February 1, 2013

David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award Nominees 2012

This award recognizes exceptional achievement in nonfiction film and video production at the university level, and brings greater public and industry awareness to the work of students in the documentary field.

The A-Word
Director/Writer/Executive Producer: Lindsay Ellis
Producers: Kaveh Taherian, Clarinda Morales
University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts

A 20-something middle-class woman finds the decision to have an abortion a much more complex and difficult ordeal than she had anticipated.

La Camioneta
Director/Producer/Writer: Mark Kendall
Producer: Rafael González
Writer: Shannon Kennedy
Executive Producer: Esther Robinson
School of Visual Arts

The journey and transformation of one decommissioned American school bus into a Guatemalan camioneta (a vehicle for transportation) sensitively reveals both the beauty and dangers of everyday life, ultimately becoming a poetic reflection on a world defined by the quest for mobility.

Captive Radio
Director/Producer/Writer: Lauren Rosenfeld
University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism

Every Sunday morning, men and women in captivity deep in the Colombian jungle listen to messages from their families on The Voices of Kidnapping radio show. Captive Radio tells the story of two families that use the unique radio program to communicate with their loved ones held hostage by rebel guerrilla groups. Their stories represent the thousands of people marred by kidnapping in Colombia who desperately seek a way to cope with separation and find it through The Voices of Kidnapping.

Julian
Director/Producer/Writer: Bao Nguyen
Executive Producer: Maryann De Leo
School of Visual Arts

A young man must make a life-changing decision when he is torn between the legacy of his heroic grandfather and the wishes of his anti-war family-a decision he documents through his video diaries.

Meanwhile in Mamelodi
Director: Benjamin Kahlmeyer
Producer: Boris Frank
Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg

Set against the raucous backdrop of the 2010 World Cup, Meanwhile in Mamelodi is a beautifully crafted portrait of a place and one family's daily life inside it. The Mtsweni family lives in the Pretoria township of the title, in the district known as Extension 11. Their world is a ramshackle collection of corrugated tin dwellings and makeshift shops, open sewers littered with debris, and red-earth rectangles filled with soccer-playing children and teens. Seventeen-year-old Mosquito is one of those kids. She studies for math tests, flirts with boys and shops with her best friend as her father, Steven, prepares his "tuck shop" for the promise of cash-flush tourists. Meanwhile, his wife struggles with mental illness. The Mtswenis' lives unfold as the Cup brings new hope to the ravaged town. Extension 11 buzzes with the drone of vuvuzelas, signaling a new South Africa has arrived. Despite the poverty around her, Mosquito insists this is not her parents' country. She is the face of South Africa's future-part of  "a new generation free to do all things."

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