A long night at Los Angeles' DGA Theater - punctuated by warm and sometimes biting humor from host Morgan Spurlock and an ace acceptance speech by Pioneer Award winners Alan and Susan Raymond - ended with the International Documentary Associations Documentary Feature Award going to Lucy Walker's WASTE LAND.
It was the first time that the IDA had opened up its final voting to its general membership (nominees were determined by blue ribbon panels), which gave an edge to the audience pleasing WASTE LAND over its fellow nominees EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP, THE OATH, STEAM OF LIFE and SWEETGRASS.
In fact, it's the latest in a long series of awards - including numerous Audience prizes - for WASTE LAND, which chronicles what happens when Brazilian artist Vik Muniz creates large scale portraits of garbage dump pickers using materials found at the dump. We've long been forecasting a Best Documentary Feature Oscar nomination for the film, which was shortlisted last month. WASTE LAND also received the IDA's Pare Lorentz Prize, one of several awards whose winner was announced prior to the event.
The award for Documentary Short went to Kiran Deol's WOMAN REBEL, which is also on the Academy's short list in its category.