'I'm Wanita'.

Matthew Walker’s portrait of enigmatic country music performer, Wanita Bahtiyar, took out Best Feature Documentary at the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) Awards on Wednesday.

I’m Wanita, produced by People Productions, triumphed over My Name is Gulpilil, The Bowraville Murders, and Valerie Taylor: Playing With Sharks to win the $5,000 cash prize, adding to its Sydney Film Festival Documentary Australia Foundation Award for Australian Documentary.

The film catches up with Australia’s self-proclaimed ‘Queen of Honky Tonk’ in her late forties, having lived a life that has encompassed autism, parenting, struggles with alcohol, a tumultuous marriage, sex work, and an unrelenting (if unwanted) tendency to burn bridges.

However, she continues to strive for greatness as she battles her demons, undertaking an odyssey with musicians Gleny Rae Virus – also her manager at the time – and Archer to record an album across Memphis, New Orleans and Nashville.

In accepting the award, producer Tait Brady said making the film was “an incredible act of perseverance and dedication” from Walker, who first started the journey in 2014.

“It almost broke him but he kind of loved it,” he said.

‘I’m Wanita’ producers Tait Brady and Carolina Sorensen.

Of the other categories, Northern Pictures’ See What You Made Me Do won Best Factual/Documentary Series, Chemical Media’s Our African Roots was awarded Best Documentary/Factual Single, and No Thing Productions and Sacrebleu Productions’ Freedom Swimmer took out Best Short Form Documentary.

The AIDC Awards ceremony marks the conclusion of the four-day in-person and online conference for the documentary and factual industry, with two more days of International Marketplace meetings still to come (10-11 March).

The 2022 hybrid event featured more than 90 local and international speakers, and over 100 local and international decision makers in a program of 40-plus sessions and 500 curated meetings, with many more spontaneous meetings made throughout the event.

BEST FEATURE DOCUMENTARY

I’M WANITA | 2020
Matthew Walker, Carolina Sorensen, Clare Lewis, Tait Brady | People Productions

BEST DOCUMENTARY/FACTUAL SERIES

SEE WHAT YOU MADE ME DO | 2021
Tosca Looby, Karina Holden | Northern Pictures

BEST DOCUMENTARY/FACTUAL SINGLE

OUR AFRICAN ROOTS | 2021
Santilla Chingaipe, Tony Jackson, David Collins | Chemical Media

BEST SHORT-FORM DOCUMENTARY

FREEDOM SWIMMER | 2021
Olivia Martin-McGuire, Brooke Silcox, Ron Dyens | No Thing Productions & Sacrebleu Productions

BEST AUDIO DOCUMENTARY

TENDER: ROIA ATMAR | 2021
Madison Griffiths, Beth Atkinson-Quinton | Broadwave

BEST INTERACTIVE/IMMERSIVE DOCUMENTARY

GONDWANA | 2022
Ben Joseph Andrews, Emma Roberts | Pernickety Split

SPECIAL MENTION

RAVI AND EMMA | 2021
Kylie Boltin, Ella Rubeli, Ravi Vasavan, Emma Anderson | SBS

STANLEY HAWES AWARD

As part of the AIDC Awards ceremony, the already-announced Stanley Hawes Award was presented to screen journalist, David Tiley.

AIDC FACTORY PITCH PRIZES:
In addition to the AIDC Awards, AIDC announced the winners of the pitch prizes for the 2022 FACTory International Pitching Showcase.

Prizes have awarded six of the project teams that competed in The FACTory:

Sunny Side of the Doc (France)
Prize: Two complimentary passes for one team (online or physical attendance of Sunny Side of the Doc 2022); two-hour online mentoring session for winning project team.
WINNER: Our Hoolocks

Hot Docs (Canada)
Prize: Two online passes to attend Hot Docs Industry in 2022.
WINNER: Guardians of the River

Doc Edge (New Zealand)
Three complimentary All Access passes to the Doc Edge Forum
WINNERS: The Last Daughter, Solastalgia: Journeys Through A Scarred Landscape, and Campesinos.

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