POSTED ON 4/20/2012
Above, sculptor David Facchini hands the Best Documentary Feature award to juror Dave Watson as fellow juror Warren Cohen introduces the award.
Our esteemed juries deliberated over the course of several brunches, wracking their brains, searching their consciences, and eating bagels until they came to the following decisions about the best of the best.
Best Music Video
Goths! On the Bus, directed by Karen and Jaimz Asmundsen (Canada).
Juror John McNaughton called it “A really fun, funny and original vision done for no bucks. I loved the juxtaposition of exotic goth characters with the otherwise mundane activities of riding the bus to the mall and a trip to Sears. The music is great as are the visuals. Context is everything.”
Best Short Documentary
Music Man Murray, directed by Richard Parks.
Juror Keirda Bahruth, director of last year’s Best Documentary Feature Bob and the Monster, said “I absolutely loved Murray. I thought he was a great character with a rich and interesting story. He was funny, complex and charismatic. I thought his son provided an excellent extension of his character and I loved hearing about his wife. The filmmaker chose exactly the right story to give me an idea of who she was in a very short amount of time. The telling of the entire story was very consistent. What was set up in the beginning was answered in the end. I also thought the cinematography was well done. Lots of interesting frames and composition. Great music choices, humor and heart.”
Best Short Fiction
Narcocorrido, directed by Ryan Prows (USA). Juror Jon Langford, founding member of the Mekons and visual artist, said “Narcocorrido is like a great short story crammed into a superior music video and we are required to think fast as a tragedy rolls past us. The morality and motives of all concerned are both desperate and fundamental and it ends with a song—an amazing song.”
Best Feature Fiction
Sons of Norway, directed by Jens Lien (Norway). Juror Allison Anders, trailblazing indie film director, said “The film is like a great pop song: something that makes you feel inexplicably happy, with a beautiful tinge of melancholy and loss. There are moments of such exuberance, and also things I had never seen done so well before. It was exquisite. The other thing about it, in particular for this festival and prize, music was key to the character: the music helped him forge his own rebellion, it helped heal him the loss of his mother, and helped him grow up and was with him through everything. That is rare to find in a movie—to have the music be so vital to the characters.”
Best Feature Documentary
Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet, directed by Jesse Vile (USA/UK).
Juror Warren Cohen, executive producer for VH1 Rock Docs, called it an “inspirational film with some sly humor, but most of all a unique testament to the power of music.” Fellow juror Dave Watson, co-founder of MusicFilmWeb, singled out for praise the film’s depiction of Becker’s family ties, including “the best father-son relationship since The Courtship of Eddie’s Father.”
Each winner receives an original sculpture by Chicago artist David Facchini.
Special Jury Award
Charles Bradley: Soul of America, directed by Poull Brien (USA).
Juror Dave Watson said “It’s odd to be ‘discovered’ as a musical artist at 62. Charles Bradley: Soul of America captures both the struggles of the singer’s life and the new hope on the horizon. The CIMMfest jury believed the debut film of director Poull Brien should be recognized given its ability to capture Bradley’s raw emotion as well as some excellent musical sets.”