SDFF 2022 AWARD WINNERS

AUDIENCE AWARDS

BEST FEATURE FILM

FANNY: THE RIGHT TO ROCK

Director: Bobbi Jo Hart

Fanny: The Right To Rock Reveals the untold story of a self-formed, 1960s California garage band–that included Filipina American and queer bandmates–and morphed into the first band of women to release an LP with a major record label. Despite releasing five critically acclaimed albums between 1970-75, counting David Bowie as one of their most vocal fans, Fanny’s ground-breaking impact in music was lost in the mists of time… until bandmates reunite 50 years later with a new rock record deal, and chance to right the wrongs of music history.

Award Notes

Despite releasing five critically acclaimed albums between 1970-75, counting David Bowie as one of their most vocal fans, Fanny’s ground-breaking impact in music was lost in the mists of time… until bandmates reunite 50 years later with a new rock record deal, and chance to right the wrongs of music history.

BEST SHORT FILM

THE MIRROR

Director: Mimi Chakarova  l  Animator – Lola Noguer

An honest, at times absurd, conversation about being a black woman in America, The Mirror is a short animated film that weaves the personal stories, experiences and reflections of nine black women talking about their interactions with white people. On the subject of swimming, “black people have no buoyancy” says one white woman with assurance. “Your people have an inability to master the proper use of the English language” says another.

Award Notes

An honest, at times absurd, conversation about being a Black woman in America, “The Mirror” is a short animated film that weaves the personal stories of nine Black women talking about their interactions with white people.

Director’s Notes

In receipt of the award Director Mimi Chakarova credited animator Lola Noguer’s pivotal work on the project,  “the talented artist who drew all the women in our film.”

JURY AWARDS BY CATEGORY

JURY AWARDS – FEATURES

BEST FILM

COWS ON THE ROOF 

Director: Aldo Gugolz

Fabiano is haunted by nightmares. They are a reflection of his life as the heir of his father’s small-scale agricultural business. Nothing is going the way it should… he is in debt, the alpine hut that he rents for the summer is dilapidated, and the goats cheese business is no longer profitable. Fabiano is not exactly in a good place to start a family, but will be a father soon. His girlfriend Eva is expecting – and is hoping to fulfill her dreams of a simple life surrounded by nature and animals. But how can they build a life together in such difficult circumstances?

Jury Notes

“The jury selected Cows on the Roof as the winner of this year’s competition for its unique point of view, beautiful cinematography and unflinching portrait of its’ hardscrabble subjects.”

SPECIAL MENTION

THE ART OF UN-WAR

Director: Maria Niro

Artist Krzysztof Wodiczko uses art, design, and technology to empower marginalized communities. This rare glimpse into the life and thought-provoking public projections of the Polish-born artist sheds light on his lifelong investigation of monuments, war, and trauma. The evolution of his political art unfolds throughout the film, from his first intervention created in Warsaw, Poland (his birthplace) in 1968, through his latest effort to transform Paris’ monument to war Arc De Triomphe into its complete antithesis – a temporary site for war abolitionism and peace activism.

Jury Notes

The Art of Un-War, for its beautifully conceived and compelling profile of the artist Krzysztof Wodiczko. At this critical moment his brilliant and inspiring art challenges us to rethink our perception and understanding of war.”

JURY AWARD NOMINEES – FEATURES

FEATURE FILM JURY

Jim Browne: Jim has been exhibiting, programming, producing and distributing films in New York for 30 years. In 2005, he founded Argot Pictures, an independent film company specializing in distribution strategies for documentary films.

Shaleece Haas: Shaleece is an Emmy® Award-winning documentary producer and director based in Los Angeles. Two of her films have screened at SDFF: The Genius of Marian (SDFF 2014) and Real Boy (SDFF 2017). Her films, marked by a balance of poignancy and humor, invite audiences deep into the interior worlds of their protagonists.

Rodrigo Reyes: Mexican-American director Rodrigo Reyes makes films deeply grounded in his identity as an immigrant artist from the margins of both cultures, using striking imagery to portray the contradictory nature of our shared world, revealing the potential for transformative change. Rodrigo’s film 499, won Best Cinematography at Tribeca and the Special Jury Award at Hot Docs.

JURY AWARDS – SHORTS

BEST FILM

A CONCERTO IS A CONVERSATION

Directors: Ben Proudfoot & Chris Bowers

Film Description:

In this poetic, visually-stunning short, virtuoso jazz pianist and film composer Kris Bowers tracks his family’s lineage through his 91 year-old grandfather from Jim Crow Florida to the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Jury Notes:

“Beautifully shot, edited, and produced. A warm, uplifting story about resilience and creativity. Compositionally outstanding. A Concerto is a Conversation balances the warmth of the characters and their impressive stories against the coldness of the history, weaving through glorious music as character and metaphor.”

JURY AWARD NOMINEES – SHORTS

SHORT FILM JURY

Karen Pearlman:
Director, I Want to Make a Film About Women – SDFF 2021 Special Jury Mention – Short Film.
Karen Pearlman, PhD is a director, with Richard James Allen, PhD, of the Sydney-based Physical TV Company. They create dramas, documentaries and dance films informed by scholarly research into the history and future potential of the cinematic medium.

Marlén Viñayo:
Director, Unforgivable – SDFF 2021 Jury Award Winner – Best Short
Marlén Viñayo is a documentary filmmaker based in El Salvador working in film and TV as director and producer. Unforgivable was her second film and won Best International Short Documentary at IDFA, Hot Docs, Slamdance and Guanajuato. The film was also an Official Selection at Telluride, AFI Docs and RIDM, among others.

Niema Jordan: Niema Jordan is a poet, journalist, filmmaker and podcaster from Oakland, Calif. Her passion for writing and hip-hop led her to Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. With a desire to grow as a journalist and delve deeper into health disparities plaguing the Black community, and Black women in particular, she returned to the Bay Area. Jordan received her Master of Public Health and Master of Journalism (with an emphasis in documentary film) from University of California, Berkeley.

JURY AWARDS – MINI-DOCS

BEST FILM

PROSOPAGNOSIA

Director: Steven Fraser

Prosopagnosia is a story of identity that uses expressive animation to investigate intimacy, communication and memory. Prosopagnosia is face-blindness and as a means of understanding this neurodiverse behavior, the contents of a memory box are explored. Sketchbooks, photographs and diaries are intricately unraveled to tell a unique and personal story.

Jury Notes

“A personal, vulnerable, and vibrant exploration of a fascinating yet little known topic – face blindness. The jury was impressed by the visually rich design and stop motion animation, poignant narration, and profound questions raised.”

SPECIAL MENTION

SENTIENCE 知覺

Director: Elliot J. Spencer

Sentience 知覺 is a short art documentary filmed in China. It takes us to two opposed locations in a span of twenty-four hours. Guanxi’s scenic mountainous region being one, and the other Yangshou’s raucous, touristy West Street sector. The former brims with a quiet, almost hypnotic majesty that can only be appreciated during the day, while the latter roars with an overwhelming assemblage of both human, and mechanized fury, that is at its most palpable come nightfall.

Jury Notes

“Enchanting and disturbing in equal measure, Sentience 知覺 is a visually stunning essay on the contrast between ancient beauty and modern aesthetics in China, and explores the ways in which we interact with and participate in our surroundings.

JURY AWARD NOMINEES – MINI-DOCS

MINI-DOC JURY

Dean Hamer:
Co-Director, Kapaemahu – SDFF 2021 Jury Award Winner – Best Mini-Doc
Dean Hamer is a filmmaker whose work focuses on collaborating with sexual and gender minority communities from around the world to tell their stories. He and partner Joe Wilson’s QWaves films have screened at SDFF over the years beginning in 2009 with their first feature and Emmy® Award winner, Out in the Silence.

Isabel Fischer: Isabel is a Multimedia/Television Producer at Northern California Public Media, a PBS affiliate television station in Rohnert Park, CA. She creates short documentary content featuring community stories about local agriculture, food, wildlife, arts & culture, and leaders in sustainability. At Berkeley’s legendary music venue, the Freight & Salvage Isabel directs and edits live music content as part of the NorCal production team.

Chris Fisher: Chris is a playwright, stage director, professor and educator in the Seattle area. She is former chair of the Cinema, Drama and Film area at Shoreline College,  Her plays and writing are imbued with documentary-based research. Chris is an enthusiastic veteran juror for Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival.

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