Festivals' Awards

  • Marek Nowicki Prize

    Since 2003 the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights has been awarding filmmakers with the festival prize for excellent achievement in showing human rights in film.
    In 2006 the Board of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights decided to name this prize with the name of Marek Nowicki (1947 – 2003), cofounder and for many years the President of the Foundation, cofunder of the Helsinki Committee in Poland.

    In 2015 the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights awards the Marek Nowicki Prize to Nick Broomfield.

    Legendary British filmmaker Nick Broomfield is an artist who shares many of the same interests as Watch Docs, the primary of which is quality. Originally he was influenced by the direct cinema of Frederick Wiseman, Robert Leacok and D. A. Pennebaker. Professor Colin Young at the National Film and Television School at Beaconsfield inculcated him with the tradition of documentary participant observation (previously Broomfield graduated with a law degree from Cardiff and Political Science from Essex University). Broomfield’s early works are brilliant examples of this cinematic method. But Broomfield owes his spectacular success and extensive impact on the world’s documentary films to his new and original style forged in the late 1980s. Broomfield “discovered” his style somewhat accidentally by interjecting himself onto the screen as the director of the popular film “Driving Me Crazy,” conceived as a “making of” the musical “Body & Soul,” which slipped out of control during production. From then on, Nick would become the trademark of Broomfield’s films, always armed with his sound boom and the Nagra tape recorder. On the one hand, showing the act of filming and the dynamics of relationships with subjects allowed Broomfield for a self-reflexive examination of the act of documentary filmmaking, though non-discursive and not direct. On the other hand, Broomfield became the father of the kind of subversive documentary that would later bring fame to filmmakers such as Michael Moore and Louis Theroux, with its use of provocation, satire and irony without necessarily fawning over its subject. There’s a certain paradox in the fact that polite and English Mr. Broomfield came to create an unruly documentary genre. But with his kind smile, Broomfield is truly tenacious and uncompromising. If he is disarming it is certainly not only (and not primarily) in that word’s lighter meaning–he effectively disarms puffed up personalities and media myths behind which he often exposes violence, corruption and injustice.

  • WATCH DOCS Award for the best feature-length documentary
  • Audience Award




Laureates of the Marek Nowicki Prize:

2014 - Joe Berlinger

2013 - Maria Ramos

2012 - Jafar Panahi

2011 - Zhao Liang

2010 - Frederick Wiseman

2009 - Wiktor Daszuk

2008 - Errol Morris

2007 - Rithy Panh

2006 - Marcel Łoziński

2005 - Maciej Drygas

2004 - Fabrizio Lazzaretti

2003 - Kim Longinotto

WATCH DOCS Award for the best feature-length documentary winners:

2014 - Rich Hill dir. Andrew Droz Palermo i Tracy Droz Trago

2013 - No burqas behind bars dir. Nima Sarvestani

2012 - Anton's Right Here dir. Ljubow Arkus

2011 - Special Flight dir. Fernand Melgar

2010 - Winds of Sand. Women of Rock dir. Nathalie Borgers

2009 - Les Arrivants dir. Claudine Bories, Patrice Chagnard

2008 - Juízo dir. Maria Augusta Ramos

2007 - Losers and Winners dir. Ulrika Franke, Michael Loeken

2006 - Avenge But One Of My Two Eyes dir. Avi Mograbi and On a tightrope dir. Peter Lom

Audience Award winners:

2014 - Siblings are forever dir.  Frode Fimland

2013 - No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka, dir. Callum Macrae

2012 - Call Me Kuchu dir. Katherine Fairfax Wright, Malika Zouhali-Worrall

2011 - Belarussian Dream dir. Ekatarina Kibalchich

2010 - Presumed guilty dir. Roberto Hernandez, Geoffrey Smith

2009 - Tibet in Song dir. Ngawang Choephel

2008 - Kites dir. Beata Dzianowicz

2007 - Bridge Over the Wadi dir. Barak Heyman, Tomer Heymann

2006 - Street Fight dir. Marshall Curry

2005 - The children of Leningradsky dir. Hanna Polak, Andrzej Celiński