A World Not Ours (pictured), Mahdi Fleifel’s documentary set in a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, has picked up the Viewfinders Grand Jury Prize at DOC NYC in New York.
The film, which has its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2012 and went on to win the Black Pearl Award at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, was described by jurors as being a “deeply personal story that explores the bonds of family, the tragedies of displacement, and the universal quest for belonging.”
Elsewhere, the Metropolis Competition – which celebrates New York-related stories – gave its Grand Jury Prize to David L. Lewis’s The Pleasures of Being out of Step, which profiles jazz critic and free speech advocate Nat Hentoff.
In the Shorts Competition, Kelly O’Brien’s Softening, which explores the filmmaker’s relationship with her disabled son, took the Grand Jury Prize. All 39 short films featured in the festival were eligible for the award.
The winners of the Grand Jury Prize in the Viewfinders and Metropolis competitions each received a Digital Cinema Package (DCP) provided by Technicolor-PostWorks New York. All three jury prize winners will also receive a one-week theatrical, awards-qualifying run at IFC Center in 2014.
Finally, the SundanceNOW Audience Award went to Michael Kleiman’s Web, which follows Peruvian children in remote regions who participate in the One Laptop per Child program.
The awards came as this year’s festival, which kicked off on November 14 and concluded today (November 21), claimed a 25% increase in attendance, with more than 36 sold out screenings and close to 20,000 attendees, according to organizers.
“The festival grew in wonderful ways this year,” said DOC NYC artistic director Thom Powers. “We had terrific audience responses across the board for films making their World, U.S. and New York City premieres as well as for our Doc-A-Thon panels and for the Short List section, showcasing 10 of the year’s most acclaimed docs.”