DOCUTAH’s 2012 Raven Award winners

Kyle Tekiela of “A Sister’s Call” walked away from the 2012 DOCUTAH Film Festival with two Raven Awards: Best Directing and Best Feature Film, St. George, Sept. 9 2012 | Photo courtesy of DOCUTAH

ST. GEORGE – Created and produced by Dixie State College, the DOCUTAH Southern Utah International Documentary Film Festival held its culminating event Sunday, Sept. 9, at the Megaplex Red Cliffs Cinema Theater. The 2012 Raven Awards welcomed filmmakers, media, and movie-goers alike for the announcement of award winners in a variety of categories.

“The Raven Awards are a way for us to show appreciation to the filmmakers for the work they have done,” said Christina Schultz, DSC vice president of institutional advancement and DOCUTAH executive director. “We applaud them for creating magic windows on the world and educating all of us in their own unique ways through their documentaries.”

The 2012 Raven Award winners, St. George, Sept. 9 2012 | Photo courtesy of  DOCUTAH


Best Student Short Film:  “Abuelas”
Best Student Feature Film:  “Pieces of the Soul”

Short Film Category:
Best Music:  “Hip Hop Maestro”
Best Cinematography:  “Nrityagram: For the Love of Dance”
Best Editing:  “Bo”

Best Directing:  “Canary in the Mine”
Best Picture:  “Running Through: The Jordan Culbreath Story”

 Feature Film Category:

Best Music:  “The Girls in the Band”

Best Cinematography:  “Pad Yatra: A Green Odyssey”
Best Editing:  “The Renaissance of Mata Ortiz”
Best Directing:  “A Sister’s Call”
Best Feature Film:  “A Sister’s Call”

 Specialty Awards:
Whitney Vanguard Award:  “Kinderblock 66: Return to Buchenwald”
Audience Favorite: “Pieces of the Soul” a local film created by DSC Film Major, Spencer Sullivan

Festival organizers are pleased with viewership and audience participation in Q-and-A sessions following film screenings. In this third year of DOCUTAH, several films sold out and all films were received by large audiences. The world premier of “Pieces of the Soul” about local sculptor Matt Clark received several standing ovations throughout the evening.

According to DOCUTAH Operations Manager Lani Puriri, a Festival record 5,700 patrons viewed films during this year’s five-day event. “I am thrilled that the Southern Utah community embraced the films this year,” she said. “Part of the DOCUTAH mission is to globally connect through documentary film. In five days we experienced the bitter cold of Siberia and the warm waters of the coral reefs off the shores of Indonesia, not to mention trekking through the Himalayas and manufacturing chocolate in Africa. This year’s Festival has been a wonderful journey.”

Audience enjoys the 2012 Ravan Awards Gala at Red Cliffs Cinema, St. George, Sept. 9 2012 | Photo courtesy of DOCUTAH

DOCUTAH would not be possible without the dedicated volunteers who invest many hours of their time to make this festival a reality.  According to Elise West, DOCUTAH volunteer coordinator, “The wonderful volunteers from this community really stepped up and were instrumental in creating a global platform for independent film this year.” Hosting viewer, filmmaker and media guests of the Festival, West said “it was easy to fill 115 volunteer positions.”

The DOCUTAH Southern Utah International Documentary Film Festival was established by Dixie State College in 2010. The Festival has since put southern Utah on the map for hosting this event that attracts professional, amateur and student filmmakers each fall. Festival goers enjoy coming for the films, staying for the scenery and departing having experienced documentary film inspiration. Touted one of the nation’s best “Small-Town Documentary Film Festivals for 2012” by the Public Broadcasting System (PBS), this year’s festival will showcase the best of a record 348 submissions from 46 world countries.

As part of the festival’s ongoing commitment to provide quality exposure to meaningful documentary films DOCUTAH now offers year-round screening events to southern Utah communities. The September Festival serves as the organization’s culminating annual event.

Copies of most films that screened during the DOCUTAH Film Festival are available for checkout at the Dixie State College Library. Call (435) 653-7714 for library loan information. For more information about DOCUTAH, visit

Written by Melynda Thorpe Burt, DocUtah Media Manager

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  • Murat September 18, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    They should really come up with a better award than the Raven. That particular design and patina just don’t go well together; it looks like the guy’s holding a couple dead birds. My suggestion would be a 20 pound solid bronze scale model of the iconic arch at Arches National Park with a vibrant red patina–something that commands attention and could be used as a deadly weapon at the same time.

    • Murat September 18, 2012 at 6:41 pm

      I can’t believe how stupid I sound. Sorry for being such an idiot!

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