2025 Feature and Short Film Submissions Now Open
Outstanding Achievement in

Debut Feature Film

From Barbara Kopple’s Harlan County U.S.A. to Frederick Wiseman’s Titicut Follies, some of the most lauded and lasting nonfiction films of all time have been crafted by debut filmmakers. Previous winners in this category include Jennifer Venditti for Billy the Kid (2008), Yung Chang for Up the Yangtze (2009), Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher for October Country (2010), Jeff Malmberg for Marwencol (2011), Clio Barnard for The Arbor (2012), Jason Tippet and Elizabeth Mims for Only the Young (2013), Zachary Heinzerling for Cutie and the Boxer (2014), John Maloof and Charlie Siskel for Finding Vivian Maier (2015), and Crystal Moselle for The Wolfpack (2016).

And The Nominees Are

20 Days in Mariupol

Directed by Mstyslav Chernov

Bobi Wine: The People’s President

Directed by Moses Bwayo and Christopher Sharp

Kokomo City

Directed by D. Smith

Orlando, My Political Biography

Directed by Paul B. Preciado

Smoke Sauna Sisterhood

Directed by Anna Hints

The Tuba Thieves

Directed by Alison O’Daniel

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