February is flying past - the Spirit Awards, Oscars and opening weekend of SXSW all go down in the next three weeks...
It was another weekend awards giving, with THE COVE's Mark Monroe receiving the WGA Documentary Screenwriting award on Saturday night. As we noted, the Writers Guild win completed an unprecedent sweep of the four available guild prizes (Producers, Directors, Editors and Writers) for Louie Psihoyos' film.
On the other side of the planet, the BAFTAs were handed out in London, where MUGABE AND THE WHITE AFRICAN was nominated in the Best British Debut category (the winner was MOON). Although the BAFTAs don't have a Best Documentary category (there's a Facebook group pleading for BAFTA to add one), the British Academy lumps nonfiction nominees in with narrative features - and sometimes, the docs win: MAN ON WIRE and TOUCHING THE VOID both took Best British Film.
Also over the weekend, the Berlin Film Festival wrapped up and presented its prizes. Notably, Lucy Walker's WASTE LAND picked up the Audience Award in the Panorama Section. The film had previously won the Audience prize in the Sundance World Documentary competition. Walker has previously picked up the Panorama Audience Award for her 2006 film BLINDSIGHT.
In addition to WASTE LAND, a number of films that had made their debuts at Sundance had their international premieres in Berlin. Time Magazine's Tristana Moore and Dennis Lim, writing for the NY Times, both wrote about Laura Poitras' THE OATH, as did indieWIRE's Shane Danielsen, who said the film had "the strongest word of mouth by far". The great Meredith Brody (covering Berlin for Anne Thompson's column), the Guardian's Nick James and indieWIRE's Eugene Hernandez all have thoughts about EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP and director/artist Bansky's "appearance" in Berlin.