ST. GEORGE — The “Docutah International Documentary Film Festival” wrapped up its seventh season Saturday night with a ceremony announcing the winners of its 2016 Raven Awards.
This year’s festival offered 68 films from 30 countries with a wide array of topics from the familiar to the startling, some ripped from the headlines and others uncovering hidden gems about exotic subjects.
In its closing news release, Docutah quotes its Executive Director Phil Tuckett as follows:
In this, the seventh year of DOCUTAH, the Festival continues to grow in popularity with both the international filmmaker community and the audience. It attracts some of the most talented independent documentary filmmakers from all over the world. What we found very significant an inspiring this year was the number of very young filmmakers who submitted films of exceptional quality.
As we screen prospective Festival entries, we are looking only at quality. What we found as we began to interact with those accepted to the festival was that we have a lot to be proud of in our young people. There is certainly no need for despair for the condition of the world as these talented artists continue to hone their talents and let the world ponder the important subjects they bring to light.
“The diversity and quality of the films made finalizing the judges’ choices very challenging,” Oscar winning filmmaker, Kieth Merrill, who served as master judge for this year’s festival, said “There were so many really provocative films, beautifully photographed and brilliantly directed that it made our work enormously difficult but also a delightful chore.”
2016 Raven Award Winners
- Best Picture — “Off the Rails”
- Best Foreign Film — “Free Speech, Fear Free”
- Best Direction — “Off the Rails”
- Best Editing — “Maire’s Journey”
- Best Cinematography — “Voyagers Without a Trace”
- Best Music — “Shu-De!”
- Best Picture — “The 100 Years Show”
- Best Direction — “The 100 Years Show”
- Best Editing — “The 100 Years Show”
- Best Cinematography — “Joshua Tree: Threatened Wonderland”
- Best Music — “Arc of Justice”
- Best Student Picture — “The Search”
“DOCUTAH brings tremendous energy to the campus of Dixie State University at the beginning of each school year,” Executive Producer for Docutah and Dean of the College of the Arts, Dr. Jeffery Jarvis, said. “Students, faculty, community members and visitors alike flock to the Festival to interact with filmmakers and each other and share the excitement and inspiration of this remarkable genre of art. With DSU’s recent acquisition of the DSU Film Studio and the launch of the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Film, we expect that DOCUTAH will continue to grow in prestige and popularity.”
Most of the films that were screened at Docutah will be available at the Dixie State University library in 2-3 weeks. Some of the films are restricted by distribution rights and will not be available at the library. The Dixie State library can be used by the general public if they sign up for a library card and pay a small fee, said Della Lowe, Docutah public relations consultant.