This has been a good week for two documentary filmmakers. On Tuesday, Malik Benjelloul (“Searching for Sugar Man“) and David France (“How to Survive a Plague“) made the semi-finals at the Oscars. And on Friday, they were feted by the International Documentary Assn. (See complete list of winners here.)
Benjelloul’s film, which traced his journey to find 1970s singer Sixto Rodriguez, was named Best Feature Documentary while France, who detailed the 1980s rise of the ACT UP movement to combat the AIDS epidemic, won the Jacqueline Donnet Emerging Filmmaker Award.
Both have also picked up other precursor prizes. On Wednesday, “Sugar Man” won Best Documentary from the National Board of Review. And, on Monday, France’s film edged out “Beasts of the Southern Wild” to claim Best First Feature from the New York Film Critics Circle.
Last year’s Oscar winner for Best Documentary Short, “#Saving Faces#” won this same award here.
Best Continuing Series was “American Masters,” the long-running PBS show which details the lives of creative types, while Investigation Discovery’s “On Death Row,” from 2008 lifetime achievement winner Warner Herzog, won Best Limited Series.
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This year’s Career Acheivement Award went to Oscar-winning producer Arnold Shapiro (“Scared Straight”).