For our latest roundup of visual storytelling, we’ve selected some entries from the 15th Annual Webby Awards Official Honoree Selections announced yesterday. The following stories made the first cut but did not cross the bar to become nominees. We thought, however, that among those projects left behind, there were some really engaging pieces we wanted to highlight. So here are some of the entries from the honorees in the Online Film and Video categories for Documentary: Series and Documentary: Individual Episode. Next week, we’ll return with a look at the finalists.
“Swansea Love Story” from Leo Leigh and Andy Capper for VBS.tv (Vice Media), an episode of their “Rule Britannia” series. The filmmakers stick close to a group of young heroin users to explore epidemic drug abuse in South Wales, but they also delve into Swansea history and its shattered economy. Some scenes are hard to sit through because of their terrifying intimacy, while others may remind viewers that Vice Media is behind the movie. But the characters’ unexpected humor and frankness – and smart editing – make the story simply unforgettable. The link above is to the full episode, but you can also watch the trailer.
“Narcocorridos: Singing Songs of Drug Violence,” from Shaul Schwarz (edited by Brian Chang) on Time’s website. A look at the American cinematic and musical trend of transforming horrific Mexican drug violence into the stuff of ballads and folklore. In one scene, a drug lord custom-orders songs from a performer, who delivers.
“Homegirl Cafe” by Lucy Nicholson for Reuters. The daughter of gangbanging parents leaves jail and hopes to turn straight, waiting tables while she learns to box on the side.
“Five Days in the Favela” from The Guardian, part of a series looking at the slum communities in Rio. In this video “Pastor Nininho,” a DJ and evangelical leader, connects with his community in church and on public radio.
“Losing His Way,” by Peter Power and Erin Anderssen, part of a series on dementia from The Globe and Mail. This slide show is beautifully done, but it’s Mario Gregorio’s searing audio about living his life while he’s losing his mind that makes this story worth a look.
Two efforts we’ve noted before on the site also make an appearance in these categories and deserve a second mention: “Highrise: Out My Window,” a multicity, multiyear project from the National Film Board of Canada, records “the human experience in global vertical suburbs”; while “Take Care” from MediaStorm follows a teen mother who works to become a nurse as she cares for her dying grandfather.