“October Country” has won the grand jury award at the AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs Documentary Festival.
Winners were announced Saturday at the culmination of the weeklong festival in Silver Spring, Md. Fest screened 122 films from 58 countries.
“October Country,” directed by Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher, documents the multigenerational story of a working-class family coping with poverty, teen pregnancy, foster care, child molestation and war.
The world feature award went to “Mugabe and the White African,” directed by Lucy Bailey and Andrew Thompson, which documents Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe’s land-seizure program.
Short film trophy went to “12 Notes Down,” directed by Andreas Koefoed, which documents a 14-year-old star choir performer after his voice starts changing.
Special jury mention went to “Salt,” directed by Michael Angus and Murray Fredericks, which chronicles photographer Murray Frederick’s journey into the remote salt flats in South Australia.
The music documentary nod went to “Riseup,” directed by Luciano Blotta. The film chronicles three Jamaican musicians as they fight for a place in the overcrowded reggae field.
The Cinematic Vision Award went to “Old Partner,” directed by Lee Chung-ryoul. It follows the relationship between an old farmer in a remote Korean village and his 40-year-old ox. The Witness award went to Landon Van Soest, which examines two multimillion-dollar international aid projects in Africa that may actually be undermining the very communities they seek to help.
The Animal Content in Entertainment grant went to “Cinema Chimp,” by David Grabias.
The Writers Guild of America named writer-directors Nicole Opper and Avery Klein-Cloud as the winners of the WGA Documentary Screenplay Award for their film “Off and Running,” a story focused on an accomplished African-American teenager adopted by Jewish lesbians.