From an intitial list of sixty films nominated by six of the world’s most esteemed film festivals, the LongShots festival curators narrowed this down to a shortlist of six documentaries. All shortlisted films will be available to watch for free on the BBC Reel website from 8 September. The audience can vote for their favourite, and a jury of industry experts will award the Jury prize. The deadling for voting is 19 September, and the festival winners will be announced on 21 September.
Meet the jurors who will be awarding this year’s Jury prize.
Sara Dosa, US director and producer, is one of the most acclaimed female documentary filmmakers today with her works having received Emmy and Independent Spirit Award nominations, as well as a Peabody win for her 2016 film Audrie & Daisy.
Her recent multi-awarded documentary Fire of Love – which captures the otherworldly journeys of volcanologists Katia and Maurice Kraff − was named “The Greatest Lava Story Ever Told” by Rolling Stone magazine.
The films that Dosa feels most connected to are the ones that allow her to fully immerse herself in unfamiliar journeys through space and time. “Even if nothing ‘happens’ but I get to exist there, it can ignite curiosity and emotion that I didn’t necessarily feel before or know existed,” she says. “My favourite films are the ones that teach me that it’s possible for new colours to exist in the world.”
After this period of global lockdown, Dosa believes that many people are interrogating what it means to journey. For a while, mobility came at a premium, circumscribed by power and privilege, she says. Now in the wake of the pandemic, she hopes to be inspired by filmmakers who shine a light on the tension within our new understanding of what it means to traverse great distances.
With so many structural injustices exposed worldwide during the pandemic, she believes now is a critical time for documentary cinema to perform its age-old role of interrogating systems of power and, ultimately, catalysing positive change.
“I feel like there’s a lot of broken connections and potential for new growth everywhere. And I think that non-fiction work has the power to illuminate both the brokenness and the regeneration all at once.”