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Doc Edge 2011 festival winners

Mark McNeill and Italian co-director Luigi Cutore ’s story of the cultural clash of a series of photos has seen them scoop the Doc Edge Festival 2011’s top New Zealand award.

I Am The River, which documents the 2001 chance discovery of previously unknown photographs of 19th century Whanganui Maori, received the Festival’s Best New Zealand Feature award at last night’s gala. The feature also picked up awards for Best Cinematography and Best Editing in the New Zealand Competition.
McNeill  and Cutore  were held off from winning the coveted Best New Zealand Director award by Paul Trotman, who directed the bittersweet tale Donated To Science, following the lives of those who have decided to donate their body to medical research.

New Zealand director Paora Joseph also had a great evening; his short film Hiding Behind The Green Screen earned him the Best New Zealand Short award alongside being touted as an emerging documentary talent as he scored Best Emerging NZ Filmmaker.

In the International Competition, Rob Lemkins and Thet Sambath’s Enemies of the People won back-to-back awards. The film took out Best Feature, with Into Eternity earning a special mention. Into Eternity also took the award for Best Editing.

Enemies of the People also took Best Director for its gripping tale of discovering the horrors of the Khmer Rouge. However they had to share the director’s gong with Shlomi Eldar who was named joint winner for Precious Life, about the cultural divide in Israel.
The Best Cinematography award went to the man who had to focus on with two naked men in a Finnish sauna in Steam of Life. The Best International Short award went to The Mystery of The Flying Kicks.
The Outstanding Contribution to NZ Documentary Industry award, given last year to Gaylene Preston, went this year to two films which have performed both domestically and internationally, the Oscar-shortlisted This Way of Life and NZ’s highest earning documentary The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls.

The Doc NZ Trust also announced a new initiative, time-limited documentary filmmaking competition Docu72, about which early information can be found here.
The winners at last night’s ceremony were:
International Competition
Best Short Documentary
The Mystery of the Flying Kicks
Special Mention: Prayers for Peace

Best Feature Documentary
Enemies of the People
Special Mention: Into Eternity

Best Editing
Into Eternity

Best Cinematography
Steam of Life

Best Director
Rob Lemkin/Thet Sambath (Enemies of the People)
Shlomi Eldar (Precious Life)

Best On The Edge/Outstanding Achievement
Leave Them Laughing
New Zealand Competition
Best Short Documentary
Hiding Behind The Green Screen
Special Mention: Landscapes at the World’s Ends

Best Feature Documentary
I Am The River

Best Emerging NZ Filmmaker
Paora Joseph (Hiding Behind The Green Screen)

Best Director
Paul Trotman (Donated to Science)

Best Cinematography
I Am The River

Best Editing
I Am The River

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