Documentary Shortlist

Below are the shortlisted entries for the Documentary category for the 2013 Ffresh Awards and comments from the category juror Andrew Kötting.

Ballymurphy Massacre
Sean Reynolds, Kyle Gibbon & Jonny Lewis
Newport Film School

Between 9th – 11th of August 1971 11 people were killed by the Parachute Regiment in West Belfast. One was a parish priest, another was a mother of eight. All were unarmed civilians, and no one was ever held to account. These events have remained hidden from public knowledge for over 40 years.

“An incredibly professional piece of work. The storytelling was coherent, rigorous and quite shocking. I was carried away by the subject matter and moved emotionally. The intercutting of talking heads with the documents, maps and archive was superb. My only reservations were in the over use of the music for emotional impact, however, tragic food for thought which must surely help to further the cause of the victims loved ones.”

From the Celtic Sea
Sam Irving & Tom Booth
Newport Film School

It’s easy to forget that Britain is an island nation whose history was shaped by the sea. We travel along the cost of Cornwall and Devon and meet three characters to whom the sea is as important as it ever was.

“The structure of the film was a delight. The cinematography at times quite breath taking. There was also an integrity to the handling of the three subjects and a deftness to the editing. Very impressive.”

Sam Irving & Tom Booth
Newport Film School

It is said that if you spend the night on the summit of Cadair Idris, Snowdonia, you awake a poet or a madman. Combining adventure documentary and stories from the Mabinogion, we follow a lonely hiker braving snow, storm force winds, and sub-zero temperatures on Britain’s most haunted mountain.

“I really liked this film but felt that the elemental aspects of its making weren’t fully realised and that the images became too illustrative of the voice over. I was engaged throughout and compelled by the journey to the top of the mountain. It was corporeal and magical and rich in its imagery.”

Paws to Remember
Jonny Lewis, Neil Cairns & Chris Potter
Newport Film School

Story of a Director of a pet funeral home.

“An endearing documentary with humour and irony writ large. The portrait of the central character was well handled and the subject matter intriguing. The film was shot and edited well and underpinned by the inventive use of pre-recorded music.”

The Schoolgirl, The Nazis, and the Purple Triangles
Jonny Lewis & Aiden Bloodworth
Newport Film School

The untold story of the World War 2, looking at the persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses as seen through the eyes of a schoolgirl. Jehovah’s Witnesses were among the first prisoners of concentration camps for their refusal to say “Heil Hitler”, join the army, or participate in the Nazi way of life.

“The investigation of the story was thorough and compelling and I was left wanting to find out more on the subject. The management of the archive material was intriguing and the edit flowed beautifully. The sound design and music were also well managed with considered intelligence.”


“The standard of the work short-listed is very high and in particular that coming out of the Newport Film School. Technically and intellectually I was stimulated and moved throughout my viewing experiences and enjoyed the internal deliberations and machinations that kept me awake all night whilst trying to decide an overall winner.”

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