Awards are listed in no particular order

The 2015 Spotlight Documentary Film Awards is proud to have awarded nearly 250 films from over 40 countries: Antarctica, Aruba, Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Bhutan, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Cuba, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, French Polynesia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Russian Federation, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sudan, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and USA. Congratulations to all the award-winning filmmakers!

Platinum Awards: ​celebrate truly remarkable films with the highest scores from our panel.
Gold Awards: celebrate incredible films with the second highest scores from our panel.
Silver Awards: awarded to unforgettable films with the third highest scores from our panel.

2015 Platinum Award Winners

Awards are listed in no particular order

2015 Spotlight Gold Award Winners


(78m, U S A) dir. by Jay Armitage, Jason Cooper

Paul Freakin' Stone (that's who) 

(80m, ) dir. by Allison Quiller

The Flying Dutchmen 

(84m, U S A) dir. by Kendal Miller

​A New Understanding: Science of Psilocybin 

(55m, U S A) dir. by  Robert J. Barnhart

Bill Evans/Time Remembered 

(84m, USA ) by Bruce Spiegel

Waiting for John 

(70m, U S A) dir. by Jessica Sherry

In Search of Balance 

(73m, U S A) dir. by Adam Pfleghaar

Rose & Roy 

(97m, U S A) dir. by Adolfo Doring

The University 

(83m, U S A) dir. by Matt Rutherford 

JIHAD: A Story of the Others 

(50m, United Kingdom) dir. by Deeyah Khan

Mount Lawrence 

(99m, U S A) dir. by Chandler Wild

The Opening Act 

(64m, U S A)  by Linda Chorney

Cold Nights Hot Salsa 

(60m, Canada) dir. by Edwin Gailits

One Fall 

(69m, U S A) dir. by Carl Fondelheit IV

Growing Reason 

(118m, U S A) dir. by Hunter Bradshaw

De Jeweetwels 

(51m, Netherlands) dir. by Fokke Baarssen


(65m, U S A) dir. by Chad Stevens

Nothing With Something: Death of a Diner 

(65m, U S A) dir. by James Boo

Blood on the Mountain 

(92m, U S A) dir. by Jordan Freeman, Mari-Lynn Evans

Faith in the Big House - The Remake 

(57m, U S A) dir. by Jonathan Schwartz

Famous Last Words 

(87m, U S A) dir. by Brian Boye

Stage Four: A Love Story 

(73m, U S A) dir. by Benjamin Steger

Finding Noah 

(97m, U S A) dir. by Brent Baum

Air Sex: The Movie 

(80m, Canada, U S A) dir. by Brock LaBorde, Jonathan Evans

Hollywood Beauty Salon 

(88m, U S A) sub. by Glenn Holsten

In Football We Trust 

(87m, U S A) dir. by Tony Vainuku , Erika Cohn

Honor thy Father and thy Mother, Damn It

(51m, Israel) dir. by Alexandra Rahmilevich

Harry & Snowman 

(84m, U S A) dir. by Ron Davis

All These Flowers 

(82m, Canada, U S A) dir. by Kevin Bryce

A Quest for Meaning 

(88m, France) dir. by Nathanaël Coste, Marc de la Ménardière

The Record Man 

(107m, U S A) dir. by Mark Moormann


(95m, U S A) dir. by Kayla McCormick


(65m, Canada) sub. by Michka Saal


(60m, U S A) dir. by Michael Cardoza 

Breakfast at Ina's 

(50m, U S A) dir. by Mercedes Kane

Gazelle - The Love Issue 

(93m, Brazil, French Polynesia, U S A) dir. by Cesar Terranova

The Iron Man 

(76m, Ireland) dir. by Nicky Larkin

Dream On 

(99m, U S A) dir. by Roger Weisberg

Antarctic Edge: 70 Degrees South 

(72m, Antarctica) dir. by Dena Seidel

Compelling Love & Sexual Identity 

(93m, U S A) dir. by Kurt Neale

Damari and Guyala 

(10m, Australia) dir. by Marley Sharp, Benjiman Southwell

Let's Talk About Men 

(22m, Canada) dir. by Dario Vrbanek

Outerspace Life: The Story of Jack Overby 

(21m, U S A) dir. by Lance Johnson

Copper The Documentary 

(23m, U S A) dir. by AJ Oscarson

I Am Moral Courage: A New Yorker Escapes Forced Marriage In Egypt 

(10m, USA ) dir. by Adam Grannick


(20m, U S A) dir. by Dress Code

Sideshow of the Absurd

(14m, U S A) dir. by Jane C. Wagner, Tina DiFeliciantonio

Minding Our Own 

(40m, U S A) dir. by Inaya Yusuf

Jonathan's Very Own 

(14m, U S A) dir. by Stephen Pettit


(6m, Canada) dir. by Emily Preston 

Impressions of Humanity 

(40m, Cuba, U S A) dir. by Marcos Antonio

A Journey to Namie 

(15m, Singapore) sub. by sulfikar amir

Our Daily Dose 

(20m, U S A) dir. by Jeremy Seifert

The Whale Overboard 

(26m, France) by Paul Sourice

The Key of B 

(17m, U S A) dir. by Jayden Rathsam Hua

Common Cents 

(38m, U S A) dir. by Myles Shank


Paul Sharits
(85m, Canada) dir. by Francois Miron

A Farmer's Road
(74m, U S A) dir. by John Murray

In Our Backyard
(80m, U S A) dir. by Danielle Rose

Hano! A Century in the Bleachers
(53m, )  by Jon Leonoudakis

A Struggle for Home: The Crimean Tatars 
(44m, Qatar) dir. by Christina Paschyn

Just Listen 
(50m, Netherlands) dir. by Lian Priemus

The Silenced Walls
(88m, France) dir. by Sabrina Van Tassel

A Touch of Cruelty 
(48m, Netherlands) dir. by Frank van Osch

Insatiable: The Homaro Cantu Story 
(98m, U S A) dir. by Brett Schwartz

Many Scars  
(55m, ) by Deborah Sayer

Get Busy Living 
(88m, USA)  by Chris Burket

(67m, U S A) dir. by Rea Tajiri

Apocalyptica Theme & Variations 
(77m, U S A) dir. by Kevin J. Custer

The Greatest Freedom Show on Earth 
(120m, Canada, U S A) dir. by RJ Huggins

Vertical Slum 
(50m, U S A) dir. by Irene Sosa

Sweethearts of the Gridiron 
(89m, U S A)  by Michael Wayne

Life on Earth
(180m, China) dir. by Guosheng Ming

The Pilgrim 

(62m, Poland) dir. by Paweł Jóźwiak-Rodan

The Spirit Echoes 
(61m, Switzerland) dir. by Rainer Hoffmann and Erika Harzer​

Exiled Mothers 
(99m, Canada) dir. by Sharon Alward

Honoring a Commitment 
(71m, U S A) by Jed Henry

The Last Tear 
(53m, South Korea, U S A) dir. by Christopher H.K. Lee

Homie UP: Stories of Love and Redemption 
(63m, U S A) dir. by Jennifer Myhre

John Paul II in America: Uniting a Continent 
(57m, U S A) dir. by David Naglieri

Guns to Mics 
(85m, Canada, Sierra Leone) dir. by Jem Garrard, Greg Crompton

Birds of a Feather 
(68m, New Zealand) dir. by Nina Wells

For the Love of Life: Living for Tomorrow 
(84m, Japan) dir. by Hanae Uchida

(59m, U S A) dir. by Shawn Thompson, Leon Shahabian​

(83m, U S A) dir. by Ryan Kelley

The Good Breast 
(94m, U S A) dir. by Bernadette Wegenstein

The Disobeying Teachers 
(96m, South Korea) dir. by Dongill Seo

The Missing 
(86m, China) dir. by Han Tao

Beyond Laughter and Tears: A Journey of Hope

(84m, U S A) dir. by Lisa Klein, Doug Blush

Stopper: The Rise and Fall of the Bastard Squad
(100m, U S A) dir. by Jason C. Wilson

City of Trees 
(74m, U S A) dir. by Brandon Kramer

After the Last River 
(91m, Canada) dir. by Victoria Lean

Nathan East: For The Record 
(85m, U S A) dir. by Chris Gero

The Landscape Within 
(103m, Philippines) dir. by Andrea Capranico

The Undertaker 
(81m, Philippines) dir. by Andrea Capranico

When Giants Fall 
(78m, U S A) dir. by Leslie Griffith

Datuna: Portrait of America 
(77m, U S A) dir. by Brian Bayerl

Manislam- Islam and Masculinity
(62m, Norway) dir. by Nefise Özkal Lorentzen

(49m, U S A) dir. by Jessica Jane Hart

(80m, U S A) dir. by Julie Marron

Singing in Exile
(77m, Belgium, France, Poland) dir. by Nathalie Rossetti, Turi Finocchiaro

Portraits of Professional Caregivers: Their Passion. Their Pain. 
(75m, U S A) dir. by Vic Compher

The Touch of an Angel 
(62m, Germany, Poland) dir. by Marek Tomasz Pawlowski

Painted Land: In Search of the Group of Seven 
(90m, Canada) dir. by Phyllis Ellis

Tell Spring Not To Come This Year 
(82m, United Kingdom) dir. by Michael McEvoy, Saeed Taji Farouky

Scadia: The Known World
(100m, U S A) dir. by Christopher LeClere

(92m, U S A) dir. by Andrew Friend

Riz Cantonais 
(50m, France) dir. by Mia Ma

Blind Crossing 
(57m, Greece) dir. by Andreas Vakalios, Yannis Kalantidis

The Price of Providence 
(63m, U S A) dir. by Merajur Rahman Baruah

Eavesdropping on Souls: A Journey into Haitian Arts
(51m, Canada) dir. by Jacqueline Jean-Baptiste

(64m, Egypt) dir. by Justin Kramer

(75m, Belgium) dir. by Marecaille Hubert

The Pilgrimage in the Sky 
(50m, Japan) dir. by Toshikazu Otani

Brotherhood of the Popcorn 
(83m, U S A) dir. by Inda Reid

Ron Pope: One Way Ticket 
(52m, U S A) dir. by Kelly Teacher

Our Soldier 
(47m, Netherlands) dir. by Jotja Bessems

Goodbye Theresienstadt 
(58m, Czech Republic, Denmark) dir. by Carl Otto Dethlefsen, Jonatan Jerichow

(77m, U S A) dir. by Cristian Piazza

Extra Innings Documentary 
(84m, U S A)  by James Iverson

Children of the Arctic 
(94m, Switzerland) dir. by Nick Brandestini

The Power of One Voice: A 50-Year Perspective on the Life of Rachel Carson 
(52m, U S A) dir. by Mark Dixon

Living the Fantasy 
(78m, U S A) dir. by Joshua Adler

People Who Come 
(61m, Australia) dir. by Dan Noah

Kid Cohen 
(92m, U S A) dir. by Christopher McKenna

Box 25 
(72m, Panama) dir. by Mercedes Arias, Delfina Vidal

Cousin Madenn 
(73m, France) dir. by Gregoire Thoby

Cold Love 
(64m, Canada, Denmark, Russian Federation, U S A) dir. by Deia Schlosberg, Lonnie Dupre

This is My Land 
(93m, France) sub. by Tamara Erde

One Million Dubliners 
(80m, Ireland) dir. by Aoife Kelleher

Grado Mission 
(83m, Italy) dir. by Carlo Christian Spano

Many Beautiful Things 
(70m, U S A) dir. by Laura Waters Hinson

The Poet of Havana 
(97m, Canada) dir. by Ron Chapman

When the Blues Come to Town
(58m, Canada) dir. by Paul Campsall, Tom Knowlton

On Location 
(54m, Switzerland) dir. by Jean Paul Fuenzalida

My Voice, My Life 
(91m, Hong Kong) dir. by Ruby Yang

(87m, China) dir. by He Shiping

Escape From Firebase Kate 
(60m, U S A) dir. by Paul Kakert

Power's War 
(66m, U S A) dir. by Cameron Trejo

Kandahar Journals 
(76m, Canada) dir. by Louie Palu, Devin Gallagher

Jikoo, a Wish 
(52m, France) dir. by Leroy Christophe

(50m, U S A) dir. by Gianina Ferreyra

STORIS: The Galloping Ghost of the Alaskan Coast
(100m, U S A) dir. by Damon Stuebner

Women of '69, Unboxed 
(59m, U S A) dir. by Peter Barton

The Penguin Counters 
(67m, U S A) dir. by Harriet Getzels, Peter Getzels

La Mia Strada - My Road 
(72m, U S A) dir. by Michael DiLauro

Walking in Two Worlds 
(63m, U S A) dir. by Bo Boudart

Draw Back the Curtain 
(57m, U S A) dir. by Shir Bodner

Christopher's Music 
(90m, United Kingdom, U S A) dir. by Diane Kern

Carpe Kilimanjaro: An Alzheimer's Project 
(76m, U S A) dir. by Zach Jordan

Until It Hurts 
(67m, U S A) dir. by Scott Hansen

Outermost Radio 
(60m, U S A) dir. by Alan Chebot

Crying Earth Rise Up 
(57m, U S A) dir. by Suree Towfighnia

The War After 

(66m, U S A) dir. by Dena Seidel

Run Free - The True Story of Caballo Blanco
(92m, U S A) dir. by Sterling Noren

Das Modell, The Dancer and Lola 
(49m, United Kingdom, U S A) dir. by Darshan Singh Bhuller

Lessons In Dissent 
(98m, United Kingdom, Hong Kong) dir. by Matthew Torne

Bury Them and Keep Quiet 
(82m, Spain, France) dir. by Anna Lopez Luna

Extreme Brat Camp
(48m, United Kingdom) dir. by Andrew Parkin

Sex Addiction 
(52m, U S A) dir. by Nicolas Roquefort-Villeneuve

The Trial 
(60m, Sudan) dir. by Sam Lukudu

Vieillir a l'ombre 
(59m, France) produced by Marie Agnely

(77m, U S A) dir. by John Turner

​​​​​​Tourism Salvation: The Land of the Thunder Dragon
(45m, Bhutan) by Backpacker Films

Fort..A Spearfish Canyon Rhapsody 
(29m, U S A) dir. by Bill Harlan

The Course 
(15m, U S A) dir. by Audra Blake

The Bicknell 
(17m, United Kingdom) dir. by Genevieve Bicknell

To Her Own Rhythm 
(20m, U S A) dir. by Adia Joelle

To Dance Again 
(6m, U S A) dir. by Neil Kimball, Caisy Lun, Charles Leisenring

The Foolish Old Man 
(20m, China) dir. by YiXin Huo

Golden Age 
(19m, Finland) dir. by Maija Blåfield

Gutenberg in the Cyberstorm 
(26m, Germany) dir. by Susanne Lenz-Gleißner

The Twelve-Foot-Tall Rabbits Of Rokeby Farm 
(22m, U S A) dir. by Samuel Crow, Rubi Rose

The Sons of Mapes 
(14m, Aruba, U S A) dir. by Aaron Hose

First Degree 
(25m, U S A) dir. by Roger Weisberg

A Chance To Dress 

(39m, U S A) dir. by Alice Bouvrie

(45m, U S A) dir. by David Nixon

Gather Up The Fragments: Concept to Creation
(16m, U S A) 

Gonna Sip That Sip, Hit That Dip: The Emerging Queer Hip Hop Movement
(13m, U S A) dir. by Chasson Gracie

Generation Right
(41m, United Kingdom) dir. by Michelle Coomber

Taking the Plunge
(40m, U S A) dir. by Shawnelle King

Looking At Animals 
(18m, U S A) dir. by Jessica Kingdon

Prisons for Profit 
(22m, U S A) dir. by Craig Knowles​

​We Sing Where I'm From 
(44m, U S A) dir. by Dee Garceau

​Life is But a Dream 
(40m, Canada) dir. by Courtney James

The Creative Method 
(27m, U S A) dir. by Jessica McGaugh

​Heroin in the Suburbs: The New Face 
(20m, U S A) dir. by Julie Ciannavei

Fog Of War 
(30m, Belarus) dir. by Viachaslau Makshun 

Gambling with Massachusetts 
(43m, U S A) dir. by Kevin McCrea

Jeanne & Mike: Original Art 
(14m, U S A) dir. by Kathy Drasky

The Portrait of an Artist: When the Lights Turn Off
(23m, United Kingdom, U S A) by Tiannah Bruce

The Persecution of Falun Gong 
(10m, U S A) dir. by Mathias Magnason

Sir Shadow 
(11m, U S A) by Ravish Patwardhan 

Fitting the Description in North Portland 
(26m, U S A) dir. by Jarratt Taylor

Ron Taylor: Dr. Baseball 
(20m, Canada) dir. by Drew Taylor, Matt Taylor

(16m, Bulgaria) dir. by Stoyan Nikolaev

Then Then Then 
(30m, Canada) dir. by Daniel Schioler

The Migrant Woman 

(20m, Canada, Lebanon) dir. by Eli Jean Tahchi

Nashville in Harmony: Ten Years of Using Music to Build Community 
(35m, U S A) dir. by Steven Knapp

What is God?/Seed of Abraham 
(24m, U S A) dir. by PJ Woodside

Why We Stay 
(16m, U S A) dir. by Crystal Kayiza

(13m, Belgium) dir. by Ivana Noa

​​​​​​​Bronx Brothers 
(30m, U S A)  by Olivia Crellin

Angels with a Cause 
(14m, U S A) dir. by Gary Novak

(27m, U S A) dir. by Keli Kittinger

​​​The Road to Tighza 
(5m, U S A) dir. by James Huang

Far Afield: A Conservation Love Story 
(35m, U S A) dir. by Jennifer Tennican

RED - Delicious But Deadly 
(28m, Canada) dir. by Riz Nasim

Crossing Waters 
(40m, U S A) dir. by Jane D. Watson

Awards are listed in no particular order




Out of Focus 
(51m, United Kingdom) dir. by Shahriar Siami Shal

Forced Perspective 
(97m, U S A) dir. by Nick Cavalier

The Way We Talk 
(80m, U S A) dir. by Michael Turner

​Becoming Bulletproof
(80m, U S A) dir. by Michael Barnett

​Right Footed 
(82m, U S A) dir. by Nick Spark

(91m, U S A) dir. by Jon J. Whelan

Searching for Eddie Running Wolf
(98m, U S A) dir. by Thomas Hartmann

​We're Not Blood
(91m, U S A) dir. by Jeffrey Togman

Dante's Down the Hatch
(91m, U S A) dir. by Jef Bredemeier

​American Native 
(84m, U S A) dir. by Steven Oritt

​Southern Rites 
(87m, U S A) dir. by Gillian Laub

​120 Days 
(79m, U S A) dir. by Ted Roach

​I Think You're Totally Wrong: A Quarrell 
(88m, U S A) dir. by James Franco

​Backyard Blockbusters 
(95m, U S A) dir. by John Hudgens

​Our People 
(13m, U S A) dir. by Payne Lindsey

(12m, U S A) dir. by River Finlay

(7m, U S A) dir. by Amber Cortes

(14m, United Kingdom, Cuba) dir. by Andreas Hadjipateras

​The Hollerin' Contest At Spivey's Corner 
(17m, U S A) dir. by Brian Gersten, Liv Dubendorf

Born Into This 
(23m, U S A) dir. by Lea Scruggs, Sean Ryon

​Last Day of Freedom 
(32m, U S A) dir. by Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman

​In Memory
(11m, U S A) dir. by 72 U

(16m, U S A) dir. by Eric Latek

What Makes Dave Run 
(13m, U S A) dir. by Peter Zander

​Seven Ways From Sunday 
(8m, U S A) dir. by Robert Sickels

Michael S., Versammelt 
(3m, Austria) dir. by Steven Swirko

​Jim Bird: Portrait of an American 
(4m, U S A) by Nik Kleverov

​Mystic Jungfraujoch - Top of Europe 
(3m, Switzerland) dir. by Markus Eichenberger

​Damon at 86th Street 
(8m, U S A) dir. by Emily Sheskin

(9m, U S A) dir. by Marc Menish

(14m, U S A) dir. by Joe Berlinger

​The Nike Chariot Earring 
(14m, U S A) dir. by Karen Audette

​Live Fast, Draw Yung
(16m, U S A) dir. by Anthony Mathile, Stacey Lee

​Calling the Cops on Jesus 
(8m, U S A) dir. by Peter Carolla

Through The Fire 
(29m, U S A) dir. by Olivia Lace-Evans and Nyasha Kadandara

​Blade #1 
(40m, U S A) dir. by Zuzka Kurtz

​Beautiful By Night 
(29m, U S A) dir. by James Hosking

(14m, U S A) dir. by Jeremy Asher Lynch


2015 Award-Winning independent Documentary Films