40th Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival - May 13-23, 2021Documentary Feature Competition

This juried competition recognizes national and international non-fiction filmmaking that exemplifies the very best in presentation, diversity, innovation, and powerful storytelling in the documentary form.

Captains of Zaatari by Ali El Arabi, Egypt
The Claw by Philip Harder, USA
End of the Line: The Women of Standing Rock by Shannon Kring, USA
The Monopoly of Violence by David Dufresne, France
Searchers by Pacho Velez, USA
‎Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America by Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler, USA
Writing with Fire by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh, India
Wuhan Wuhan by Yung Chang, Canada

VIEW COMPETITION FILMS

 

Winner: Wuhan Wuhan
Director: Yung Chang | China

JURY STATEMENT

Documentary Award

The Winner in the 2021 MSPIFF Documentary Competition is Wuhan Wuhan, directed by Yung Chang. In documenting the impact of a soul-crushing global health crisis through the daily turmoil of a metropolitan hospital in Wuhan, China, Wuhan Wuhan exudes the deepest humanity and empathy. The protagonists, separated from home and family and toiling long hours amidst the ongoing trauma of loss, are committed to not only saving lives but, in one case, bringing one into the world. Wuhan Wuhan is both an elegy to those we lost and an homage to those who persevered.

Special Jury Prize

The 2021 MSPIFF Special Jury Prize has been awarded to The Claw, directed by Phillip Harder. This was a film made with all the verve and bombast of the world it inhabits. A lively and entertaining portrait of professional wrestler Baron von Raschke, aka "The Baron," The Claw was a welcome opportunity to lose oneself in a story about the passion and pain of pursuing a dream.

 


Jurors

Chris Hastings - Executive Producer and Editorial Manager, WORLD Channel, WGBH
Chris Hasting’s passion for television started at age 10 when he produced Kids News, a daily news show at his elementary school outside Philadelphia. After college, he became a founding team member in the development and production of Black Entertainment Television’s award-winning BET Tonight with Tavis Smiley. At WGBH, Chris has worked with children television’s program ZOOM and the WGBH Lab, an innovative incubator for up-and-coming filmmakers. Chris joined WORLD Channel in 2011, where he co-created the award-winning documentary series America ReFramed, Local, USA, and Doc World, and provided editorial oversight to the other original series on WORLD. Series in Chris’s portfolio have won many awards, including a Peabody Award and an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award.

Nicole London - Producer
Nicole London is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker and Producer of Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool, a major international documentary on the legendary musician Miles Davis. Recent credits include American Masters: Sammy Davis Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me, The Talk: Race in America, and 16 short films now playing in the Segregation Gallery of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture. Two recent films were both nominated for 2016 NAACP Image Awards: American Masters: August Wilson: The Ground On Which I Stand and Firelight Media’s The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, the latter of which was also nominated for a 2016 Primetime Emmy.

Tom White - Editor, Documentary Magazine/International Documentary Association
Tom White is editor of Documentary magazine, the print and online publication of the International Documentary Association (IDA); he has held this position since June 2000. Documentary has been honored with a Western Publications Association Maggie Award nomination for best publication in the Communication, Advertising and The Arts/Trade category. White has written for several other publications, including POV Magazine, Cinemontage, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, IndieWire, The Independent Film & Video Monthly and Release Print. He was also editorial manager for the American Documentary Showcase, a project of the US State Department, and he served as a delegate expert with the Showcase, heading delegations to Israel and Jordan in 2009 and India in 2011.