NOMINATIONS: Documentary of the year

Did You Wonder Who Fired The Gun?

Suicide – The Ripple Effect

This documentary feature sets out to combat the global crisis of suicide. The film highlights the journey of Kevin Hines, who at age 19, attempted to take his life by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge, survived, and is now a motivational speaker. By sharing stories of survival and recovery from people who have attempted to end their life, the film has become a key tool in the fight for suicide prevention worldwide.

Minding The Gap

Debut filmmaker Bing Liu’s documentary Minding the Gap is a coming-of-age saga of three skateboarding friends in their Rust Belt hometown hit hard by decades of recession. New York Times critic A.O. Scott described it as “more than a celebration of skateboarding as a sport and a subculture. With infinite sensitivity, Mr. Liu delves into some of the most painful and intimate details of his friends’ lives and his own, and then layers his observations into a rich, devastating essay on race, class and manhood in 21st-century America.”

Did You Wonder Who Fired The Gun?

Documentary maker and narrator Travis Wilkerson confronts past and present manifestations of white supremacy and racial injustice by zooming in and investigating the story of his great-grandfather, S.E. Branch, a white shopkeeper, who in 1946, shot Bill Spann, a black man who was in his store. Branch was charged with first-degree murder, but never went to trial. Punctuated with clips from To Kill A Mockingbird and Wilkerson’s dogged interviews with relatives from his hometown of Dothan, Alabama where the crime took place, the film draws an intricate portrait of the dark racism of America’s Deep South.

Dark Money

Kimberley Reed directs and produces this documentary feature which follows investigative journalist John S. Adams as he sets out to shine a light on the institutions who are anonymously contributing to election campaigns in Montana in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010 which permitted corporations and unions to make expenditures in connection with federal elections.

Mantangi / Maya / M.I.A

Stephen Loveridge’s documentary about the singer and rapper Maya Arulpragasam, better known as M.I.A, looks at the pop artists’ career when she confronted the president of Sri Lanka and tried to use her status to garner humanitarian intervention over the atrocities suffered by the country’s Tamil minority population.

What You Going To Do When The World Is On Fire?

In 2016, unarmed 37-year-old African-American Alton Sterling was shot and killed by Baton Rouge police officers. His death sparked public outrage and resulted in mass protests, both in his home town and across the US, and added yet another name to the Black Lives Matter campaign. Roberto Minervini’s documentary paints a portrait of members of a Louisiana community in the aftermath of the Baton Rouge shooting.

Lead image: Did You Wonder Who Fired The Gun? (Grasshopper Film)

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