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“Dear Mandela” on top @ Brooklyn Film Festival

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012 by

The Brooklyn Film Festival wrapped up this Sunday with a back-to-back helping of Brooklyn-themed documentaries followed by the 2012 Decoy edition award ceremony at indieScreen cinema. With the support of industry-related sponsors, the festival was able to award the 2012 winners with up to $57,000 in prizes and film services.

The documentary Dear Mandela, directed by Dara Kell and Christopher Nizza, took home the highest honors with the Grand Chameleon Award, as well as being awarded Best Documentary. The film follows the journey of three friends refusing to be evicted from their vast Durban shantytowns, showcasing their rise as leaders in a growing social movement as well as the coming of age of South Africa. These awards follow a successful run at the Durban International Film Festival where they received the Best South African Documentary prize as well as an African Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary.

The South African documentary beat out Best Narrative Feature winner, Old Dog, for the grand prize. Another international release, the Tibetan film directed by Pema Tseden has gained a tremendous amount of acclaim from critics following it’s US premiere last weekend. The film will go on to screen at the Northside Film Festival next week in Brooklyn.

There was also a good showing of support for Brooklyn-themed films with three documentaries about Brooklyn-specific issues winning awards. Director of Brooklyn Castle Katie Dellamaggiore received the Best New Director award and the back-to-back Brooklyn-themed docs My Brooklyn directed by Kelly Anderson, and “Gut Renovation” direction by Su Friedrich shared the Audience Award for Best Documentary. Clearly a crowd favorite, these films directly address the issues present in today’s Brooklyn from devastating over-development to the horrifying reality of public school funding. Brooklyn Castle will be screening at the Nantucket Film Festival next week.

Stay tuned for more highlights!.

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