Festivals, Events and Awards

More awards for Moore; Tribeca announces its competition lineup; TIFF calls for submissions
March 27, 2003

A subdued (by Hollywood standards) 75th Academy Awards came alive when Michael Moore headed for the podium to collect the award for best documentary feature for his juggernaut Bowling for Columbine. Moore made his acceptance speech/anti-war rant accompanied by his fellow nominees, whom he had invited onstage beforehand if he won. He said, in part, ‘They’re here in solidarity with me, because we like nonfiction. We like nonfiction and we live in fictitious times.’ The award for best documentary short subject went to Twin Towers (by Bill Guttentag and Robert David Port). The ceremony was held on March 23, in Los Angeles, U.S.

Few knew that at the Oscars, Moore was actually recycling the speech he had given at the 2003 IFP Independent Spirit Awards (March 22) in Santa Monica, U.S., where Bowling for Columbine won the award for best documentary. Moore wasn’t the only doc-maker to take something home from Santa Monica. The DIRECTV/IFC Truer Than Fiction award was presented to Jennifer Dworkin, director of Love & Diane. Sponsored by DIRECTV and the Independent Film Channel, the prize is awarded each year to an emerging non-fiction feature director.

The Tribeca Film Festival (May 3 to 11) announced its 2003 competition lineup and added more award categories to this year’s event. The doc section has been split to showcase the genre’s freshmen and sophomores separately. Twelve doc newcomers were picked to screen in the Documentary Features section, among them are: A Boy’s Life, by Rory Kennedy; Carlo Giuliani, a Boy (Carlo Giuliani, Ragazzo), by Francesca Comencini; Heaven’s Path (Rah-e Behesht), by Mahmoud Behraznia; Keeping Time: the Life, Music & Photographs of Milt Hinton, by David G. Berger, Holly Maxson and Kate Hirson; and Seville, Southside (Polígono Sur), by Dominique Abel.

The second program, Documentaries >2 – reserved for doc-makers who have completed more than two films – will also screen 12 films including: Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer, by Nick Broomfield and Joan Churchill; And Along Came a Spider (Va Ankaboot Amad), by Maziar Bahari; Dance, Grozny, Dance (Dans Grozny, Dans), by Jos de Putter; Dream Cuisine (Aji) directed by Ying Li; Forget Baghdad: Jews and Arabs – The Iraqi Experience, by Samir; and Hush! (Tishe!), by Victor Kossakovsky. The full list of films can be found on the festival website at

José Padilha’s Bus 174 has pulled into New York, U.S., for the 32nd edition of New Directors/New Films, which began March 26 and runs until April 6. The Brazilian director’s doc has drawn audiences throughout the festival circuit, most recently at this month’s Miami International Film Festival, where it picked up the grand jury prize for best doc. For screening times, go to

The Writers Guild of America is holding an information evening on April 10 in Los Angeles, U.S., to help launch its Nonfiction Writers Caucus. Nonfiction writers and producers are invited. An added bonus: the 2003 Oscar nominees for best doc feature are expected to attend. For more information, visit, or send an email to

The Banff Television Foundation announced that European broadcaster ZDF German Television will receive this year’s Global Television Outstanding Achievement Award at the 24th Banff Television Festival (June 8 to 13). The award will be handed out at an evening tribute celebration on June 10. ZDF is known for its high-quality non-fiction programming and was praised by BTF president Pat Ferns for its contributions to the global television industry.

The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced that Greg Dyke, director-general of the BBC, will be the recipient of this year’s International Emmy Directorate Award. This award honors organizations or individuals in news, programming and/or international relations, among other fields, for ‘outstanding contributions over a period of time to the arts and sciences of international television.’ The Emmys will be handed out on November 24 in New York, U.S.

Pat Mitchell, president and CEO of Alexandria, U.S.-based pubcaster PBS, will receive the Industry Award at the Full Frame Film Festival on April 12 in New York, U.S. The award will be presented by CNN founder Ted Turner. Mitchell is being lauded for ‘her commitment to innovative programming and her dedication to the field of documentary.’


Canada’s Toronto International Film Festival (September 4 to 13) is taking submissions for its 2003 event. The deadline date is June 6. For a complete list of submission guidelines and to download an entry form, go to

Submissions to the fifth annual Hot Springs Doc Fest (October 22 to November 4) are being accepted. The early deadline is March 28; all entries must be received by the final deadline of April 25. For more information, visit

The deadline for entries to the fifth annual International Emmy Awards (November 23) in New York, U.S., is April 1. This year, the popular arts category has been divided into two, scripted and unscripted programs, reflecting the expansion of the genre of reality programming. Another category change: the international Emmy for news coverage will be handed out at the NATAS News & Documentary Emmy Awards (September 3, also in New York). Online entry forms and regulations are available at

The 56th Edinburgh International Film Festival (August 13 to 24) is accepting submissions for this year’s edition until April 17. Enter online by going to and clicking on Submit.

Submissions to the Hollwood Documentary Film Festival must be post-marked April 30. Details can be found at

The 3rd International Human Rights Film Festival (September 22 to 28) in Nuremberg, Germany, is also accepting submissions until April 30. To enter, visit

About The Author
Jonathan Paul is a Toronto-based writer into creativity, content, advertising, tech, comics, video games, film, TV, time and space travel.