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‘Jesus’ looks Sterling to Silverdocs

Ewing, Grady take top prize

“Jesus Camp,” Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s look at a summer camp for young evangelical Christians, won the Sterling Award for feature film Saturday at the fourth annual Silverdocs, the D.C.-area documentary fest held by American Film Institute and Discovery Channel.

Ewing and Grady will receive $10,000 cash, $10,000 in-kind services from Video Labs and $5,000 in film stock from Kodak.

Feature jury — comprising IFP exec director Michelle Byrd, Arte France’s Christoph Jorg and Steven Markovitz, director of South Africa-based docu fest Encounters — also awarded an honorable mention to “Chairman George.” Directed by Daniel Cross and Mila Aung-Thwin, docu profiles George Saponidis, a Greek-Canadian with a passion for singing in Chinese.

Kudos for the fest’s three other sections were determined by separate juries.

The Sterling Award for short film, accompanied by a $5,000 cash prize, was given to Wojciech Kasperski’s portrait of a Siberian family, “Seeds.” Special mentions went to Marie-Josee Saint-Pierre’s “McLaren’s Negatives”; James S. Clauer’s “The Aluminum Fowl”; and student filmmaker Kiri Davis’ “A Girl Like Me.”

Ruby Yang’s “The Blood of Yingzhou District,” about a young Chinese orphan with AIDS, topped the Docs Rx competition for films dealing with global health issues. Arunas Matelis’ “Before Flying Back to the Earth” received a special mention.

Music documentary honors went to Stefan Berg and Magnus Gertten’s “Rolling Like a Stone,” a look at the Rolling Stones through the eyes of ’60s Swedish rock bands the Namelosers and the Gonks.

Janice Jensen received the $10,000 Animal Content in Entertainment Grant for her docu “Cougars on the Edge.”

Audience awards were handed out Sunday to Frank Popper’s feature “Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore?” and short docs “The Sheriff of Gay Washington,” helmed by John W. Poole, and Davis “A Girl Like Me.”

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