Big Sky Documentary Film Festival Announces Award Winners

Missoula, Montana USA, Feb 13-20, 2009.

Missoula, Montana USA, Feb 13-20, 2009.


Big Sky Documentary Film Festival

Best Feature: Rough Aunties by Kim Longinotto

Artistic Vision: In A Dream by Jeremiah Zagar


Best Short: Bronx Princess by Musa Syeed & Yoni Brook

Artistic Vision: The First Kid to Learn English From Mexico by Peter Jordan


Best MiniDoc: Jennifer by Stewart Copeland

Artistic Vision: The Secret Life of Beards by Melanie Levy


Big Sky Award: Red Gold by Travis Rummel & Ben Knight


Programmer's Choice Awards

Best Editing: Crude by Joe Berlinger

Best Cinematography: Ashes of American Flags by Brendan Canty & Christoph Green

Best Music Doc: The Choir by Michael Davie


Missoula, Montana - The Big Sky Documentary Film Festival is pleased 

to announce its festival award winners, each of which will be 

screened during a special encore presentation Thursday, February 19, 

at Missoula's historic Wilma Theatre.


Award Screening Schedule


Fri. Feb 20, 2009 at 7 pm - In A Dream, Jennifer & The Secret Life of Beards

Sat. Feb 21, 2009 at 7 pm - Red Gold; Bronx Princess; The First Kid 

to Learn English From Mexico,

Sun. Feb 22, 2009 at 8 pm  - The Choir & Rough Aunties


Thanks go to the distinguished nine-member Festival Jury whose 

members selected the 2007 award winners:


Documentary Feature Jury:

Dawn Smallman (Ridin' & Rhymin'), Richard Beer (Film Action Oregon/ 

Hollywood Theatre, Portland) , Brett Ingram (Monster Road, 



About the Best Feature Awards, the jury said, "We chose to award this 

film Best Documentary Feature because the bravery of the film's 

characters is mirrored by the unflinching courage of the filmmaker's 

vision. In Rough Aunties, Director Kim Longinotto's camera elegantly 

captures compassion and humanity in a brutal world.



We chose to award this film the Artistic Vision Award because of its 

seamless integration of style and content. Director Jeremiah Zagar's 

cinematic artistry equals the stunning artwork created by his father, 

the primary subject of In A Dream."




Best Documentary Short Jury:

Mike Bonfiglio (Crude, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster), Kristen 

Fitzpatrick (Women Make Movies)



About The First Kid to Learn English From Mexico, the jury said The 

Artistic Vision Award goes to a film that manages to say a great deal 

about a number of subjects in a very short time and with 

extraordinary storytelling, sound and images. This 

beautifully-crafted, lyrical, almost impressionistic work shows the 

world of a fascinating individual through his own eyes, as well as 

those of the world around him. It was difficult to decide which of 

the two awards this film deserved most, but the more we thought about 

the phrase, "artistic vision," the easier it was to figure out.


Best MiniDoc Jury

Joe Beringer (Crude, Brother's Keeper), Brendan Canty (Ashes of American Flags)


Big Sky Award Jury:

Chris White (POV), Anna Rau (Montana PBS)



The programmers of the festival also awarded three special awards to 

film which exemplified the artistic spirit of nonfiction filmmaking. 

The films were selected from the  143 selections in this year's 



Special thanks to Sponsors of the 2009 Big Sky Documentary Film 

Festival, including HBO Documentary Films, Montana Film Office, The 

Washington Foundation,  The International Documentary Association, 

Montana Arts Council, The Canadian Consulate, Montana PBS, Montana 

Public Radio, KGBA, Rockin' Rudy's, Missoula Art Museum, First 

Security Bank, NorthWestern Energy, The Independent, Sony, Media 100, 

Edgewater/Doubletree, Best Western Grant Creek Inn, Red Lion Inn 

Missoula, Campus Inn, Big Sky Brewery, Ten Spoon Winery, Thomas 

Kemper Soda, Porta Brace, Docurama, Vann's Electronics.


For more information call (406) 541-FILM or see visit

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