Film about inappropriate content ‘cleaners’ takes Raven Award at Docutah; other winners announced

Stock image of "The Cleaners," which won the Raven Award at the 2018 DSU Docutah International Film Festival in St. George, Utah | Image from movie poster, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — At the conclusion of the ninth DSU Docutah International Documentary Film Festival, winners of the 2018 Raven Awards were announced in 16 categories.

The Cleaners” won the Raven for Best Feature, and “The Happiness Machine” and “The Farmer” tied for Best Short.

See full list of Raven Award winners at end of article.

According to the Docutah website, “The Cleaners” tells the story of five “digital scavengers,” among thousands of people outsourced from Silicon Valley, whose job is to delete “inappropriate” content of the net.

In a parallel struggle, we meet people around the globe whose lives are dramatically affected by online censorship. A typical ‘cleaner’ must observe and rate thousands of often deeply disturbing images and videos every day, leading to lasting psychological impacts. Yet underneath their work lie profound questions around what makes an image art or propaganda and what defines journalism.

This year’s Docutah festival showed 68 films from 14 countries covering a vast variety of topics from war to rural healthcare to skateboarding to music or the environment.

“Each year DOCUTAH grows and increases in value and prestige,” Docutah director of marketing and public relations Della Lowe said in a media release. “The opening this year of the DOCUTAH Red Cliffs Theaters was a resounding success in adding to the comfort of our attendees. The compact location allowed attendees and filmmakers to mingle in an intimate environment, allowing for a very full Festival experience.”

Read more: Docutah brings the soul to new location with classic cars, a gospel choir and free drive-in movie

Phil Tuckett, executive director of the Docutah Festival and professor of digital film at Dixie State University, said when it came to choosing the Ravens, choosing is not always an easy task.

“The films chosen for this year were far and away some of the best we have ever seen,” Tuckett said. “All 68 which were chosen to be included from those submitted were worthy competitors and we honor them all.”

As part of Dixie State University’s academic component, Docutah’s mission is to inspire a global connection through independent documentary films and audience access to filmmakers. Docutah celebrates the art of documentary filmmaking, connecting DSU and the community to the world. In addition to the annual film festival, Docutah offers year-round programs providing creative, cultural and educational engagement.

Dr. Jeffery Jarvis, dean of the DSU College of the Arts, called the festival and the resources it provides for the students “an invaluable part of their education.”

“For the DSU College of the Arts to have not only a Digital film program degree but also an international documentary film festival as part of its offerings for our students and community alike is unique and sets Dixie State apart,” Jarvis said.

Complete list of 2018 DSU Docutah International Documentary Film Festival award winners

Best Feature
“The Cleaners” – Directors: Hans Block, Moritz Riesewieck

Best Short (tie)
“The Happiness Machine” – Director: Rebecca B. Blumhagen
“The Farmer” – Director: Dan Jongbloed

Audience Favorite – Feature
“The Illuminators” – Director: Antti Haase

Audience Favorite – Short
“Connection in Crisis” – Director: Dennis Zaidi

Best Foreign Film
“Genesis 2.0” – Director: Maxim Arbugaev

Emerging Filmmaker-Feature
“Minding the Gap” – Director: Bing Liu/Producer Dian Quon

Emerging Filmmaker-Short
“Lotte: That Silhouette Girl” – Director: Carla Patullo, Elizabeth Beecherl

Humanitarian award – Feature
“The Providers” – Directors: Anna Moot-Levin, Laura Green

Humanitarian award – Short
“Minden Replying” – Director: Maik Ludemann

Environmental Award
“Bird of Prey” – Director: Eric Liner

Filmmaker Passion Award (tie)
“The 5th Sun” – Directors: Cristiana Pecci, Matteo Maggi
“A Sniper’s War” – Director: Olya Schechter

President’s Award
“A Serenade for Fanny” – Director: Monique Marmodee

Dean’s Award
“How They Got Over” – Director: Robert Clem

Mayor’s award
“Survivors” – Director: Folke Ryden

Director’s Award, Short
“Ferryman at the Wall” – Director: David Freid

Director’s award Feature
“Rape of Recy Taylor” – Director: Nancy Buirski


Audience Favorite – Feature: “3000 Cups of Tea,” “Sea Change”

Audience Favorite – Short: “Mrs. Schneider”

Audience Favorite – Student Short: “Hidden Life”



Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.