SDFF 2022 FESTIVAL NOTES
The 15th Annual Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival returned to in-person screenings with a 4-day festival, March 24-27 at Sebastopol Center for the Arts and Rialto Cinemas®. All 73 of SDFF’s 2022 selections were shown theatrically during the festival, followed by a streaming lineup of 52 film curated from the live festival from March 28-April 3.
The festival included jury and audience awards for features, shorts and minis. Audiences were able to participate in ranked choice voting for each film. SDFF is an Academy Award Qualifying Festival®, so shorts and minis that won juried prizes automatically qualified for the the Oscars® documentary shorts subject category.
SDFF 2022 film selections address diverse subjects from a range of perspectives. There are serious topics, as well as films that offer fun, amazing cinematography, animation, music and dance. Among the titles are Academy Award® nominees, Pulitzer Prize winners, premieres and work by talented first- time filmmakers. Selected from well over 627 submissions originating from 56 countries, these films meet the standards we have set at SDFF: excellence in craft, character and storytelling.
SDFF 2022’s intent is to offer a glimpse of another person’s challenge, experience, observation and joy in the face of the day ahead, to build a vital link among individuals where we can share that exuberance and challenge of being alive.
SDFF 2022 AWARD WINNERS
FANNY: THE RIGHT TO ROCK
Bobbi Jo Hart
2021, United States, Canada, 96 mins.
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.
Dir. Mimi Chakarova, Animated by Lola Noguer
2021, United States, 13 mins.
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.
COWS ON THE ROOF
Dir. Aldo Gugolz & Screenwriter Susanne Schüle
2021, Switzerland, 82 mins.
“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.”
THE ART OF UN-WAR
Maria Niro, 2021, U.S., S. Korea, Japan, Canada, France, 64 mins
A CONCERTO IS A CONVERSATION
Ben Proudfoot & Kris Bowers
2020, United States, 13 mins.
“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.”
2021, United Kingdom, 10 mins.
“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.”
Elliot J. Spencer, 2021, Australia, China, 9 mins