Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Look Of Silence was named Best Feature tonight at the 2015 IDA Documentary Awards. A followup to Oppenheimer’s Act Of Killing, the new movie explores a man’s journey to locate and confront the men who killed his brother during anti-communist purges in Indonesia. The Look of Silence won the Grand Jury Prize in Venice this year and was acquired by Drafthouse Films and Participant Media just before on the eve of that fest.
Last Day Of Freedom, directed by Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman, won the award for Best Short. It’s an animated account of Bill Babbitt’s efforts on behalf of his brother Manny, a Vietnam War vet convicted and executed in California in 1999 in the death of an elderly woman in Sacramento. Manny Babbitt was awarded a Purple Heart while on death row.
Oppenheimer’s film was the winning entry in a competitive lineup of nominated doc features including Asif Kapadia’s Amy, about the late singer Amy Winehouse; Stanley Nelson’s The Black Panthers: Vanguard Of The Revolution; and Listen To Me Marlon, Stevan Riley’s film that incorporated years of audio recordings to create a compelling portrait of actor Marlon Brando. Additional competition was The Russian Woodpecker, in which director Chad Garcia follows Ukrainian artist Fedor Alexandrovich’s journey to find the cause of the Chernobyl nuclear plant meltdown which the artist lived through as a child; plus What Happened, Miss Simone? Liz Garbus’ portrait of singer and civil rights activist Nina Simone.
Listen To Me Marlon won the award for best writing by Stevan Riley and co-writer Peter Ettedgui. The Russian Woodpecker received the nod for cinematography, by Artem Ryzhykov. Kurt Cobain: Montage Of Heck took the award for best editing by Joe Beshenkovsky and Brett Morgen.
Best Of Enemies, Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville’s look at the 1968 debate between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley Jr., was honored with the best music award for its original score by Jonathan Kirkscey.
Grammy-nominated comedian Tig Notaro hosted the ceremony held at the Paramount Theatre on the studio lot in Hollywood.
Gordon Quinn, who as founder and artistic director of Kartemquin Films produced, directed and/or been cinematographer on more than 55 films across five decades, was honored with the Career Achievement Award. The longtime activist was integral to the creation of ITVS, public access TV in Chicago; in developing the Documentary Filmmakers Statement of Best Practice in Fair Use; and in forming the Indie Caucus to support diverse independent voices on Public Television.
Chaz Ebert, whose husband Roger Ebert was the subject of Quinn’s film Life Itself, and Haskell Wexler, influential cinematographer, producer and director, presented Quinn with the award.
Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos received the Pioneer Award in recognition for the streaming service’s steadfast and groundbreaking support for making and showcasing nonfiction programming.
Tony Tabatznik and the Bertha Foundation (www.berthafoundation.org) received the Amicus Award in recognition of their work supporting the non-fiction media landscape. The foundation has supported over 200 films, including the Oscar-winning Citizenfour (2014) and the Oscar-nominated films Virunga (2014), Dirty Wars (2013) and The Square (2013).
The Courage Under Fire Award went to Matthew Heineman in recognition of conspicuous bravery in the pursuit of truth. Director Kathryn Bigelow presented the award. Heineman’s Cartel Land covers a pair of modern-day vigilante movements – Dr. Joe Mireles’ citizen-led fight against a violent drug cartel wreaking havoc in Mexico and the Arizona Border Recon led by Tim “Nailer” Foley, which is striving to prevent Mexico’s drug wars from crossing into the United States.
Complete list of winners follows:
The Look of Silence
Director: Joshua Oppenheimer
Producer: Signe Byrge Sørensen
Drafthouse Films and Participant Media
Last Day of Freedom
Directors: Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman
Pare Lorentz Award
How to Change the World
Director: Jerry Rothwell
Creative Recognition Award Winners
The Russian Woodpecker
Cinematography by: Artem Ryzhykov
Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck
Edited by: Joe Beshenkovsky and Brett Morgen
Listen to Me Marlon
Written by: Stevan Riley
Co-Writer: Peter Ettedgui
Best of Enemies
Original Score by: Jonathan Kirkscey
ABC News VideoSource Award
Best of Enemies
Directors: Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville
Best Curated Series
Executive Producers: Sally Jo Fifer and Lois Vossen
Executive Producers: Simon Kilmurry and Chris White
Best Limited Series Award
The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst
Executive Producer: Jason Blum
Co-Executive Producer: Zac Stuart-Pontier
Produced by: Andrew Jarecki and Marc Smerling
Best Episodic Series
Executive Producers: David Gelb and Andrew Fried
Best Short Form Series
Do Not Track
Executive Producer: Hugues Sweeney
National Film Board of Canada, Upian, Arte, and BR
David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award
Director: Benjamin Huguet
The National Film and Television School