Docs

SXSW ’17: “The Work” takes home top doc prize

The 2017 edition of the SXSW Film Festival unveiled its Jury Award winners at a ceremony in Austin, Texas, on Tuesday (March 14). In the Documentary Feature Competition, Jairus McLeary and ...
March 15, 2017

The 2017 edition of the SXSW Film Festival unveiled its Jury Award winners at a ceremony in Austin, Texas, on Tuesday (March 14).

In the Documentary Feature Competition, Jairus McLeary and Gethin Aldous’ The Work took home the Grand Jury prize. Set inside a single room in Folsom Prison, the doc follows three men from outside as they participate in a four-day group therapy retreat with level-four convicts.

“There is this program that exists, that works. We just want to get this film out there as much as we can, to be seen, to be discussed, to be debated, for the men and their courage,” said Aldous, in an interview with realscreen earlier this year.

READ: Healing behind bars in “The Work”

Miao Wang’s Maineland received Special Jury for Excellence in Observational Cinema. Filmed over three years, the film follows two teenagers of China’s wealthy elite as they settle into a boarding school in blue-collar rural Maine. The film is part two of a trilogy Wang is filming that looks at the changing sociocultural environment of contemporary China.

READ: Miao Wang tackles distorted perceptions in “Maineland”

Nanfu Wang was given Special Jury Recognition for Excellence in Documentary Storytelling for her doc I Am Another You, where she explores the meaning of freedom while following a young drifter named Dylan Olse. Intrigued by his rejection of societal norms for a life of intentional homelessness, Wang — who served as director, producer, cinematographer and editor on her sophomore feature film — spent four weeks documenting Olsen’s journey across America by living alongside him, on the streets.

READ: Nanfu Wang’s unexpected exploration into mental illness

In the documentary short category, Wes Hurley and Nathan M. Miller’s Little Potato  took home hardware for their film that centers around Seattle-based artist Wes Hurley and the obstacles he faced as a gay man growing up in Russia, including his escape to America after his mother becomes a mail-order bride.

 

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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