American Promise, Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson’s doc which follows two children from kindergarten to high school graduation, took the Reva and David Logan Grand Jury Award at Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in North Carolina yesterday (April 7).
The doc (pictured above) follows the diverging lives of the boys, and the jury – made up of Greg Barker, Nina Davenport, and Tia Lessin – said of their pick: “We chose this film – which spans 12 years in the lives of two African-American families – for the elegance and honesty with which filmmakers Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson tell the story of their son Idris and his best friend Seun growing up in Brooklyn.
This epic cinema vérité film is at once a revealing and affecting depiction of the contemporary black male experience and a deeply personal and beautifully observed portrait of a family.”
The jury award for best short went to By Her Side, directed by Niels van Koevorden. The short sees three fathers-to-be sharing their hopes, dreams, and anxieties before the birth of their children. An honorable mention went to A Story for the Modlins directed by Sergio Oksman.
The audience award for a feature was awarded to A Will for the Woods, directed by Amy Browne, Jeremy Kaplan, Tony Hale and Brian Wilson, which explores the green burial movement; while the audience award for a short film was given to The Record Breaker, directed by Brian McGinn, which features Guinness Book of World Records top earner Ashrita Furman.
A Will for the Woods also picked up The Nicholas School Environmental Award.
The Charles E. Guggenheim Emerging Artist Award went to Zachary Heinzerling’s Cutie and the Boxer; the Full Frame Inspiration Award was presented to Roger Ross Williams’ God Loves Uganda; the Full Frame President’s Award was presented to Chico Pereira’s Pablo’s Winter; and the Kathleen Bryan Edwards Award for Human Rights was given to Martha Shane and Lana Wilson’s After Tiller. An honorable mention went to Marco Williams’ The Undocumented.
Finally, the Center For Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award was handed out to A River Changes Course, which was directed by Kalyanee Mam.