TRUE VISION AWARD
More often than not, when observational filmmaking contorts itself into narrative structure the limitations of this mode garishly reveal themselves. Your average subject performs their lives for other people, not a camera, and life’s rhythms rarely align with the beats established by fiction storytellers. And yet narrative is a useful way of processing our day-to-day lives, and reality does contain emotions, quandaries, and other sensations that invented worlds cannot generate. How to integrate the two?
To answer this question and many more, we should study the films of Nuria Ibáñez Castañeda, who continuously approaches the real world with startling intuition and grace. Ibáñez Castañeda is the recipient of our only prize, the True Vision Award, given to a midcareer filmmaker for advancing the art of nonfiction cinema.
Nuria Ibáñez Castañeda
In her three features, this Spanish-born, Mexico-based director spends years building a place for her camera inside delicate relationships—a young couple secretly contemplating an escape from their tightknit circus family (The Tightrope, 2009), wounded children caught in a painful dialogue with a mental health institution (The Naked Room, 2013), and, in her latest and most majestic work (A Wild Stream, 2018), two aching fishermen struggling to articulate their emotions.
How Ibáñez Castañeda achieves this proximity feels both more refined and more enigmatic with each successive feature. But each time, she honors it with an unwavering attentiveness, yielding human emotions seldom accessible to the observational camera. She carefully tucks these soul-rattling moments into films that rigorously and lyrically approach time and place. She allows us to temporarily enter these worlds, looking intently at the most private exchanges of others only to find reflections of ourselves.
The Tightrope, 2010
The Naked Room, 2013
A Wild Stream, 2018
Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel
Joe Berlinger & Bruce Sinofsky
THE TRUE VISION AWARD IS SPONSORED BY DR. TIMOTHY McGARITY OF RESTORATION EYE CARE