Festivals, Events and Awards

Doc accolades at the Grammys; Thessaloniki fattens up its Greek doc program; a DocuDay for Oscar films
February 27, 2003

The crowd-pleasing doc Standing in the Shadows of Motown was recognized in a non-film event: the 45th Grammy Awards. The soundtrack for Paul Justman’s film garnered awards for best compilation soundtrack album for a motion picture, television or other visual media (contributors such as The Funk Brothers also receive the award) and best traditional R&B vocal performance (for ‘What’s Going On’, performed by Chaka Khan and The Funk Brothers).

The Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival (February 28 to March 9) is kicking off its fifth edition. In order to highlight homegrown talent, the festival has introduced a competition section for Greek docs and has programmed tributes to Greek doc-makers Giannis Smaragdis, Maria Xadjimichali Papaliou and Apostolos Krionas. Another tribute has been devoted to Michael Moore and will feature five of his films, including Bowling for Columbine and Roger and Me. Running concurrent to the festival will be the International Documentary Market, which 36 buyers from 18 different countries have registered to attend. For details, visit //

The International Documentary Association, based in Los Angeles, U.S., and the Sundance Channel in New York will co-present the 21st annual DocuDay, a screening program for the factual films currently nominated for an Academy Award. The event takes place on March 22 in Beverly Hills and includes discussions with the filmmakers after each screening. Among the titles nominated are: Prisoner of Paradise, by Malcolm Clarke and Stuart Sender; Spellbound, by Jeffrey Blitz and Sean Welch; and shorts The Collector of Bedford Street, by Alice Elliott and Mighty Times: The Legacy of Rosa Parks, from Bobby Houston and Robert Hudson.

A new section devoted to docs was unveiled at this year’s Director’s View Film Festival, which ended last week in Stamford, U.S. The grand prize was awarded to Cynthia Wade for Shelter Dogs; the other doc winners were Alex Halpern’s Nine Good Teeth (first prize, long) and Alice Elliott’s The Collector of Bedford Street (first prize, short). In addition, Albert Maysles was the recipient of the DVFF’s first Documentarian Award. See // for more details.

The deadline for submissions to the 2003 IFP Los Angeles Film Festival (June 11 to 21) is February 28 for full-length documentary features. Visit // for details.

The AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival (November 6 to 16) has issued a call for entries to its 2003 edition. The deadline for early submissions is June 6, with a final deadline for feature films, including documentaries, of July 18. Award categories include an international documentary competition jury award and a doc audience award. For more information and a submission form, go to //

During the Australian International Documentary Conference in Byron Bay, the Australian Film Commission announced the launch of Skin, Kin and Country: Stories from Black Australia, a series of 25-minute documentaries directed by indigenous filmmakers. The docs will air on Aussie terrestrial SBS Television later this year. They are: The Foundation, directed by Troy Russell; Ngangkari Way, by Erica Glynn; We of Little Voice, by Peter Hodgson; Me and You, by Mark Bin Bakar; and Big Girls Don’t Cry, by Darrin Ballangarry. The five docs comprise Series 5 of the National Indigenous Documentary Fund.

The 23rd annual American Film Market (February 19 to 26) ended yesterday in Santa Monica, U.S. Organizers reported a slight increase in overall attendance to 6,827, including film and TV distributors, producers and directors.

Young U.K. filmmakers were lauded in the inaugural First Light Film Awards in London on February 26. Funded by the UK Film Council, the awards were handed out to 7 to 18-year-old digital filmmakers. The winner for best documentary was a film entitled Sabrina’s Bollywood.

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