2019 Audio Award Winners Announced

From family secrets that can no longer be suppressed, to the injustice of ethnic disparities in cancer treatment, to the personal story of four women’s contributions to the campaign to ‘Repeal the 8th’ in Ireland – check out this year’s Whickers audio award winners.

On Thursday 5th September at the Regent Street Cinema as part of the Open City Documentary Festival, we announced our 2019 audio award winners for the Documentary Audio Recognition Award (DARA) and the Radio & Audio Funding Award (RAFA).

The Whickers’ Artistic Director Jane Ray said of this year’s audio awards: “It was inspiring to meet audio documentary makers from all over the world, and humbling to see how much passion and talent went into their entries. We’re very privileged to be involved in something that we see as a pioneering resurgence of the cinderella of documentary-making in the world today.”

First up A Perfect Match, a radio documentary proposal by Ibby Caputo, was selected as the winner of the RAFA following a live pitch by the five finalists in front of a panel of industry judges. The judges included In the Dark founder Nina Garthwaite; Overcoat Media’s Creative Director Steven Rajam; and Steve Titherington, Senior Commissioning Editor at the BBC World Service. Ibby walks away with an award of £7,000 towards the creation of her final audio documentary.

A Perfect Match is the story about who is more likely to live and who is more likely to die after being diagnosed with blood cancer. It’s a personal investigation into bone marrow transplantation that illuminates a much larger story about racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare around the world.

Ibby Caputo said of her win: “This is amazing. I wasn’t really expecting anything but I’m super excited about the results. Its overwhelming to win £7,000 so that you can do a very important story that could save lives. The money will fund the project so that I can tell this story about how important it is to become a bone marrow donor and to sign up on the registry – and, of course, to honour my friend.”

The runner-up prize of £3,000 went to Hummingbird Stories, by Navin Sam Regi – a story of grief and loss, set in one of Australia’s three children’s hospices.

The judges commented on Hummingbird Stories“This is a distinctive treatment of a profoundly sad subject matter that avoids mawkishness and offers real, rounded voices the space to tell their story.”

Alongside the RAFA, the winner of the Documentary Audio Recognition Award (DARA), for a completed work was presented to London-based radio producer Eleanor McDowall for her powerful and moving documentary A Sense of Quietness, produced by Falling Tree Productions. Eleanor receives £3,000 in recognition of her work.

A Sense of Quietness follows a line of connection through four women across two Irish referendums to explore the unexpected consequences of talking about the ‘taboo’ subject of abortion.

Eleanor McDowall said of the Award: “I never think that I’m going to win anything so this was very delightful and surprising – and just the loveliest company to be in with all of the other finalists. There has been a really lovely reaction to [A Sense of Quietness] which I think is a credit to the four women at its heart: Brianna, Siobhan, Anne and the anonymous fourth, who still needs to be anonymous because of our attitudes towards abortion and the circumstances that she’s in. It feels wonderful every time it gets heard.” 

You can listen to A Sense of Quietness here: www.soundcloud.com/fallingtreeproductions/lights-out-a-sense-of-quietness

The runner-up DARA award went to The Quevedos by NYC-based audio producer Sayre Quevedo, who takes us on a journey to understand what happened to his grandmother, the secrets that his mother kept from him, and the family that he never knew.

The judges commented on The Quevedos: “What starts as a ‘who am I and where’s my family’ documentary becomes a jaw-dropping tale of a family mired in denial. This is not a safe, reflective interview form – but the raw reveal of the ‘as it happens’ form with all the tension that brings.” 

You can listen to The Quevedos here: www.latinousa.org/2018/08/21/thequevedos/