Silverdocs unveils slate

The fest opens June 20 with music doc The Swell Season, while the competition slate includes a few films that have already picked up prizes on the fest circuit, such as Dragonslayer, Give Up Tomorrow and Position Among the Stars.
May 26, 2011

The AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs Documentary Festival has revealed its slate for this year’s edition, including its roster of competition films.

Among the competition films listed are several that have already picked up prizes on the festival circuit thus far in 2011, including Tristan Patterson’s Dragonslayer, which was named best international feature at Hot Docs and winner of the grand jury prize and best cinematography award at SXSW. Michael Collins’ Give Up Tomorrow received the audience award at the Tribeca Film Festival as well as a special jury mention, and Leonard Retel Helmrich’s Position Among the Stars won the best feature doc award at IDFA last November and the World Cinema jury prize for documentary at Sundance.

There are three competitive screening selection categories: U.S. feature competition, world feature competition and the short film competition. In addition, the audience awards are based on ballots submitted by festival attendees, the Cinematic Vision award goes to the most innovative storytelling from a film in the fest and the WGA Documentary Screenplay award recognizes excellence in screenwriting.

Film competition winners will be announced at a ceremony on June 25, and audience awards for features and shorts will be announced on June 26.

In addition to the films in the competition categories seen below, Silverdocs also announced its full slate, including films in the Silver Spectrum and Spotlight programs. The fest’s opening night, June 20, will kick off with a screening of The Swell Season, which follows musical duo Glen Hansard and Mark√©ta Irglov√° as they ride a wave of success following their star turns in the fictional feature Once and negotiate its impact upon their real-life romance.

On June 22, Steve James (Hoop Dreams) will be on hand for a special screening of his latest, The Interrupters. The following day, DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus will be on hand for the Guggenheim Symposium, while Pennebaker’s Monterey Pop will be a featured outdoor screening later that day.

Two world premieres will be featured during the fest: Never Make It Home, the story of Kansas alt-bluegrass band Split Lip Rayfield (June 24), and Age of Champions, which follows a group of elderly, elite athletes (June 25). The closing night for the fest will also feature Chris Paine’s Revenge of the Electric Car.

Here are the films in this year’s competition slate, according to category:

Sterling U.S. Feature Competition (all films U.S. productions except where noted as international coproductions)

Better This World (directed by Katie Galloway, Kelly Duane de la Vega)

Bob and the Monster (directed by Keirda Bahruth)

The Bully Project (directed by Lee Hirsch)

Dragonslayer (directed by Tristan Patterson)

Give Up Tomorrow (Philippines/Spain/U.S./UK; directed by Michael Collins)

Incendiary: The Willingham Case (directed by Steve Mims, Joe Bailey Jr.)

Jiro Dreams of Sushi (U.S./Japan; directed by David Gelb)

The Learning (U.S./Philippines; directed by Ramona Diaz)

The Loving Story (directed by Nancy Buirski)

Our School (Romania/ Switzerland/ U.S.; directed by Mona Nicoara, Miruna Coco-Cozma)

Sterling World Feature Competition

At the Edge of Russia (Poland/Russia; directed by Michael Marczak)

Bakhmaro (Georgia/ Germany; directed by Salome Jashi)

Donor Unknown (U.S.; directed by Jerry Rothwell)

El Bulli – Cooking in Progress (Germany/ Spain; directed by Gereon Wetzel)

Family Instinct (Latvia; directed by Anris Gauja)

Fire in Babylon (UK; directed by Stevan Riley)

The First Movie (Canada/Iraq/Kurdistan/UK; directed by Mark Cousins)

Grande Hotel (Belgium/Mozambique/Portugal; directed by Lotte Stoops)

El Velador (The Night Watchman) (Mexico; directed by Natalia Almada)

Position Among the Stars (Indonesia/Netherlands; directed by Leonard Retel Helmrich)

Wiebo’s War (Canada; directed by David York)

Sterling Short Competition

5 Pictures of a Father (Denmark; directed by Nadia Josefine El Said)

Barber of Birmingham: The Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement (U.S.; directed by Robin Fryday, Gail Dolgin)

Bathing Mickey (Sweden; directed by Frida Kempff)

Blue Rinse (Ireland; directed by Matt Leigh)

The Bowler (U.S.; directed by Sean Dunne)

Comic Author X-Ray (Spain; directed by Marcos Nine)

The Day We Danced on the Moon (Germany; directed by Tristan Daws)

Flying Anne (The Netherlands; directed by Catherine Van Campen)

For Maria (Sweden; directed by Tora Martens)

Goodbye Mandima (Switzerland; directed by Robert-Jan Lacombe)

Guanape Sur (Italy; directed by Janas Richter)

Humanoids (Brazil/Scotland; directed by Mariana Oliva)

Irma (U.S./Mexico; directed by Charles Fairbanks)

Kiss the Paper (U.S.; directed by Fiona Otway)

Living for 32 (U.S.; directed by Kevin Breslin)

Lost Every Day (UK; directed by Michelle Coomber)

Minka (U.S./Canada; directed by Davina Pardo)

Miracle on 22nd Street (U.S.; directed by Sarah Klein, Tom Mason)

Mothersbane (U.S.; directed by Jason Jakaitis)

Mr. Happy Man (U.S./Bermuda; directed by Matt Morris)

Mushrooms of Concrete (Belgium/Albania; directed by Martjn Payens)

Night at the Dance (U.S.; directed by Annie Silverstein)

Oh God, Dear God (Poland; directed by Julia Poplawska)

Oil & Water (UK; directed by Gemma Atkinson; Fred Grace)

Passion (U.S.; directed by Zach Bainter)

Penultimate (U.S.; directed by Paul Meyers)

Ray’s Birds (U.S.; directed by Deborah Stratman)

Still Here (U.S.; directed by Alex Camilleri)

Surpriseville (UK; directed by Tim Travers Hawkins)

Susya (Israel/Palestinian Territories; directed by Yoav Gross, Dani Rosenberg)

Three Walls (Canada; directed by Zaheed Mawani)

Tobacco Girl (Germany; directed by Biljana Garvanlieva)

Tugs (U.S.; directed by Jessica Edwards)

Twinset (UK; directed by Amy Rose)

Two (Australia/UK; directed by Maya Newell)

Vera Klement: Blunt Edge (U.S.; directed by Wonjun Bee)

Water (U.S./Tibet; directed by Bari Pearlman)

Without Country (Sin Pais) (U.S.; directed by Theo Rigby)

The AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs Documentary Festival takes place in Silver Spring, Maryland, from June 20-26. For more info, visit the website.

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.