Top Films at SI DocFest 2012 Win $28,000+ in Awards
Bay Area Nonprofits and High Schools to Share Awards
SAN JOSE, Calif., May 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Fifth Annual Bay Area Social Issues Documentary Film Contest (SI DocFest) was held at the Camera 12 Cinemas on Saturday, April 28, 2012. Awards totaling $28,050, provided by sponsor and organizer Do Good Docs Corporation, were shared by the top films, the high schools they represented, and their selected nonprofit organizations. This total allowed Do Good Docs to pass the $150,000 mark in cumulative donations in its five years of operations.
A panel of independent judges ranked the thirteen semifinalist films and their combined scores yielded the winners. These judges were Blanche Araj-Shaheen, TV production professional and past host of KTEH's "Video I;" Dr. Felix Gutierrez, Professor of Journalism and Communication at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School and a Bay Area resident; and Michael Whalen, Professor of Communication at Santa Clara University and independent television and film producer.
First place in the Traditional Category was awarded to "My New Red Shoes," a film by Stephen Ruff and Michael Hoffman, which features a nonprofit that provides new shoes and clothing to homeless kids. The $10,000 award was shared with Saratoga High School and Redwood City's My New Red Shoes.
Second place winner was "The Path to Integration," a film by Nikki Hashani and Hannah Hansen that features an organization that provides educational resources for people with disabilities. The $6,000 award was shared with Mountain View/Los Altos High Schools' Freestyle Academy and Abilities United of Palo Alto.
Third place winner was "I Agree with Jennifer," a film by Morgan Walter, Silver Angeli and Connor Northend. This film features a 13-year-old girl that started a fundraising program for the homeless. The $4,000 award was shared with San Jose's Lincoln High School and Elm Street Mission of Santa Cruz.
Additionally, $1,000 was awarded to Kenya Dream of Cupertino, the subject of "Can You Dream" by fourth place winners Rebecca Walton and Janna Wang of Freestyle Academy. Fifth place "Giving Access", by Jessica Scarborough of Presentation High School, won a $750 award for the ACCESS program of Good Samaritan Hospital, San Jose. Finally, $500 was awarded to Alisal Center for the Fine Arts in Salinas, which was profiled by sixth place winners Alex Burns and Parker Levinson of Carmel High School in "The Other Side".
Elise Vanderlip of Freestyle Academy won $2,000 for her first place in the Flex Category with her film "The Human Motor", dealing with the debate between motorized and bicycle transportation in San Francisco.
In recognition of their outstanding accomplishments, the other four Traditional semifinalists were awarded $300 each for their featured nonprofits, while the other two Flex semifinalists received $300 each for their teams.
A special organizer's non-competition award was presented to the Granada High School team of Luis Perez, Spencer Mead and Laura Franklin, for their film "Staying Positive ... Living Strong". Their profiled nonprofit, Team KC of Livermore, received a $500 award.
The Terry McElhatton Memorial Award recognizes the dedication of an educator to the teaching of documentary filmmaking, as represented by the number of films submitted to the SI DocFest. It is named after its original winner and friend of the SI DocFest, the late Terry McElhatton. The winner this year was Tony Palma of Saratoga High School, and a $1,500 award was presented to Saratoga's video production program in Tony's honor.
The event was hosted by SI DocFest co-founder, Loreli Alba, a senior at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts. Co-founder and traditional co-host, Monica Alba, was absent for the first time in five years due to her studies at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Camera Cinemas, the leading independent movie theater company in the South Bay, was an official sponsor and the host of SI DocFest 2012.
Do Good Docs is a non-profit organization located in San Jose, California. Its first project has been the sponsoring and organizing of the Bay Area Social Issues Documentary Film Contest (www.sidocfest.com), while two more initiatives focused on socially responsible filmmaking are in the planning stage.
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