This $7,500 annual prize recognizes documentary films that combine originality and creativity with firsthand experience in examining central issues of contemporary life and culture. In keeping with the CDS mission, the award was created to honor and support documentary artists whose works are potential catalysts for education and change. The award goes to filmmakers who best connect the power of the documentary tradition with community life, who best lead viewers to understand and reflect on themselves and the world portrayed.
Jessica Beshir won the 2021 CDS Filmmaker Award for Faya Dayi.
Award winners are selected from among films in competition at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, held each spring in Durham, North Carolina.