DOC NYC has expanded its awards in 2019. Juries select films from the Viewfinders, Metropolis and Shorts competition to recognize one film per section for outstanding achievements in form and content. The Short List: Features jury will acknowledge achievements in directing, producing, editing and cinematography, while the Short List: Shorts jury will determine a winner for best directing. Eight filmmaking teams will pitch their work-in-progress projects to panels of industry professionals, who will select the top pitch to win Pitch Perfect. Festival-goers also will vote for an Audience Award for Best Feature. We hope these selections will surprise, inspire and spark debate.

Winners of the 2019 Grand Jury Prize in the Viewfinders and Metropolis competitions receive 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 will also receive a one-week theatrical, awards-qualifying run at the IFC Center.


All new feature films are eligible for the Audience Award, with the exception of those in the Special Events, Short List: Features, and Winner’s Circle sections, as chosen by audience balloting at the main screening of each film. The winner of this Award will receive a new FX9 full-frame camera, courtesy of Sony.


All new short films playing at the festival are eligible for the Short Film jury prize, with the exception of special spotlight programs, DOC NYC U, and Short List: Shorts. The 2019 winning Short film qualifies 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: City Dream, directed by Weijun Chen (2019); A Little Wisdom, directed by Yuqi Kang (2018); The Stranger, directed by Nicole N. Horanyi (2017); 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: Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back, directed by John Carluccio (2019); Barbara Rubin & the Exploding NY Underground, directed by Chuck Smith (2018); Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex Fashion & Disco, directed by James Crump (2017); 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: I Am Not Alone, directed by Garin Hovannisian (2019); Out of Omaha, directed by Clay Tweel (2018); Oh, Rick!, directed by Dustin Sussman and Aaron Rosenbloom (2017); 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 and Rachel Lears (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 at the festival are eligible for this jury prize. Past winners: Bob of the Park, directed by Jake Sumner (2019); In The Absence, directed by Seung-Jun Yi (2018); Traffic Stop, directed by Kate Davis (2017); 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: Recognizes the best pitch given during DOC NYC PRO’s Pitch Perfect Day, based on the pitch itself, as well as the viability of the project, and is determined by industry professionals taking part in the daylong pitch event. Past winners: After Sherman, directed by Jon-Sesrie Goff (2019); Civil War (Or, Who Do We Think We Are), directed by Rachel Boynton (2018); Blue Code of Silence, directed by Magnus Skatvold and Gregory Mallozzi (2017); Untitled Women Leaders of the First Intifada Project, directed by Julia Bacha (2016).


DOC NYC’s Short List for Features puts the spotlight on 15 documentaries representing the best of the year. New in 2019, a jury of documentary filmmakers gathered to recognize the films in this category for directing (features and shorts), producing, editing and cinematography.

DIRECTING AWARD: The Edge of Democracy, directed by Petra Costa (2019)

SHORT DIRECTING AWARD: Stay Close, directed by Luther Clement and Shuhan Fan (2019)

PRODUCING AWARD: American Factory, produced by Steven Bognar, Julie Parker Benello, Jeff Reichert and Julia Reichert (2019)

EDITING AWARD: Apollo 11, edited by Todd Douglas Miller

CINEMATOGRAPHY AWARD: The Elephant Queen, cinematography by Mark Deeble