Silverdocs Festival Names 'Our School' Best U.S. Feature

"Family Instinct" is honored as best world feature at the event, held in Silver Spring, Md.

The weeklong AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs Documentary Festival in Silver Spring, Md., presented its Sterling Award for best U.S. feature to Our School, a study of gypsy children in a Romania school, directed by Mona Nicoara and Miruna Coco-Cozma, on Saturday.

Special jury mentions also went to The Bully Project, directed by Lee Hirsch, and When the Drum Is Beating, directed by Whitney Dow.

Andris Gauja’s Family Instinct, which looks at a troubled Latvian family, won the Sterling Award for best world feature, while Leonard Retel Helmrich’s Position Among the Stairs was given a special mention.

The Sterling Award for best short film was given to Guanape Sur, directed by Janos Richter, and an honorable mention went to Alex Camilleri’s Still Here.

Other awards included: The Cinematic Vision Award, given to Life in A Day, directed by Kevin MacDonald;  the WGA Documentary Screenplay Award, given to The Loving Story, written by Nancy Buirski and Susie Ruth Powell; the inaugural Whole Foods Market and Silverdocs Grant for Works in Progress, was given to Margaret Brown for The Great Invisible and to Ian Cheney for Bluespace; and the Tribeca Film Institute and Silverdocs Transmedia Lab Pitch Award, given to Amir Bar-lev for The Tillman Story Interactive Edition.