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Fourteen Documentary Directors in Contention for the 2013 Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award

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“To cherish the life of the world...”—Margaret Mead

Fourteen filmmakers are in contention for the top honor at the 2013 Margaret Mead Film Festival, which runs from October 17 through October 20 and honors the legacy of groundbreaking anthropologist and Museum curator Margaret Mead (1901-1978).

The Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award recognizes documentary filmmakers who embody Mead’s spirit, energy, and innovation by offering a new perspective on a culture or community in their films, which will be making their U.S. or world premieres at the festival. The 2013 winner or winners will be announced at the festival’s closing-night ceremony on Sunday, October 20. 

Stay tuned for more about the 2013 Mead Festival and its theme “See for Yourself,” and check out trailers for the films in the 2013 Mead Award Contenders video gallery at left.

Vincent Coen and Guillaume Vandenberghe directed Cinéma Inch’Allah! (Cinema My Love), an intimate portrait of four young Belgian-Moroccan filmmakers.

Cinema Inch_Allah

Pegi Vail directed Gringo Trails, which makes its world premiere at the Mead Film Festival. Gringo Trails follows travelers’ routes through Latin America and to Africa and Asia, revealing complex relationships between colliding cultures and the evolution of cultural tourism.

Tourist lying in trash on a beach sleeping off a night of drinking

Miriam Smith and Chris Pryor directed How Far is Heaven, a captivating story of three Catholic nuns, the last of their order living in a remote New Zealand village, and their relationship with the Maori community.


Uli Gaulke directed As Time Goes By in Shanghai, which follows members of Shanghai’s Peace Old Jazz Band, who have been playing together—and watching the city remake itself—since the 1940s.

As Time Goes By in Shanghai

Gerardo Barroso and Lisa Tillinger directed Calle López, a portrait of everyday life on downtown Mexico City’s bustling Calle López.

Calle Lopez

Lalita Krishna directed Mallamall, a look at how India’s Western-style retail revolution is upending centuries-old traditions of open-air markets in a collision between global and local capitalism.


Sebastien Mez directed Metamorphosen, which chronicles life near the plant that produced the first fissile material for nuclear weapons in the former Soviet Union, repeatedly irradiating the area.


Juliet Lamont directed Miss Nikki and the Tiger Girls, which traces the tensions and transformations in modern Myanmar (Burma) while following the journey of The Tiger Girls, a pop group.

Miss Nikki and the Tiger Girls

Alicia Harrison directed Taxiway, making its U.S. premiere at the festival, which features the filmmaker’s intimate conversations with New York’s immigrant taxi drivers, offering a vivid portrait of the city’s hardships and allure. 


Sarah Gavron and David Katznelson directed A Village at the End of the World, a look at life in a remote Inuit village in Northern Greenland confronting challenges familiar to many rural communities against a dramatic backdrop of melting Arctic ice.

A young man with short dark hair, his bare back to the camera, wades waist-deep in a remote lake in Northern Greenland, surrounded by low hills, rolling tundra, and big clear sky.

Kesang Tsetan directed Who Will Be a Gurkha? The film looks at the traditions of a prestigious, centuries-old Nepali mercenary unit, which features prominently in the imaginations of young Nepali boys.

Who Will Be a Gurkha?

The winner(s) will be announced on closing night, Sunday, October 20.