DOC NYC presented six awards and two honorable mentions in 2018. 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 and the IF/THEN Northeast Competition. Festival-goers also voted for an Audience Award. We hope these selections will surprise, inspire and spark debate.

Winners of the 2018 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 2018.

The winner of the audience award receives a screening as part of the IFC Center’s Stranger Than Fiction screening series in 2018.

The 2018 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).

The winner of the 2018 Pitch Perfect Award receives an edit suite at Wheelhouse Creative for eight weeks.

The winner of the IF/THEN Northeast American Pitch Competition received up to $20,000 in completion funding, free post-production services (provided by Sim NY), and the opportunity to participate in Tribeca Film Institute’s IF/Then Shorts distribution initiative.


VIEWFINDERS COMPETITION: Films in this section are chosen for their distinct directorial vision. Past winners: 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: 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: 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 (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: 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. Winner: 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).

IF/Then Shorts Northeast American Pitch Award: Introduced in the 2018 festival, in partnership with Tribeca Film Institute, the IF/Then Shorts Pitch at DOC NYC invited six filmmaking teams to pitch their short documentary projects focusing on stories of the American Northeast.  Past winner: Mizuko (Water Child), directed by Kira Dane and Katelyn Rebelo