March 4, 2012

Best Feature Award Nominees 2011

Nostalgia for the Light (*Winner)
Director/Writer: Patricio Guzmán
Producer: Renate Sachse
Atacama Productions S.A.R.L., Blinker Filmproduktion GmbH and WDR, Cronomedia Ltda., Icarus Films

Master director Patricio Guzmán travels 10,000 feet above sea level to the driest place on earth, the Atacama Desert in Chile, where the sky is so translucent that it allows astronomers to see right to the boundaries of the universe. Yet, the harsh heat of the sun keeps human remains intact: those of Pre-Columbian mummies, 19th century explorers and miners-and political prisoners, "disappeared" by the Chilean army after the military coup of 1973. While archaeologists uncover traces of ancient civilizations and astronomers examine the most distant and oldest galaxies, women sift the desert soil for the bones of their loved ones. Melding celestial and earthly quests, Nostalgia for the Light is a gorgeous, moving and deeply personal odyssey.

 

Better This World
Directors/Producers/Writers: Katie Galloway, Kelly Duane de la Vega
Producer: Mike Nicholson
Executive Producers: Julie Goldman, John Battsek, Nicole Stott,Chana Ben-Dov, Sally Jo Fifer/ITVS, Simon Kilmurry/American Documentary/POV
Loteria Films, ITVS, American Documentary/POV, PBS, Bullfrog Films, Cat & Docs

How did two boyhood friends from Midland, Texas wind up charged with terrorism at the 2008 Republican National Convention?Better This World follows the journey of David McKay (22) and Bradley Crowder (23) from political neophytes to accused domestic terrorists, with a particular focus on the relationship they develop with a radical activist mentor in the six months leading up to their arrests. A dramatic story of idealism, loyalty, crime and betrayal,Better This Worldgoes to the heart of the War on Terror and its impact on civil liberties and political dissent in post-9/11 America.

 

How to Die in Oregon
Director/Producer: Peter D. Richardson
Executive Producers: Melody Korenbrot, Sheila Nevins/HBO
Supervising Producer: Jacqueline Glover/HBO
Clearcut Productions in association with HBO Documentary Films

In 1994, Oregon became the first state in the US to legalize physician aid-in-dying. At the time, only two countries( Switzerland and the Netherlands) permitted the practice, but more than 500 Oregonians have since ended their life using the law. The intimate Sundance Award-winning documentary How to Die in Oregon is a powerful, compassionate exploration of Oregon's historic and controversial Death with Dignity Act, which legalizes physician aid-in-dying for some terminally ill patients. The film tells the stories of people who died under the act, and follows the crusade of one woman who honors her husband by fighting for similar choices in the state of Washington.

 

The Redemption of General Butt Naked

 

Directors/Producers: Eric Strauss, Daniele Anastasion,
Executive Producers: Gregory Henry, David Shadrack Smith
part2 pictures

 

The Redemption of General Butt Naked follows Joshua Milton Blahyi-aka General Butt Naked-a brutal African warlord who has renounced his violent past and reinvented himself as a Christian evangelist. Today, Blahyi travels the nation of Liberia as a preacher, seeking out those he once victimized in search of an uncertain forgiveness. Filmmakers Eric Strauss and Daniele Anastasion track his often troubling path up-close, finding both the genuine and disconcerting in Blahyi's efforts, and raising questions about the limits of faith and forgiveness in the absence of justice.

 

The Tiniest Place (El Lugar Más Pequeño)
Director: Tatiana Huezo
Producer: Nicolás Celis
Executive Producers: Liliana Pardo, Henner Hofmann
Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica/Foprocine

This is a story about mankind's ability to arise, rebuild and reinvent itself after surviving a tragedy. It is also a story of a people that have learned to live with their sorrow; of an annihilated town that re-emerges through the strength and deep love of its inhabitants for the land and the people; of a tiny place nestled in the mountains amidst the humid Salvadoran jungle.

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