Documentary Competition

There are stories to be told all throughout our living world, providing documentarians endless source material for compelling projects. Sports, politics, journalism, social injustices, and art all offer new perspectives and challenge our preconceived notions. These films broaden our horizons and invigorate our understanding of the planet, including the people and creatures with whom we share it. From the absurd and terrifying to the inspiring and beyond, documentary art is about showing the world as it truly is, truly was, and truly could be.

The Documentary Competition jury comprises film industry professionals and journalists who will choose the winning filmmaker, which will be announced at the Golden Space Needle Awards May 21 and will receive a cash prize of $5,000.

Against the Tide

India | 2023 | 97 min. | Sarvnik Kaur

A captivating documentary about the lives of two Indigenous fisherman, born to the same caste, whose friendship fractures.

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And the King Said, What a Fantastic Machine

Sweden | 2023 | 88 min. | Axel Danielson, Maximilien Van Aertryck

The impact of Camera Obscura, personal phone cameras, and social media communication upon society’s concepts of self and images.

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Australia | 2022 | 89 min. | Noel Smyth, Fergus Grady

It’s David versus Goliath as one man fights for his family’s freedom from the clutches of the Gloriavale Christian Community.

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The Grab

USA | 2022 | 104 min. | Gabriela Cowperthwaite

The alarming truth of private investors across the globe conspiring to hoard and control the world’s food and water supply.

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King Coal

USA | 2023 | 78 min. | Elaine McMillion Sheldon

A thoughtful, beautiful doc about the history of Central Appalachia and the prosperous and deleterious effects of coal mining.

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South Africa | 2023 | 128 min. | Milisuthando Bongela (Xhosa Nation)

Filmmaker Milisuthando Bongela tries to unpack the legacy of how South African history has informed her country and sense of self.

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Sweden | 2023 | 91 min. | Hanna Badziaka, Alexander Mihalkovich

The past is prologue in Hannah Badziaka and Alexander Mihalkovich’s feature documentary film.

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The Tuba Thieves

USA | 2023 | 92 min. | Alison O’Daniel

This experimental mix of documentary, recreation, and essay explores the ways in which we engage with sound, music, and speech.

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