PORT TOWNSEND — A documentary that brings to light the harsh life of child mine workers and a comedy that breaks through the crust of everyday life in Northern Alberta were the big winners in the sixth annual Port Townsend Film Festival.
Named best feature-length documentary, “The Devil’s Miner” follows 14-year Basilio Vargas as he works in a silver mine in Bolivia.
Produced and directed by Kief Davidson and Richard Ladkani, it was chosen, the judges said, for both its close-up camera work and the appropriate emotional distance it maintained while depicting a harrowing way of life.
“This powerful film has met the mark,” said Robert Horton, reading the judges’ report.
Horton, Seattle film critic, hosted the breakfast, which was held at 9 a.m. at the Upstage Theatre & Restaurant.
Because of the early hour, none of the winners were immediately on hand to receive their awards and bouquets of flowers.
But Aaron Sorensen, who won best feature-length narrative film for “Hank Williams First Nation,” showed up in time to receive his award in person.
The film, which Sorensen wrote, directed and edited, is an intimate look at a family circle in a Cree Nation community that is broken when an elderly uncle decides he wants to go to Nashville to see Hank Williams’ grave.
His teenage great-nephew is conscripted to go with him, but instead of being a “road” movie, the film moves deftly back and forth between the two bus riders and the lives of people back home.“Trout Grass,” directed and filmed by Ed George, won best short documentary.