Chilean film ”Nostalgia for the Light” has won the best feature award from the Intl. Documentary Assn.

Award was presented Friday night to director Patricio Guzman at the Directors Guild of America theater.

Film’s focused on the driest place on earth, the Atacama Desert, where astronomers from all over the world gather as the sky is so translucent that it allows them to see to the boundaries of the universe. The stargazing scenes are mixed with those of Chileans searching for the remains of victims of the Pinochet regime

”A country without documentary filmmaking is like a family without a photo album,” said Guzman in his acceptance speech.

”Nostalgia” topped ”Better This World,” ”How to Die in Oregon,” ”The Redemption of General Butt Naked,” and ”The Tiniest Place.”

No IDA finalist is on the 15 docus selected for the Oscar short list.

Low-key ceremonies were hosted by IDA prexy Eddie Schmidt, a banjo-playing Josh Fox and Tiffany Shlain.

IDA’s best short award goes to ”Poster Girl,” directed by Sara Nesson, who thanked film subject, former soldier Robynn Murray.

”Boomtown,” focusing on a small North Dakota town, won the award for Best Limited Series for director/executive producer Rachel Libert.

The ABC News Videosource award went to ”The Pruitt-Igoe Myth” for Chad Freidrichs.

The IDA Humanitas Award went to ”Position Among the Stars.” Producers are awarding prize to the Indonesian family that served as the subject of the film.

”Guanape Sur” won IDA’s David Wolper student documentary award for Janos Richter.

The continuing series award went to PBS’s ”POV” for exec producer Simon Kilmurry.

Les Blank received a lifetime achievement award from Werner Herzog, who said ”I do believe Les Blank should be named a national treasure.”

Previously announced winners who were honored Friday included Danfung Dennis, director of “Hell and Back Again,” for the Jacqueline Donnet emerging filmmaker award; “The Last Mountain” for the Pare Lorentz award; best cinematography to Massimo D’Anolfi for “Il Castello”; best editing to Chris King & Gregers Sall for “Senna”; and best music for Paul Brill for “Better This World.”