“Million Dollar Duck” wins at Slamdance

Brian Golden Davis' doc The Million Dollar Duck (pictured) has taken the Audience and Jury Awards for Documentary Feature at the 22nd annual Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
January 29, 2016

Brian Golden Davis’ doc The Million Dollar Duck (pictured) has taken the Audience and Jury Awards for Documentary Feature at the 22nd annual Slamdance Film Festival.

The Park City, Utah-based event – which runs simultaneously alongside the Sundance Film Festival – hosted the world premiere of the film, which follows six wildlife artists competing in the Federal Duck Stamp Contest – the only juried art contest run by the U.S. government. The doc was picked up by U.S. cable net Animal Planet and producer-distributor Lionsgate earlier this week.

The industry panel for the Jury Award included Skizz Cyzyk, Vanessa Hope and Steve Yu, and the film was granted US$3,500 in legal services from Pierce Law Group.

“With humor and empathy, The Million Dollar Duck looks into the little-known world of avid, nature-loving duck painters who seek to win the glory and financial dividend of being on a federal stamp,” reads a statement from the jury.

“Artfully shot and edited, with a colorful cast of characters, the film weaves these human stories into the larger picture of how the annual competition has served to create and protect America’s many wildlife refuges. It’s about more than the duck.”

Elsewhere, the Jury Honorable Mention for Documentary Feature went to Andrea Marini’s The Art of the Prank, on famous New York media artist-activist Joey Skaggs.

Taking home the Jury Award for Documentary Short was Mea do Jong’s If Mama Ain’t Happy, Nobody’s Happy, while cinematographer Mike Gioulakis picked up the Jury Honorable Mention for Cinematography – Documentary Short for his work in Jordan Bahat’s Bullet.

With files from Kevin Ritchie.


About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.