Film Festival

Winners of the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival 2016


We present the list of winners of the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival that took place from July 9th – 11th in Melbourne (Australia).

Supreme Jury Award

A Billion Lives by Aaron Biebert – US | 2016 – 92 min.

The United Nations’ World Health Organization expects a billion people will die prematurely from smoking this century. The products their doctors recommend are rarely effective and many are trapped. A new vapor technology was invented to give smokers a successful way to quit. But it was quickly demonized, and even banned in many countries.

A perfect storm is brewing between smokers trying to quit, government regulators, and health charities funded by the powerful pharmaceutical industry. Director Aaron Biebert travelled across four continents interviewing doctors, scientists, and others working to save a billion lives. What he found was profound government failure, widespread corruption in the public health community and powerful subversion by big business.

Best Director

Aaron Biebert for his film A Billion Lives – US | 2016 – 92 min.

Best Indigenous Feature or Short

The Drover’s Boy
The Drover’s Boy by Margaret McHugh – Australia | 2015 – 10 min.

The Drover’s Boy is a hybrid-documentary based on a ballad by Australian bush legend, Ted Egan. It retells the story of a forbidden love between a white Drover and his Aboriginal wife in the 1920’s outback Australia.

Best Music Documentary

Todd Who? by Gavin Bond – Australia | 2015

“Todd Who?” is a unique rockumentary that explores a fan’s 30 year obsession and devotion to underappreciated rock musician and technological pioneer Todd Rundgren.

Best Australian Documentary

The coffee man
The Coffee Man Film by Jeff Hann – Australia | 2015 – 70 min.

THE COFFEE MAN is an intensely personal, observational documentary that will have you biting your nails, standing up and cheering; and wishing that you, too, could experience Sasa’s Holy Grail: the perfect cup of coffee.

Best International Documentary

Goodnight Brooklyn - The Story of Death
Goodnight Brooklyn – The Story of Death by Audio by Matt Conboy – US | 2015

This documentary brings viewers inside the last underground venue for music and art in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, a neighborhood once defined by its cultural contributions to the city of New York.

Best Victorian Feature or Short

Inside Fighter
Inside Fighter by Nick Barkla – Australia | 2015 – 51 min.

An underdog Melbourne boxer, Frank ‘The Italian Stallion’ Lo Porto, gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fight for the world title in America against an undefeated superstar.

Best International Short Documentary

Waterlilies by Tanya Doyle – Ireland | 2015

In their 60s, seven unlikely sages Kay, May, Nuala, Kathleen, Carol, Ann and Brigid have decided to learn how to swim. Taking themselves out of their comfort zone, they reveal what it is that drives them to keep striving for more, for survival, understanding, belonging and for purpose.

Best Australian Short Documentary

You Better Take Cover2
You Better Take Cover by Harry Hayes – Australia | 2015

Men At Work’s 1983 hit single, ‘Down Under’ is deeply rooted in Australian culture. Labeled the de facto National anthem, it undoubtedly resonates with a nation. Though the song itself is familiar to most, not commonly known is that 35 years after the band’s success, they were sued for copyright infringement by music publishing company, Larrikin Music.

Best Editing

Beep – A History of Video Game Sound by Karen Collins – Canada | 2015 – 51 min.

From Sound Chips to the Symphony! No longer just the “ugly stepchild” of the games industry, Beep traces the history of game sound from the Victorian penny arcades through pinball and to today’s massive industry of soundtracks and live music. With clips from over 80 interviews with game composers, sound designers, voice actors and audio directors from around the world, Beep is the definitive documentary on game sound.

Best Cinematography

Sustainable by Matt Weschler – US | 2015

America is facing a food crisis driven by profitability and a lack of consumer education. While the window to transforming our heartland continues to shrink, passionate individuals have emerged who provide hope that the health of our nation might still remain within our grasp.

Best Comedy / Mockumentary

Viva la vincent
VIVA LA VINCENT by Ashleigh Nicolau – Australia | 2015 – 10 min.

A record-breaking attempt to gather as many people with the same name in the same place at the same time – Vincent’s in the CITY OF VINCENT (located in Western Australia).

Best Art Documentary

Andre Villers a Lifetime in Images
Andre Villers a Lifetime in Images by Marketa Tomanova – Czech Republic | 2015

One of the last true great photographer and visual artist awaiting to be fully discovered.

Best Avante Garde / Innovation Award

Bullied To Death
Bullied To Death by Giovanni Coda – Italy | 2015

Bullied to Death depicts a 24 hour performance against homophobia through the real stories of teenagers worldwide that experience severe bullying episodes at school, from their own families and on the web, as a result of their coming out about their sexuality

Best Health and Enviornmental Documentary

Sustainable by Matt Weschler – US | 2015


Plastic in my water by Allard Faas – Holland

During a boat ride on the Amsterdam canals film maker Allard Faas’ 3 year old daughter asks if it is wrong of a bird to make its nest out of plastic. Bakelite, Nylon, the PET bottle, plastic once seemed a blessing. In this film Faas researches why plastic has turned into a problem we can’t control.

Audience Choice

Spoke by Em Baker
Spoke by Em Baker – Australia | 2015 – 57 min.

Three young commuter cyclists set out to bike from San Francisco to Orlando, interviewing crash victims, urban planners, activists and law enforcement to investigate what makes the U.S the most dangerous developed country for cyclists. Shot on location, the trio travel to each interview by bicycle, with cameras, tripods and microphones strapped to their front-racks. Carrying the stories of fellow cyclists killed on American roads, SPOKE is an adventure-tale that looks to empower users of the humble bicycle.

Wildcard Award

Coalville Gold
Coalville Gold by Ross Bolidai – United Kingdom | 2015 – 29 min.

Once a hardened criminal, Stevie Gold finds redemption and celebrity status through bare knuckle boxing, but when he breaks his hand, loses the love of his life, and is challenged to a rematch against a far more experienced boxer, he has only his family and himself to lead him to victory.

weg van de kerk

Weg van de Kerk – chUrchroad by Robin vogel – Holland | 2015

Club church is a subculture within Amsterdam nightlife. This cruise club offering freedom, unprecedented sex and apparent absence of judgement has the film director constantly pushing his own personal boundaries, bringing out a side of him he didn’t know existed.

To know more about the festival you can see the FESTIVAL PROFILE or go to the official website HERE.

AFF would like to remember readers that the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival is part of our partnership program (See all partners). We want to thank them for their support and wish you guys have a great edition.

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