Luke Lorentzen’s film about a family that attempts to make a living operating a private ambulance in Mexico City took the main prize at the 26th annual Sheffield Doc/Fest Awards, which took place at the Netflix Crucible Studio on Tuesday evening (12 June).
The jury praised Midnight Family as “a true celebration of the potential of independent filmmaking” and also gave a special mention to two other contenders in this category – For Sama, directed by Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts and Midnight Traveller, directed by Hassan Fazili.
For Sama, a doc, which comprises al-Kateab’s own footage of the bombing of Aleppo in 2016, also won the Doc Audience Award, voted for by public and industry audiences throughout the festival. The film is produced by Channel 4 News/ITN Productions for Channel 4 and PBS channel WGBH and investigative doc strand ‘Frontline’.
Other winners included Nikolaus Geyrhalter’s Earth – which won in Doc/Fest’s new international category. The Austrian film maker impressed the jury with his doc on the ecological threat posed by large-scale mining.
Elsewhere, at the 40th annual Banff World Media Festival in Canada, US cable channel Lifetime’s six-part docuseries Surviving R Kelly was named Program of the Year at the Rockies.
Dream Hampton and Tamra Simmons, who were exec producers on the doc also received the A+E Inclusion Award alongside Lifetime SVP Miranda Bryant and R Kelly’s former girlfriend Kitti Jones.
Elsewhere, Showrunner of the Year went to Jed Mercurio, the UK writer behind thriller Bodyguard and Line of Duty, while HBO’s eight-part mini series Sharp Objects won the Grand Jury Prize.
Full List of Winners:
Sheffield Doc Fest
GRAND JURY AWARD
Directed by Luke Lorentzen
Directed by Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts
Directed by Hassan Fazil
Directed by Nikolaus Geyrhalter
Directed by Kristof Bilsen
No Data Plan
Directed by Miko Revereza
TIM HETHERINGTON AWARD SUPPORTED BY DOGWOOF
One Child Nation
Directed by Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang
NEW TALENT AWARD
Directed by Archana Atul Phadke
Directed by Pablo Briones and The Moving Picture Boys
Directed by Garrett Bradley
BEST DIGITAL EXPERIENCE AWARD
Created by Georgie Pinn, Kendyl Rossi
BEST DIGITAL NARRATIVE AWARD
Created by Nyasha Kadandara
DOC AUDIENCE AWARD
Directed by Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts
ALTERNATE REALITIES AUDIENCE AWARD SUPPORTED BY REWIND
PROGRAM OF THE YEAR
Surviving R. Kelly
THE GRAND JURY PRIZE
AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
Paul Feig (“Bridesmaids,” Freaks and Geeks, “Ghostbusters,” “The Heat”)
SHOWRUNNER OF THE YEAR
Jed Mercurio (Bodyguard, Line of Duty)
A+E INCLUSION AWARD
Kitti Jones, survivor and author; Brie Miranda Bryant, SVP and Executive Producer, Lifetime; Dream Hampton, executive producer; Tamra Simmons, executive producer (Surviving R. Kelly)
CANADIAN AWARD OF DISTINCTION
Kristin Kreuk (Burden of Truth, EuroTrip, Smallville)
INNOVATIVE PRODUCER AWARD
Scott Brothers Entertainment Inc.
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER IMPACT AWARD
Justin Simien (Dear White People)
SIR PETER USTINOV COMEDY AWARD
Bill Hader (Barry, Trainwreck, Saturday Night Live)