‘Maine’ takes top Munich docu prize

Latvian helmer Seleckis takes 2nd place

BERLIN — Documentary filmmakers from around the globe were present at the 15th Annual Munich Intl. Documentary Film Festival over the weekend to exhibit their pics and accept awards.

U.S. entry “Belfast, Maine,” Frederick Wiseman’s documentary look at a once-bustling, now impoverished Maine town, was awarded the top prize of $10,000 from pubcaster Bayrischer Rundfunk at the Saturday event. The regional pubcaster is one of the festival’s main sponsors.

“Jaunie Laiki Skersiela,” from Latvian helmer Ivars Seleckis, was runner-up, winning a $2,500 prize from sound and lighting outfit Licht und Ton. The film looks at a community in the Latvian city of Riga, and how post-socialist changes have altered the lives of its citizens.

The Viewers’ Award went to Deborah Hoffman and Frances Reid’s U.S.-made “Long Night’s Journey Into Day.” The docu, which also grabbed a jury honor at the Sundance Film Festival, looks at the reconciliation process between victims and perpetrators in South Africa.

Among German entries shot in Bavaria, the Bavarian state subsidy body FilmFernsehFond Bayern bestowed a $2,500 award to Alexander Riedel’s “B-Movie” and $1,250 prizes on “Mbube, die Nacht des Loewen,” from Stefanie Sycholt, and Irini Karistianou’s “Vom Dunkel ins Licht.”

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