We are very happy to announce that the winner of this year’s Film & TV Funding Award is All That Remains, a personal investigation into serial sexual abuse. Directed by Bangkok-based photojournalist Amanda Mustard, the project was selected at this year’s Sheffield Doc/Fest following a live pitch on Tuesday 11th June in front of a panel of industry judges. Amanda walks away with £80,000 towards the making of her film.
In All That Remains, Amanda Mustard will return to the US and turn her investigative lens on the serial abuse committed by her grandfather. Through the accounts of the perpetrator and survivors, she pursues a high-stakes journey to examine the systemic injustices and culture of silence in pursuit of truth and reconciliation for her family.
Kate Townsend, Director of Original Documentaries at Netflix and a member of the judging panel, said: “Amanda’s film is a brave personal story that tackles a dark subject in a distinctive and compelling way.”
Amanda Mustard said of the process:“My experience of being a Whickers finalist has been incredible. It has been terrifying at stages but has given me the opportunity to grow a lot as a first-time filmmaker. I was really just honoured to share my story with everybody. For someone to really believe in this project, to see it through, is incredible. I really liked the spirit of Alan Whicker’s work, and I thought it would fit for me to be on camera as well as directing. It feels amazing to have the project, and my abilities to do this, believed in. I’m thinking about how different my next year will be… I am very excited to be able to move forward with it finally.”
The runner-up prize went to Anna Oliker for her film AZ House, which tackles the highly sensitive and growing issue of opioid abuse in the Ultra-Orthodox Haredi community. In a Jerusalem suburb, fifteen young American drug addicts, abandoned by their ultra-Orthodox Jewish families, share both pain and great hope that Eric, another recovering addict, will save them from certain death. AZ House allows a rare glimpse into the lives of these young addicts during the most trying time of their lives, as they deal not only with recovery but with exile from the insular community in which they were raised.
Oli Harbottle, Head of Distribution & Acquisitions at Dogwoof said of AZ House: “A provocative take on the furthest reaches of the opiates epidemic, this is an edgy and energetic film giving us unique access to an extraordinary community.”
First-time filmmaker and mother of five, Anna Oliker said of her experience: “I’m flabbergasted and truly honoured. I really hope this project is going to make a difference to anyone who is suffering from being different, suffering from drug addiction or separation from their family. It is amazing that The Whickers are giving someone like me an opportunity – someone who went to film school at age 48 – and I think it sends a great message to women and girls everywhere. It’s never too late so go out there, grab a camera and do something good!”
The Whickers’ Awards Committee chair, Valerie Kleeman, said of this year’s finalists:
“I have once again been amazed and delighted at not only the quality of our finalists, but the very original form of storytelling each one brings to their documentary. Amanda’s story is an important investigation into generations of abuse, told from the inside. We were impressed by this personal journey of discovery with unique access to a shocking family history. Anna Oliker’s warmth and sensitivity in dealing with the opiate problem within a community rarely exposed to public gaze is a worthy runner-up.”