SXSW ’15: “Peace Officer” wins Grand Jury Prize

Directed by Scott Christopherson and Brad Barber, Peace Officer (pictured) looks at the militarization of American police forces through the eyes of a former Utah sheriff.
March 18, 2015

A documentary about the militarization of American police won the Grand Jury prize at this year’s SXSW film festival.

Directed by Scott Christopherson and Brad Barber, Peace Officer (pictured) looks at the issue through the eyes of former sheriff and semi-retired private investigator William “Dub” Lawrence, who established Utah’s first rural SWAT team but became disillusioned with its effectiveness after his son-in-law was shot and killed in a raid.

Alex Sichel and Elizabeth Giamatti’s A Woman Like Me, a narrative-doc hybrid about Sichel’s diagnosis with metastatic breast cancer in 2011, picked up a Special Jury Recognition for Directing. Samantha Futerman and Ryan Miyamoto’s Twinsters, which follows twin sisters separated at birth, earned a Special Jury Recognition for Editing.

Director Meg Smaker won the Documentary Short Jury Award for Boxeadora, and Bill Ross and Turner Ross’s doc feature Western, which debuted at Sundance and is due to screen at Hot Docs in April, nabbed the Louis Black “Lone Star” Award.

Lastly, the Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship went to Seymour: An Introduction cutter Anna Gustavi.

This year’s Documentary Feature Competition jurors were Tabitha Jackson, Jason Spingarn-Koff and Alison Willmore.

SXSW’s Audience Awards winners will be announced on Saturday, March 21.

Watch the trailer for Peace Officer below:

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.