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story.lead_photo.caption Submitted photo ON A ROLL: "United Skates" was presented an honorable mention in the category of Best U.S. Documentary Feature during the 27th annual Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, which closed out Saturday at the Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa.

The Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival has released the list of winners for this year's festival.

Awards were given to films in the U.S. Documentary, International, Sports, Southern and Short Feature categories, as well as an Audience Award for overall documentary at the festival, a news release said.

For Best U.S. Documentary Feature, "Time For Ilhan" took the title while "United Skates" received honorable mention.

The jury said prior to the announcement that "United Skates" was due honorable mention for "the focus it brings to a shrinking but enduring U.S. past time, its relevance to the broader conversation about zoning and racism, and for its exquisite cinematography."

The jury noted the dramatic structure and cinematography and "its timeliness and message of diversity on all levels," as reasons for honoring "Time For Ilhan."

"A Woman Captured" was named Best International Feature for its "revelation of a shocking social ill," though not intrinsically a social issue film, according to the jury.

"It has a lot more on its mind -- namely, the unwritten covenant between filmmaker and protagonist, one defined both by trust, empathy and honesty and by the necessary distance a filmmaker maintains at the service of artistic integrity," the jury said in the news release. "In this film, the director breaches that distance in deference to the moral implications of not doing so. The films pulls and pushes you in many directions -- dropping you, from the onset, into a disorienting environment, then immersing you in a scenario that is both deeply engrossing and horrific in its circumstances. And yet, despite the dread and despair, a faint ray of hope and resilience emanates from the protagonist."

Best Sports Feature went to "Wrestle," which the jury said illuminated "global truths and displayed tremendous patience, allowing the viewer to lean in and engage with both flawed and remarkable people at once."

"This film tells the story of Alabama teenagers attempting to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles through one historic wrestling season, but it's also the story of how sports can transcend mere competition and play an active role in coping with the world's ills," the jury said.

This film also received the Audience Award.

"The Gospel of Eureka" was awarded Best Southern Feature for "celebrating the tolerance and love among the glorious eccentrics of Eureka Springs, Arkansas, a very special town where the gay and Christian communities live in evident harmony, in a lovely and joyful humanist examination," the jury said.

For its "astonishing visuals and empathetic and well-crafted story of a humbly courageous cancer survivor chasing his dreams," the jury named "The Last Storm" Best Short Film in the festival.

"We had a wonderful year showcasing some of the best documentaries of 2018," Jennifer Gerber, executive director of the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, said in the release. "This year's winners represented a range of world views including female empowerment, overcoming insurmountable obstacles and finding the strength of love, compassion and understanding within humanity. These films showed us that there is still work to be done, but that we can continue to have faith in one another and build a better tomorrow."

In addition, director Brett Morgan and Sally Jo Fifer, president and CEO of Independent Television Service, were honored with the 2018 Impact Awards, presented to individuals who "have made a positive, valuable impact in the documentary world through their extensive contributions, artistic innovation or fearless dedication." Billy Redden, who was the special guest during opening night's screening of "Hillbilly" was presented the 2018 "Unsung Hero Award." Actress Missi Pyle served as this year's festival honorary chair.

Local on 10/31/2018

Print Headline: Film fest honors best documentaries with awards

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