Documentary Competition

There are stories to be told all throughout our living world, providing documentarians endless source material for compelling projects.

Science, sports, politics, conservation, social injustices, and nature itself 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 winner as chosen by a jury will be announced at the Golden Space Needle Awards and receives a cash prize of $5,000.


Ryland Aldrich, Ania Trzebiatowska, Myrocia Watamaniuk

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A Thousand Girls Like Me

Afghanistan | 2018 | 76 minutes | Sahra Mosawi-Mani

A young Afghani woman, raped by her father, is determined to see him brought to justice.

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Eastern Memories

Finland | 2018 | 86 minutes | Niklas Kullstrom, Martti Kaartinen

A century ago, Finnish linguist G.J. Ramstedt visited Mongolia and kept a diary; now, two directors retrace his footsteps.

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Fly Rocket Fly

Germany | 2018 | 90 minutes | Oliver Schwehm

A German aerospace engineer founded the world's first private space travel company and triggered an international firestorm.

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Lynch: A History

USA | 2019 | 85 minutes | David Shields

A mesmerizing video collage, rather than a traditional doc, on the heroically controversial ex-Seahawk Marshawn Lynch.

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Pigeon Kings

USA | 2019 | 81 minutes | Milena Pastreich

Pigeons can skillfully somersault in flight, and men in South Central L.A. have made this a competitive sport.

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Q Ball

USA | 2019 | 97 minutes | Michael Tolajian

Kevin Durant executive-produced this inspirational doc about the San Quentin Prison basketball squad.

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The Woman Who Loves Giraffes

Canada | 2018 | 83 minutes | Alison Reid

Canadian zoologist and feminist trailblazer Anne Innis Dagg is the Jane Goodall of giraffes.

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We Are the Radical Monarchs

USA | 2019 | 96 minutes | Linda Goldstein Knowlton

An Oakland group for young women of color (ages 8-13) is at the front lines of social justice.

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