Spotlight Award

Every film needs more fans. We want to shine a great big light on films that need to have big audiences and filmmakers from whom we can’t wait to see more. Our Spotlight Award celebrates what’s coming and what’s already here. These films may soon be headed to theatres or DVD or iTunes and Netflix. Whatever their path, you need to seek them out. Previous winners in this category include Jessica Oreck’s Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo (2010), Andrei Ujica’s The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu (2011), Tatiana Huezo Sánchez’ The Tiniest Place (2012), Wojciech Staron’s The Argentinian Lesson (2013) and Cristian Soto and Catalina Vergara for The Last Station (2014).

Toto and His Sisters

Nominated for Spotlight Award

Following his Emmy award-winning observational documentary, Alexander Nanau brings us the astonishing family story of Toto (10), and his sisters, Ana (17) and Andreea (15). During their mother’s imprisonment, Toto passionately learns dancing, reading and writing, while his sisters try...


Nominated for Spotlight Award

Winner of a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, (T)ERROR follows a 63-year-old FBI informant from Brooklyn to Pittsburgh on an assignment to befriend a suspected Taliban sympathizer. Yet first-time filmmaking team Lyric R. Cabral and David Felix...

Frame by Frame

Nominated for Spotlight Award

Under the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, taking a photograph was a crime. After the US invaded, the media ban was lifted. This astonishing documentary follows four photojournalists as they reclaim the right to show and tell the story of their...

Field Niggas

Nominated for Spotlight Award

Set entirely at night, Field Niggas takes us to the corner of 125th Street and Lexington Avenue in Harlem and introduces us to its faces. Not just avoiding but repudiating condescension, director Khalik Allah’s camera, a longtime, welcome presence in...


Nominated for Spotlight Award

A towboat drifts down the Mississippi River, due for the port of New Orleans. The water, the banks, the bright lights of a port ahead; the lure of a coming paycheck and a home-cooked meal. This is the world of...

Almost There

Nominated for Spotlight Award

ALMOST THERE is a coming-of-(old)-age story about 83-year-old Peter Anton, an “outsider” artist living in isolated and crippling conditions whose world changes when two filmmakers discover his work and storied past. Shot over eight years, Almost There documents Anton’s first...

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