Docs

Awards roundup: “Faces Places,” “Jane” score critics prizes

Faces Places, French director Agnès Varda’s doc collaboration with French street artist JR, and Brett Morgen’s aural documentary Jane are among the documentaries that scored award wins this weekend. Faces Places, which ...
December 11, 2017

Faces Places, French director Agnès Varda’s doc collaboration with French street artist JR, and Brett Morgen’s aural documentary Jane are among the documentaries that scored award wins this weekend.

Faces Places, which world premiered at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, was honored with the Allan King Documentary Film Award by members of the Toronto Film Critics Association.

The 89-minute doc, produced by Ciné Tamaris, follows the legendary Varda, now in her 80s, as she and JR travel across rural France. The people they meet, which include coal miners and cheesemakers, result in large-scale, monochromatic portraits that JR develops and affixes to local buildings.

Faces Places was awarded the 2017 Cannes Golden Eye documentary prize in May, and took home the Grolsch People’s Choice Documentary Award at the 42nd edition of the Toronto International Film Festival in September. Earlier this month, the project took home the Los Angeles Film Critics Association‘s Best Documentary/Non-Fiction Film award and picked up best documentary honors at the 2018 New York Film Critics Circle awards earlier this month.

Meanwhile, the Washington, D.C. Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA) announced Brett Morgen’s Jane (pictured) as the winner of the Best Documentary award on Friday evening (Dec. 8).

The film, produced by National Geographic Studios in association with Public Road Productions, enjoyed its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, picking up the Critic’s Poll for Best Documentary. The doc profiles Goodall’s revolutionary research, her relationship with cameraman and husband Hugo van Lawick, and the Kasakela chimpanzee community that she studied in  the Gombe Stream National Park, located in the western Kigoma Region of Tanzania.

The aural-driven film was recently selected by the National Board of Review as the year’s best documentary, took home the best documentary award at the second annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards earlier this month, and was shortlisted for the Producers Guild Awards.

Both Jane and Faces Places are among the 15 documentaries selected for the Best Documentary Feature shortlist for the 90th Academy Awards. Oscar nominees will be announced on Jan. 23 and the Academy Awards ceremony takes place on March 4 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

At the 2017 British Independent Film Awards on Sunday evening (Dec. 10), director Carol Salter took home Best Documentary honors for her obs-doc Almost Heaven.

Produced by Rock Salt Films, the 75-minute project chronicles the life of a 17-year-old Chinese girl as she practices for her examination to become a mortician at one of China’s largest funeral homes.

Finally, Polish filmmaker Anna Zamecka’s feature-length documentary Communion took the Best European Documentary  prize at the European Film Awards 2017 in Berlin.

Produced by HBO Europe, Wajda Studio and Otter Films, the film follows a 14-year-old girl as she takes on responsibilities of her aging and dysfunctional father, as well as her autistic brother and a mother who lives apart from them, all while trying to reunite the family.

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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