Outfest Awards: 'Unsettled' Wins Grand Jury Prize for Documentary; 'Changing the Game' Wins Doc Audience Award
Elegance Bratton, director of Pier Kids, wins Emerging Talent Award
The Outfest Film Festival has wrapped in Los Angeles with the announcement of awards for fiction and nonfiction filmmakers.
The Grand Jury Prize for Documentary Feature was awarded to Unsettled, directed by Tom Shepard. It tells the story of four "LGBTQ refugees who flee their home countries for the safety of the United States," Outfest programmers write. "While Syrian émigré Subhi becomes a public face for the queer refugee movement, Angolan lesbians Cheyenne and Mari, along with Junior, a gender-nonconforming person from the Congo, have a more difficult time navigating the labyrinth of bureaucracy."
The Audience Award for Documentary Feature went to Changing the Game, Michael Barnett's documentary about several transgender high school student athletes who pursue their passion for sport despite facing prejudice from some parents who don't want them competing against their children.
A Documentary Feature Special Mention went to Why Can't I Be Me? Around You, directed by Harrod Blank. The film centers on auto mechanic/drag racer Rusty Tidenberg, a native of Albuquerque, New Mexico who "shocked friends and family by coming out as trans," according to the Outfest program. "Rusty guides us through the aftermath of her transition, as growing acceptance among her straight-talking Southwest community still doesn’t ease her romantic and professional woes."
Elegance Bratton, director of the documentary Pier Kids, won the Emerging Talent Award. A Special Programming Award for Freedom went to Queering the Script, a documentary directed by Gabrielle Zilkha. Vision Portraits, director Rodney Evans' documentary about artists, like him, who are losing their sight, earned the Artistic Achievement Award.
How to Make a Rainbow, directed by Ryan Maxey, won the Audience Award for Documentary Short. Sweetheart Dancers, from director Ben-Alex Dupris, won the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary Short.
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on Deadline.com, CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and in Documentary magazine.