Tim Hetherington Award at Sheffield Documentary Festival 2017


This year’s Tim Hetherington Award has been given to film-maker Yance Ford for the documentary ‘Strong Island’. The announcement of the winner was presented at the closing ceremony of the Sheffield Documentary Festival. The festival ran from 9th to the 13th June 2017.

Strong Island chronicles the arc of a family across history, geography and tragedy - from the racial segregation of the Jim Crow South to the promise of New York City; from the presumed safety of middle class suburbs, to the maelstrom of an unexpected, violent death. It is the story of the Ford family: Barbara Dunmore, William Ford and their three children and how their lives were shaped by the enduring shadow of race in America. A deeply intimate and meditative film, Strong Island asks what one can do when the grief of loss is entwined with historical injustice, and how one grapples with the complicity of silence, which can bind a family in an imitation of life, and a nation with a false sense of justice.

At the trust, we felt that this is not only a great documentary but it is also a film which moves the documentary format forward. It was able to provide a creative angle into challenging humanitarian terrain and provide a visual document which was a courageous endeavor for the film-maker to pursue.  

Members of the jury this year included:
Brenda Coughlin (Oscar winning producer)
Judith Hetherington (Chair)
Wendy Ide (Critic)
Joanna Natasegara (Oscar winning producer)

Additionally, nominees this year included:
Winnie (Pascale Lamche)
Whose Streets? (Sabaah Folayan,  Damon Davis)
Insha'Allah Democracy (Mo Naqvi)
Even When I Fall (Sky Neal, Kate McLarnon)
Mama Colonel  (Dieudo Hamadi)

Strong Island joins previous award winners: Tempestad (2016), Cartel Land (2015) Profession: Documentarist (2014) and The Square (2013). We wish Yance and the team the best of luck with the film and future projects.

For more information on the film, including where the film can be seen, please visit the official webpage HERE


Tim Hetherington Award at Sheffield Documentary Festival 2017