At the 2015 DOC NYC festival last week, three legendary documentary filmmakers were presented with lifetime achievement awards for their contributions to the field of documentary. To present these awards, three documentarians took the stage to speak to the impact the award winners had on their own careers. Watch the awards presentations below.
Barbara Kopple, Presented by Michael Moore
Barbara Kopple is best known for her Oscar-winning 1976 film “Harlan County U.S.A.,” about a bitter and violent miner strike in Harlan County, Kentucky. The grim story was captured with shocking immediacy by Kopple, who put herself at risk to shed light on their struggle.
Jon Alpert, Presented by Sheila Nevins
Jon Alpert has two Academy Award nominations and seven Primetime Emmy nominations, including three wins for “Baghdad ER.” Alpert makes documentaries from a journalistic angle and uses cinema verité aesthetics in his approach. Alpert was the first American journalist to bring back uncensored footage from the Persian Gulf War, a move which got him fired from NBC three hours before the footage was set to air.
Fred Wiseman, Presented by Alex Gibney
Frederick Wiseman has made dozens of films since his 1967 debut “Titicut Follies,” a shocking exposé of the conditions at the Bridgewater State Hospital for the criminally insane. The film was famously banned shortly before its release, opening up ethical questions of consent against claims that the patients were incapable of giving legitimate permission to participate. Wiseman takes on subjects on which he has done little to no research; his films are unstaged portrayals of events presented in a verité style.
READ MORE: 10 Must-See Documentaries at DOC NYC 2015