‘Bending the Arc’ wins Doc Fest audience award

Following the close of the 14th annual Homer Documentary Film Festival, last month, Homer Theatre owner Jamie Sutton announced the winners of its annual Doc Fest awards. Based on anonymous voting from about 400 ballots, “Bending the Arc,” a documentary about innovative health care methods in developing nations, won the Forget Me Not Audience Favorite Award. Comments were encouraged from movie viewers and will be shared with the filmmakers. As one ballot submission said of “Being the Arc”: “So impressive! An important story showing once again how key leaders who have a vision and persistence can indeed bend the arc of the world towards justice and health!” Another ballot read, “Wow! I mean, WOW! This is what you go to the Doc Fest for. An inspiring, magnificent story, well told. I left with such a feeling of joy and inspiration.”

The Horned Puffin Grand Jury Award went to “Step,” a film about an all-girls’ charter school in Baltimore that uses a step-dancing team to encourage teamwork, determination and hard work and dedication as a way to transfer those skills to academic success. One viewer wrote of the film, “Uplifting, inspiring, fun, lovely. Shows what personal conviction and passion can do. This is a great way to get students to learn. I couldn’t help but cry.”

The Bald Eagle Best Director Award went to Matthew Heineman for “City Of Ghosts,” a film about citizen journalists from Raqqa, Syria, who continue to tell the story of the horror of ISIS after it took over their town and forced them to flee. One viewer said, “Brutal, haunting, inspiring! Such goodness in contrast to such evil.” Another wrote, “A modern day battle between the pen and the sword. So amazing to imagine how this movie could have been made.” Heineman was nominated for this movie at Sundance and also received the Grand Jury Award at the largest Doc Fest on the world, at Sheffield, England. He previously made Oscar-nominee “Cartel Land,” which was shown at the Homer Festival two years ago.

This year the festival instituted an award for the movie that had the most impact on and educational value for the young people of Homer. The Flex High School Award is granted by the over 30 students from Flex that came to every weekday 2 p.m. show, evaluated these qualities and the “film-maker techniques, style, timing, camera work.” Their choice was “City Of Ghosts.” After intense discussions of the movies they saw, they said that this was the movie that had the most effect on them and from which they learned the most.

The owners and staff of the Homer Theatre gave a big “Thank you” to all who attended and contributed their support and enthusiasm to what they call the “best doc fest north of Montreal” and Alaska’s premier documentary film festival. The 2018 and 15th annual festival opens on Sept. 20.

Results of audience voting on a 5-point scale:

1: Bending the Arc, 4.85

2: Inconvenient, 4.57

3: Score, 4.54

4: Dalai Lama, 4.53

5: City of Ghosts, 4.49

6: Step, 4.30

7: Letters from Baghdad, 4.03

8: Monterey Pop, 3.4

9: Sacred, 2.97

More in Community

Town Crier

Update: Town Crier has been updated with new information on closures at… Continue reading

Lione Rae Bell

Lione Rae Bell was born at 7:30 a.m. on Aug. 26, 2021,… Continue reading

The Homer Police Station as seen Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Cops and Courts

Information about fire, police and troopers is taken from public records consisting… Continue reading

Mama Mona, Lakshmi, Georgia and Lil’ Stripe (Photo courtesy of Alaska Mindful Paws)
Pets of the week: Mama Mona, Lakshmi, Georgia and Lil’ Stripe

How is this possible, folks, that this sweet family of four is… Continue reading

Cooked by a combination of pan frying and steaming, delicate tofu and vegetable dumplings require a delicate hand and patience. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Chubby bites of goodness

Pan-fried and steamed tofu and vegetable dumplings take patience and practice.

Homer High School. (Homer News file photo)
School announcements

School district risk level update and upcoming events

Kim Terpening's "Wetands Daydream" is part of the Homer Drawdown Peatland exhibit showing at the Pratt Museum & Park through Oct. 10, 2021, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Peatlands exhibit at Pratt merges art and conservation

In its exhibits, the Pratt Museum & Park has used artistic expression… Continue reading

The Alaska Grown logo.
Homer Farmers Market: Winding down for the season

Vendors will continue through October, but market booth closes this Saturday.

The masthead for the Homer Weekly News.
Years Ago

Homer happenings from years past

Most Read