Nostalgia For the Light (pictured), Patricio Guzmán’s documentary that connects the celestial quest of astronomers with the earthly search for remains of the “disappeared” from Pinochet’s regime, has been named the best feature doc at the 2011 International Documentary Association Awards.
The awards presentation, taking place in Los Angeles on December 2, saw the France-Germany-Chile coproduction beat out its fellow nominees Better This World, How to Die in Oregon, The Redemption of General Butt Naked and The Tiniest Place (El Lugar Mas Pequeno).
The best short award winner was Sara Nesson’s Poster Girl, from Portrayal Films, made in assocation with HBO Documentary Films.
Hell and Back Again director Danfung Dennis received the Jacqueline Donnet Award for making a significant impact at the beginning of his career, while Les Blank received the career achievement award.
In the best limited series category, the winner was Boomtown, a Left/Right production that aired on Discovery Channel’s Planet Green network, while the best continuing series award went to PBS strand ‘POV.’
The David L. Wolper student documentary award, which recognizes achievement at the university level, went to János Richter’s Guanape Sur.
Festival favorite Leonard Retel Helmrich’s Position Among the Stars (Stand Van de Sterren) picked up the HUMANITAS Documentary Award, given to a documentarian whose film aims to unify the human family.
Recognizing the best use of news footage in a doc, the ABCNews Videosource award went to Unicorn Stencil Documentary Films’ The Pruitt-Igoe Myth, from director/producer/writer Chad Freidrichs.
Lastly, the Pare Lorentz award, awarded to the film that best illuminates pressing social problems and concerns regarding justice and the natural environment, was awarded to The Last Mountain, from Bill Haney.
The Creative Recognition Award winners were previously announced.