The Whicker’s World Foundation has unveiled the finalists for its inaugural documentary filmmaker awards.
Established last year as part of Sheffield Doc/Fest, the awards program recognizes film and audio documentaries with more than US$150,000 (£100,000) in funding awards.
The Veteran’s Award goes to a first-time docmaker over age 50 and comes with a £4,000 reward, while the Funding Award comes with an £80,000 haul and goes to a director under age 30 looking to make a first feature. There is also an Audio Award for radio documentaries.
Two finalists are up for the Veteran’s Award. Keith Hoult, a former IT manager, is nominated for his doc about Syrian refugees living in a disused Berlin airport, Fluechtlinge – Refugee; and former Thatcher government cabinet minister Norman Fowler is nominated for the two-part series The Truth About AIDS, which investigates how prejudice hampers HIV prevention measures around the world.
There are five finalists for the Funding Award.
Alex Bescoby’s Burma’s Lost Royals (pictured) looks at a Burmese spiritual leader living in exile in India; Jennifer Chiu and Jessica Parsons’ Inga of the Amazon is about a scientist attempting to preserve the Amazon rainforest with a cattle farming experiment; and Adam James Smith’s Americaville is about the residents of a Chinese replica of an American town.
The nominees are rounded out by Ricky Norris’ Mukesh, about career UN diplomat Mukesh Kapila and the refugee crisis in Sudan; and Safwon Suleyman’s Lessons From My Father, about a man who sets up a school for Syrian refugee children in Istanbul.
The winners will be announced during Sheffield Doc/Fest, which takes place from June 10 to 15. The presentation will take place during the Awards Night on June 14 at the Crucible and the winner will exhibit their completed film at next year’s festival.
The Whicker’s World Foundation was established in the name of British broadcast journalist Alan Whicker, who died in 2013.