The 18th annual Sheffield Doc/Fest drew to a close on Sunday, June 12, 2011, with the 2011 Special Jury Award going to Steve James for The Interrupters, a stirring documentary about a Chicago-based group of ex-gang members who are now particpating in an experimental anti-violence pact called CeaseFire. The film follows Ameena Matthews, an ex-gang enforder and daughter of a gang leader, and other Interrupters for a year, as they step in to mediate conflicts before they explode into violence.
The Sheffield Doc/Fest 2011 Special Award Jury, a panel consisting of members affiliated with Artificial Eye Film, Sundance Film Institute and POV, pointed out that Steve James "delivers an epic and ultimately uplifting film which chronicles the difficulty of breaking generational cycles of violence, and the potential for redemption which lies within every one of us."
The jury also gave a special mention to Alma Har'el's Bombay Beach, commending the film for its "lyrical craft, humanity and sheer originality."
Check the full list of Sheffield Doc/Fest 2011 winners.