ShortList 2019: Two documentaries take top prizes and “No Sanctuary,” by Nathan Knox of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, wins the student competition
“Enforcement Hours,” director Paloma Martinez’s timely documentary short about a hotline for immigrants in San Francisco, won the Industry Prize at TheWrap’s Shortlist Film Festival.
Brian Bolster and Jonathan Napolitano’s “Departing Gesture,” a documentary short centered on a funeral director in the heart of the South confronted by societal shame and ignorance as he handles the bodies of people who have died of AIDS, took the Audience Prize at an awards ceremony held Thursday at the W Hollywood and hosted by Harvey Guillén, star of FX’s “What We Do in The Shadows.”
“No Sanctuary,” a short exploring human nature through the personal lens of those who have been affected by America’s indifference to gun violence, won the top prize in the student competition for University of North Carolina School of the Arts student Nathan Knox. His film received the most votes in an online poll.
“Enforcement Hours” tells the true story of the volunteers at the San Francisco Response Network who field calls from scared immigrants who’ve heard about impending ICE raids as well as angry anti-immigrant citizens who want to berate the hotline volunteers or simply tie up the phone lines.
“We found this film to be emotionally compelling, high stakes, timely and have the DNA of present-day America embedded within it,” a jury of industry veterans and award-winning filmmakers said in a statement. “It uses a clever storytelling device to put a face on an issue — without actually using any faces — and compresses a complicated topic we hear about every day into something we can begin to understand and empathize with.”
“Enforcement Hours” and, “Departing Gesture,” which received the most votes in an online poll over the last two weeks, will each receive a cash prize of $1,000.
The ceremony in late August featured a screening of select finalist films as well as panel discussions with the filmmakers and jury members moderated by Sharon Waxman, editor-in-chief of TheWrap and Steve Pond, awards editor for TheWrap. The evening wrapped up with a reception where industry vets and up-and-coming filmmakers mingled.
Watch the full video above.