Mama,” which follows an illiterate woman from Jordon who becomes a solar panel engineer.
Among the seven films competing for the Metropolis Prize, which honors films that showcase the diverse stories around New York City, the Jury Prize was awarded to Mary Kerr’s “Radioman.” The film features George Clooney, Johnny Depp, Matt Damon, and several other Hollywood A-listers as they discuss Craig Castaldo, nicknamed “Radioman,” a New York vagrant who became something of a legend by being a bit player in over 100 films shot in New York City. Amy Nicholson’s “Zipper,” an examination of the changes being made to Coney Island, was awarded the Special Jury Prize.
The Shorts Competition, which makes every short film playing in the Festival eligible, awarded its Jury Prize to Riley Hooper’s “Flo,” a look at a infamous photographer Flo Fox. The Special Jury Prize was awarded to two films-Doug Block’s “The Children Next Door” and Bao Nguyen’s “Julian.”
Lastly the SundanceNOW Award, chosen by the audiences based on balloting at the films first screening, gave another prize to Mona Eldaief’s “Radea: Solar Mama.”
More information on the award-winning films, as well as the other films in the Festival, can be found on the DOC NYC official website.