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Tribeca Film Festival 2009 Documentary Film Awards Winners

A List of Documentary Films Winning Awards at the Tribeca Film Festival 2009


The Tribeca Film Festival recognizes excellence in documentary filmmaking with awards for Best Documentary Feature, Best New Documentary Filmmaker, Best New York Documentary and Best Documentary Short. In addition, there are special jury mentions. This is a list of the winners in all categories.

'Racing Dreams' - Best Documentary Feature

Courtesy: Tribeca Film Festival
Marshall Curry's documentary is a gripping tale about young go-karters who one day dream of driving in the big leagues of NASCAR. "We reacted with unanimous, unquestioned affection for Racing Dreams," the jurors stated, "and found it a completely compelling, entertaining film of incredible quality.”

'Defamation' - Special Jury Mention

Courtesy: Tribeca Film Festival
Yoav Shamir's documentary analysis of anti-Semitism existing today has earned him a Special Jury Mention in this year's festival. Examining the issue from a wide variety of angles, the accolade for this open-minded film is not surprising. The jurors stated that the award is for "lifting the veil on a subject so openly discussed."

'Fixer: The Taking of Ajmal Naqshban' - Best New Documentary Filmmaker: Ian Olds

Courtesy: Tribeca Film Festival
Olds' film about the murder of a kidnapped Afghani hired by news organizations to work in Afghanistan is a mesmerizing tale, as horrifying as it is fascinating. According to the jurors, the work is “a film about an unsavory world, and its unsavory characters, which through its superb direction, shines a light on a world unfamiliar to many Americans."

'Partly Private' - Best New York Documentary

Courtesy: Tribeca Film Festival
Documentarian Danae Elon's look at the practice of circumcision in the modern-day world, especially modern-day New York, is a gripping look at the ancient practice, as well as so much more. "There were moments in this film that brought the whole world back to New York," the jurors said. "They were uniquely New York moments."

'home' - Best Documentary Short

Courtesy: Tribeca Film Festival
A touching work that deals with how Hurricane Katrina affected the house he grew up in, Matthew Faust's home seems a natural pick to win the Best Documentary Short award. According to jurors, "It tells a post-Hurricane Katrina story in a new, inventive and poignant way.”

'The Last Mermaids' - Special Jury Mention

Courtesy: Tribeca Film Festival
The runner-up for Best Short Doc is this fantastic short, a film about female deep-sea divers off of the Jeju Island. The film's glimpse into a lost world is particularly eye-opening, and the jurors said that "the filmmaker provides a glimpse into a closed sisterhood—proud of their traditions, yet accepting the disappearance of their way of life."

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