DOC NYC presented five awards and four honorable mentions in 2016. Three juries selected films from the Viewfinders, Metropolis, and Shorts programs to recognize for outstanding achievements in form and content. Six filmmaking teams pitched their projects to panels of industry professionals, who selected the top pitch to win Pitch Perfect. Festivalgoers also voted for an Audience Award. We hope these selections will surprise, inspire, and spark debate.

Winners of the 2016 Grand Jury Prize in the Viewfinders and Metropolis competitions received a deliverables package provided by Technicolor-PostWorks New York, a comprehensive post facility offering data and film workflows, multi-format  conform, color grading, sound mixing, and digital cinema.

They also received a one-week theatrical, awards-qualifying run at the IFC Center in 2017.

The winner of the 2016 Audience Award and Pitch Perfect Competition received a top of the line camera and accessories generously provided by festival partner SONY.



The 2016 winning Short film qualified for consideration in the Documentary Short Subject category of the Annual Academy Awards® without the standard theatrical run (provided the film otherwise complies with the Academy rules).


VIEWFINDERS COMPETITION: Films in this section are chosen for their distinct directorial vision. Past winners: The Islands and the Whales, directed by Mike Day (2016); Motley’s Law, directed by Nicole Horyani (2015); Cairo Drive, directed by Sherief Elkatsha (2014); A World Not Ours, directed by Mahdi Fleifel; Informant, directed by Jamie Meltzer (2012); Scenes of a Crime, directed by Grover Babcock, Blue Hadaegh (2011); Windfall, directed by Laura Israel (2010).

METROPOLIS COMPETITION: Films in this section exemplify the diverse range of stories in New York City. Past winners: Off the Rails, directed by Adam Irving (2016); Class Divide, directed by Marc Levin (2015); Homme Less, directed by Thomas Wirthensohn (2014); The Pleasures of Being Out of Step, directed by David L. Lewis (2013); Radioman, directed by Mary Kerr (2012); Girl With Black Balloons, directed by Corrine Van Der Borch (2011); To Be Heard, directed by Rolan Legiardi-Laura, Edwin Martinez, Deborah Shaffer and Amy Sultan (2010).

AUDIENCE AWARD: Features in the Viewfinders and Metropolis sections are also eligible for this award, chosen by audience balloting at the main screening of each film.  Past winners: Death by a Thousand Cuts by Jake Kheel and Juan Mejia Botero, (2016); Left on Purpose, directed by Justin Schein, co-directed by David Mehlman (2015); The Hand That Feeds, directed by Robin Blotnick (2014); Web, directed by Michael Kleiman (2013); Rafea: Solar Mama, directed by Mona Eidaief, Jehane Noujaim (2012); First Position, directed by Bess Kargman (2011); To Be Heard, directed by Roland Legiardi-Laura, Edwin Martinez Deborah Shaffer and Amy Sultan (2010).

SHORTS COMPETITION: All short films playing in the festival are eligible for this jury prize. Past winners: Bedside Manner, directed by Corinne Botz (2016); Pink Boy, directed by Eric Rockey (2015, tie); The Surrender, directed by Stephen Maing (2015, tie); Mirror Image, directed by Danielle Schwartz (2014); Softening, directed by Kelly O’Brien (2013); Flo, directed by Riley Hooper (2012).

PITCH PERFECT COMPETITION: A new award this year at DOC NYC recognizing the top pitch from our Pitch Perfect Day at DOC NYC PRO. Winner: Untitled Women Leaders of the First Intifada Project, directed by Julia Bacha (2016).