Last weekend marked the inaugural edition of Doc.Boston, a new annual documentary film festival that will be featuring work from around the world by up and coming artists, showcasing innovative independent cinema that invites viewers to learn and ponder.
The home of the new festival is the Kendall Square Cinema in Cambridge. Since opening its doors in September 1995, it has become one of Landmark Theatres' most successful venues. It also ranks among the most beloved and architecturally intriguing homes for independent film, foreign language cinema, restored classics and documentaries in the nation. The Kendall Square Cinema has been host to many special events, including local premieres, benefit screenings and film festivals. Additionally, the theatre complex has won numerous awards, making it one of Boston's cultural epicenters.
This year's program included fifteen wonderful short documentary films hailing from the U.S, the U.K., Spain, Germany, and Canada. Jury members having cast their votes, Doc.Boston is happy to share with you today the 2021 award winners:
Best Feature Documentary Film: Missing in Brooks County (United States) by Lisa Molomot and Jeff Bemiss. “Two families search for their loved ones who went missing in the vast ranch lands of Brooks County, Texas, the site of more migrant deaths than anywhere else in the country. On their journey, they meet vigilante ranchers, humanitarian activists, Border Patrol search and rescue teams, and others locked in a proxy version of the national immigration debate.”
Best Short Documentary Film: The Daydreamers (United Kingdom) by Thomas Renckens. “What if you're addicted to your own fantasy? The Daydreamers takes a closer look at Maladaptive Daydreaming, a psychological condition discovered by professor Eli Somer. Protagonists Agatha and Jessica meet Somer on-camera, providing a moving testimony of their experience living a life cut off from reality.”
Best US Documentary Film: Jayro (United States) by Wojciech Lorenc. “When a seven-year-old Texas boxer steps into the ring to face his next opponent, the pressure of the fight is not the only thing on his mind. The film is constructed as an allegory for the challenges faced by people of color and immigrants in the US.”
Best Experimental Documentary Film: 294 notes (Germany) by Julie Gaston. “294 notes - taken from an anonymous online survey where people were asked about personal fears. It shows the subjective sensation of anxiety in its different dimensions and absurd proportions.”
Best Extreme Short Documentary Film: Unraveled (Spain) by Isabel Emily Katherine Wiegand, Asil Atay, Arden Colley, Kellie Fay. “A young woman relives a pivotal moment that embodies her relationship with her mother.”
Best New England Documentary Film: FuturePhobia (United States) by Henry Dane. “What does the future hold? According to "the experts": “We'll be zooming around in private helicopters and booking vacations on Mars.” “We'll be annihilated by nuclear war, a new Ice Age or global warming.” Cultural theorist Rocco Giuliano takes on prognosticators, provocateurs, and professors -- and their fanatical ravings -- stoking our hopes and fears, keeping us in a perpetual state of..."FuturePhobia"...in this outrageous and hilarious look at the knots we tie ourselves in over the dreadful Things To Come!”
The inaugural edition of Doc.Boston marks the start of a promising new story. Its second edition will be taking place on July 16-17 2022. A new Call for Entries will be launched on FilmFreeway today: https://filmfreeway.com/DocBostonDocumentaryFilmFestival.
About Doc.Boston Doc.Boston is part of Doc.World, a global network of Documentary Film Festivals, with festivals in Sydney, Berlin, London, Ghent, and Boston. As a celebration of the cinematic and visual arts, these documentary festivals will bring diverse international films to our community and showcase the best regional and international filmmakers.