'October,' 'Mugabe' win Sterling Awards

Silverdocs Documentary Festival concludes Monday

Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher's "October Country" won the Sterling U.S. Feature Award at Silverdocs: The AFI-Discovery Channel Documentary Festival, which concludes Monday in the Washington, D.C. area. The Sterling World Feature Award went to Lucy Bailey and Andrew Thompson's "Mugabe and the White African."

"October" documents the multi-generational story of a working-class family coping with poverty, teen pregnancy, foster care, child molestation and war.

"Mugabe" explores, through the lens of a 74-year-old white farmer, Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe's controversial land seizure program, which intended to re-distribute white-owned farmland.

The award for a short film went to Andreas Koefoed's "12 Notes Down," the portrait of a 14-year choir performer coping with the fact that his voice is changing.

A Special Jury mention went to "Salt," directed by Michael Angus and Murray Fredericks, which chronicles photographer Murray Frederick's journey into the remote salt flats in South Australia.

The music documentary award was presented to "Riseup," directed by Luciano Blotta, a portrait of three Jamaican musicians.

The Silverdocs Cinematic Vision Award went to "Old Partner," directed byLee Chung-ryoul, which looks at the relationship between an old farmer, living in a remote South Korean village, and his 40-year-old ox.

The Silverdocs Witness Award in honor of Joey R. B. Lozano was given to "Good Fortune," by Landon Van Soest, which examines two multi-million dollar international aid projects in Africa.

The winner of the Animal Content in Entertainment Grant was "Cinema Chimp," directed by David Grabias, which profiles the animal star Cheeta.

The Writers Guild of America, West and the Writers Guild of America, East named writer-director Nicole Opper the winner of the WGA Documentary Screenplay Award for her film "Off and Running," a look at race, identity, and family focusing on an accomplished African-American teenager adopted by Jewish lesbians.

The Audience Award winners will be announced on Monday.