Docs

“Drought,” “Birth Story” take LA Film Fest awards

The Los Angeles Film Festival juries named Everardo Gonzalez's Drought (pictured) the feature documentary award winner, while audiences picked Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin and The Farm Midwives and Searching for Sugar Man as their top non-fiction picks.
June 25, 2012

The Los Angeles Film Festival juries named Everardo Gonzalez’s Drought (pictured) this year’s feature documentary award winner, while audiences picked Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin and The Farm Midwives and Searching for Sugar Man as their top non-fiction picks.

Drought is a cinéma vérité portrait of a cattle ranching community in Mexico. The jury said it found the doc “to be a film of extraordinary caliber – epic in scope, keen and intimate in its observational perspective, beautifully filmed and edited with a sparse and affecting soundscape. Through this powerful film, the story of a remote Mexican community grappling with a growing drought becomes a universal parable and an alarming harbinger.”

The documentary award comes with a US$15,000 cash prize for the film’s director. Meanwhile, the best documentary short film went to Josh Gibson for Kudzu Vine. Gibson picked up a $5,000 cash prize.

Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin and The Farm Midwives, directed by Sara Lamm and Mary Wigmore, picked up the audience award for best documentary feature. That doc tells the story of the midwives of a farm commune.

Meanwhile, Searching for Sugar Man, directed by Malik Bendjelloul, took the audience award for best international feature. It tells the story of Rodriguez, a 1970s singer-songwriter from the U.S. who became a sensation in South Africa.

The awards were presented by Film Independent, the not-for-profit arts organization that produces the LA Film Festival.

About The Author
Meagan Kashty is an associate editor of realscreen, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Meagan is an award-winning business journalist. Prior to joining the realscreen team, Meagan was online editor of Canadian Grocer, named Magazine of the Year at the 2015 Canadian Business Media Awards. She can be reached at mkashty@brunico.com, and you can follow her on Twitter @MegKashty

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