37th Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival - April 12-28, 2018DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION

This juried competition recognizes national and international documentary filmmaking that exemplifies the very best in presentation, diversity, innovation and powerful storytelling. A $2500 cash prize is awarded to the chosen film.




  • George Amponsah
    George Amponsah is an award-winning filmmaker who first started taking pictures in the 1980s as a photographer and Super 8mm film enthusiast. A graduate of the UK’s prestigious National Film and Television School, his feature credits include The Importance of Being Elegant (2004) and The Fighting Spirit (2007.) His most recent feature length documentary, The Hard Stop, examines the true story behind the UK riots of 2011 following the death of Mark Duggan, who was shot and killed whilst being arrested in a ‘hard stop’ procedure by armed police. Amponsah now regularly works as a tutor at the National Film & Television School and The Met Film School and has recently been a tutor at Docubox, a film academy set up for aspiring filmmakers in Nairobi, Kenya
  • Dean Otto
    Dean Otto is the founding Film Curator at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, KY where he launched a new film department and oversaw the opening of a 142-seat state-of-the-art cinema in 2016. Minnesota’s film community remembers him as having spent over two decades at the Walker Art Center, working various positions from Program Manager to Associate Curator, Film/Video. With the Walker’s Moving Image Department he organized many interdisciplinary programs such as the Summer Music & Movies series, which involved commissioning local bands to create new scores for silent films. He also created a number of partnerships with area universities to deepen the audience engagement with film. In addition, Otto co-curated MNTV, an annual series of work by Minnesota-based filmmakers on Twin Cities Public Television, and curated the Walker’s Queer Takes program after serving as the programmer for the Minneapolis/St. Paul LGBT Film Festival for several years for Minnesota Film Arts.
  • Mimi Plauché
    Mimi Plauché is Programming Director of the Chicago International Film Festival, the longest-running competitive film festival in North America. She has been at the Festival for 11 years and oversees the programming of the annual Festival as well as the organization’s year-round film series.

    Before joining the Chicago International Film Festival, she was working on a doctorate in Japanese literature and film at the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Michigan. She is the recipient of Fulbright-Hays, Japan Foundation, and Social Science Research Council fellowships. Plauché has previously worked in documentary and short subjects programming for Cinema/Chicago and, while living in Japan for 8+ years, she worked for the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival. She has served on juries and has also worked as a programming advisor for a number of film festivals.