Nicole Nielsen Horanyi‘s The Stranger, James Crump’s Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex Fashion & Disco, and Kate Davis’ short film Traffic Stop have been awarded grand jury prizes at the seventh annual DOC NYC festival.
The Stranger (pictured) was awarded the top prize against eight finalists in the Viewfinders competition, chosen by the programmers for its distinct directorial visions. The film follows a 25-year-old single mother who meets the man of her dreams on Facebook, but soon discovers that the charming man has secrets.
Finalists in the Viewfinders category included Erika Cohn’s The Judge; Lisa Immordino Vreeland’s Love, Cecil; Jason Kohn’s Love Means Zero; Guy Fiorita’s Mole Man; Julia Bacha’s Naila and the Uprising; Anjali Nayar’s Silas; and Daniel McCabe’s This is Congo.
In the Metropolis Competition, which showcases films that exemplify a diverse range of stories in New York City, the jury selected James Crump’s Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex Fashion & Disco. The film serves as a portrait of the influential 1970s fashion illustrator, known for discovering talents such as Pat Cleveland and Grace Jones.
“For rescuing a vital figure in the fashion industry from the background of New York in the 1970s, when the joy and diversity of a new creative vision helped the city emerge from darkness, the Metropolis jury awards Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex Fashion & Disco by filmmaker James Crump,” the jury stated of its selection.
Among the six additional films in this section were Bartle Bull’s Cradle of Champions; Prudence Katze and William Lehman’s The Iron Triangle; Alice Elliott‘s Miracle on 42nd Street; Dustin Sussman and Aaron Rosenbloom’s Oh, Rick!; Peter Gordon’s Still Waters; and David Wexler’s Vigilante: The Incredible True Story of Curtis Sliwa and the Guardian Angels.
The Audience Award, meanwhile, was handed out to Dustin Sussman and Aaron Rosenbloom’s Oh, Rick!, which documents comedian Rick Crom, the long-running emcee at Greenwich Village’s Comedy Cellar. Featured in the film are fellow humorists Ray Romano, Colin Quinn, Sarah Silverman and Wanda Sykes.
The winner for the Audience Award was determined by audience voting at the primary screening of each film in the Metropolis and Viewfinders competitions.
In the Shorts competition, Kate Davis’ Traffic Stop was honored with the grand prize in recognition of its “powerful portrait of a woman at the center of one of America’s most important current issues.” The film exposes a problematic police force through dashcam footage of a routine traffic stop-turned-brutal assault of Breaion King.
Special mention went to Brian Bolster’s Winter’s Watch, about a hotel caretaker embracing the solitude of the off-season.
Traffic Stop now qualifies for consideration in the Documentary Short Subject category of the annual Academy Awards without the standard theatrical run, provided the film otherwise complies with the Academy rules.
Finally, a panel of industry professionals voted to select the winner of this year’s DOC NYC PRO Pitch Perfect Award, recognizing the best pitch for a work-in-progress. This year’s winner was Blue Code of Silence, directed by Magnus Skatvold and Gregory Mallozzi, recounting the story of a New York City policeman’s takedown of the city’s most corrupt police unit.
The eight-day festival, which ran Nov. 9 – 16 in New York, was co-founded by Thom Powers and his wife Raphaela Neihausen in 2010. The festival serves as the largest documentary film festival in America and included 111 feature-length documentaries screened at the festival, along with 85 short films. Included were 23 world premieres and 23 U.S. premieres.
Complete DOC NYC program information can be found here.