Top Films at SI DocFest 2009 Win More Than $30,000 in Awards

February 9, 2009

SAN JOSE, Calif., Feb. 9 /PRNewswire/ — The Second Annual Bay Area Social
Issues Documentary Film Contest (SI DocFest) held its screenings and awards
ceremony at the Camera 12 Cinemas on Sunday, February 8, 2009. In light of the
economic situation, the organizing committee decided to increase by almost 30%
the awards given out this year. More than $30,000 provided by sponsor and
organizer Do Good Docs Corporation were shared by the top films, the high
schools they represented, and their designated nonprofit organizations.

A panel of independent volunteer judges ranked the semifinalist films and
their combined scores yielded the winners. These judges were Blanche Araj-
, TV production professional and host of KTEH’s “Video I”, a weekly
series featuring independent films from the Bay Area; Dr. Felix Gutierrez,
Professor of Journalism and Communication at the University of Southern
Annenberg School for Communication, former Senior Vice President
of the Freedom Forum and a Bay Area resident; Michael Whalen, Assistant
Professor of Communication at Santa Clara University and independent
television and film producer; and Jack NyBlom, co-owner and co-founder of
Camera Cinemas, the leading independent theater organization in the South Bay.

First place was awarded to “Stopping the Cycle”, a film by Hayley Foster and Rebekah Phillips, which deals with domestic violence. The $10,000 award
will be shared with Presentation High School and Support Network for Battered
Women (snbw.org).

Two films tied for second place. Since $6,000 and $4,000 awards were
designated for second and third place, respectively, the tie resulted in each
film being awarded $5,000 instead.

A second place winner was “BORP”, a film by Alex Shebanow that deals with
people with physical disabilities actively involved in sports. The $5,000
award will be shared with Saratoga High School and the Bay Area Outreach and
Recreation Program (borp.org).

The other second place winner was “Jeremy”, a film by Margaret Lewis that
deals with employment for people with disabilities. The $5,000 award will be
shared with the Freestyle Academy of the Mountain View/Los Altos High Schools
and the Jeremy Project at Hope Services (hopeservices.org).

The organizing committee also awarded $1,500 to San Francisco Mime Troupe
(sfmt.org), an organization profiled by fourth place winners Alix Kaufman and

Tanner Hanson of Freestyle Academy. Similarly, $1,000 was awarded to Guide
Dogs for the Blind (guidedogs.com), the subject of fifth place winner Amy
of San Ramon Valley High School. Finally, $750 was awarded to
Sacred Heart Community Service (shcstheheart.org), profiled by Chris Campbell,

John Gifford and Wesley Kim of Saratoga High School, winners of sixth place.

In recognition of their outstanding accomplishments, the other seven semi-
finalists were awarded $500 for the nonprofits they represented. Also, $250
awards were granted to the nonprofits designated by the six Honorable Mention

Amy Schleicher won the Outstanding Senior Award and a $1,500 scholarship,
for her extraordinary contributions to the SI DocFest during her high school
career. She submitted a total of five films in her two-year participation,
earning two finalist awards, one semifinalist award, and two honorable

A special tribute was presented in honor of Terry McElhatton, formerly of
Valley Christian High School, strong supporter of the SI DocFest and last
year’s winner of the Outstanding Film Instructor award for producing the most
films. In his memory, this award will be renamed the Terry McElhatton Memorial
Award. The winner this year was Tony Palma of Saratoga High School, and a
$1,500 award will be presented to Saratoga’s film program in Tony’s honor.

The event was hosted by SI DocFest organizers and co-founders, sisters

Monica Alba and Loreli Alba, University of Southern California students and
Bay Area residents. Camera Cinemas, the leading independent movie theater
company in the South Bay, was an official sponsor and the official host of the
SI DocFest.

Do Good Docs Corporation is a new non-profit organization located in San
Jose, California
. Its first project is the sponsoring and organizing of the
Bay Area Social Issues Documentary Film Contest (SI DocFest). Other projects
will be announced in 2009(dogooddocs.com).

For over 30 years, the Camera Cinemas have presented a wide variety of
well-made, intelligent films, from re-released classics to independents,
international to mainstream. With four distinct locations, Camera Cinemas has
become an important institution in the local film community, making vital
contributions to the cultural life of San Jose and representing the best of
what the South Bay has to offer (cameracinemas.com).

SOURCE Do Good Docs Corporation

Source: newswire

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