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Top Films at SI DocFest 2011 Win $30,000+ in Awards

Bay Area Nonprofits and High Schools to Share Awards

SAN JOSE, Calif., May 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Fourth Annual Bay Area Social Issues Documentary Film Contest (SI DocFest) was held at the Camera 12 Cinemas on Saturday, April 30, 2011. Awards totaling $30,250, provided by sponsor and organizer Do Good Docs Corporation, were shared by the top films, the high schools they represented, and their selected nonprofit organizations. This total allowed Do Good Docs to pass the $100,000 mark in cumulative donations to Bay Area students, high schools and nonprofits in its four years of operating the SI DocFest - a grand total of $114,250.

A panel of independent judges ranked the eleven semifinalist films and their combined scores yielded the winners. These judges were Blanche Araj-Shaheen, TV production professional and host of KTEH's "Video I;" Dr. Felix Gutierrez, Professor of Journalism and Communication at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School and a Bay Area resident; and Michael Whalen, Assistant Professor of Communication at Santa Clara University and independent television and film producer.

First place was awarded to "Watson," a film by Dereck Hoekstra, which features a football camp for young men with Down syndrome. The $10,000 award was shared with Valley Christian High School and Football Camp for the Stars, both of San Jose.

Second place winner was "Life Learning Academy," a film by Anya Schultz that features an organization that provides education and a key support system for at-risk youth. The $6,000 award was shared with Mountain View/Los Altos High Schools' Freestyle Academy and Life Learning Academy in San Francisco.

Third place winner was "Love In Action," a film by Anthony Delgado, Silver Angeli and Mackenzie Thomas. This film features a safe shelter for homeless and abused pregnant women. The $4,000 award was shared with Lincoln Highs School and City Team Ministries' Heritage Home, both of San Jose.

Additionally, $1,000 was awarded to the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus, the subject of "Man in the Mirror" by fourth place winners Rachel Wood and Caillie Dick of Freestyle Academy. Fifth place "924 Gilman Street", by Olivia Gubser and Zooey Yi of Oakland School for the Arts, won a $750 award for the Oakland non-profit of the same name. Finally, $500 was awarded to Not For Sale Campaign in Half Moon Bay, which was profiled by sixth place winner "Mission: Freedom" by Aaron Rickel of Monte Vista Christian High School in Watsonville.

In recognition of their outstanding accomplishments, the other five Semifinalists were awarded $300 each for their featured nonprofits. Five Honorable Mention films won $200 for their nonprofits as well (visit sidocfest.com for details).

Two new award categories were introduced this year. Asha DuMonthier of Notre Dame High School in San Jose, won the Beyond the Bay Category and a $2,000 cash scholarship for her film "Women and Children of El Salvador". Rachel Wood won $2,000 for her school, Freestyle Academy, for her win in the Flex Format category with the film "For Social Good".

The Terry McElhatton Memorial Award recognizes the dedication of an educator to the teaching of documentary filmmaking, as represented by the number of films submitted to the SI DocFest. It is named after its original winner and friend of the SI DocFest, the late Terry McElhatton. The winner this year was Sue Kefauver of Freestyle Academy, and a $1,500 award was presented to Freestyle Academy's video production program in Sue's honor.

The event was hosted by SI DocFest co-founder, Monica Alba, a recent graduate of the University of Southern California and soon to be graduate student at Columbia University's School of Journalism. Co-founder and traditional co-host, Loreli Alba, was absent for the first time in four years due to her study-abroad program related to her University of Southern California film studies. Camera Cinemas, the leading independent movie theater company in the South Bay, was an official sponsor and the host of the SI DocFest 2011.

Do Good Docs is a non-profit organization located in San Jose, California. Its first project has been the sponsoring and organizing of the Bay Area Social Issues Documentary Film Contest (SI DocFest), while two more initiatives focused on socially responsible filmmaking are in their early stages.

For nearly 35 years, Camera Cinemas has been presenting 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 the San Jose area and representing the best of what the South Bay has to offer.

SOURCE Do Good Docs

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