The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival has named its 2012 award recipients, with Fernand Melgar’s Special Flight taking the grand jury award, and Chasing Ice (pictured), The Law in These Parts and Trash Dance among the other winners.
Special Flight (Vol Spécial) focuses on a Swiss detention center in which tensions build as rejected asylum seekers await their forced removal from the country. In addition to the grand jury prize, the film also picked up the Center for Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award.
In a statement, the jury – Judith Ehrlich, Eric Metzgar and Marco Williams – said: “Director Fernand Melgar takes us deep inside the world of detained immigrants in Switzerland.
“With incredible access and patient observation, we experience the complex and powerful relationships between the captives and their captors. An exceptional work of vérité filmmaking, Special Flight forces us to confront the contradictions of humane incarceration.”
Elsewhere, a Special Jury Award was presented to The Law in These Parts (Shilton Ha’Chok), which is directed by Ra’anan Alexandrowicz. The film explores the complex military laws imposed by Israel on citizens in the occupied territories, and the jury noted the film’s “intelligence and unique Brechtian treatment of a very controversial subject.”
Trash Dance, directed by Andrew Garrison, picked up the Full Frame audience award, while an honorable mention was given to the short with the highest score, Fanuzzi’s Gold, directed by Georgia Gruzen.
Meanwhile, The Waiting Room, directed by Peter Nicks, was awarded the Charles E. Guggenheim Emerging Artist Award. The vérité film is shot in an Oakland ER’s waiting room, and the award is given to a first-time documentary feature director.
Mr. Cao Goes to Washington, directed by S. Leo Chiang, received the Full Frame inspiration award; while animated documentary Grandmothers (Abuelas), directed by Afarin Eghbal, picked up the Full Frame president’s award.
In the short category, the Full Frame jury award for best short was given to The Time We Have (Den tid vi har), directed by Mira Jargil; and an honorable mention was given to a Sivan, directed by Zohar Elefant.
Finally, the Kathleen Bryan Edwards award for human rights went to Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare, directed by Susan Froemke and Matthew Heineman, which examines the U.S. medical industry; and the Nicholas School Environmental Award was presented to Chasing Ice, a film documenting climate change directed by Jeff Orlowski.
The 2012 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival was held April 12-15 in downtown Durham, North Carolina. In all, 105 films representing 27 countries were shown.