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Awardee: Jeff Malmberg

Moving Image, 2015

Jeff Malmberg is a documentary director and editor. His film Marwencol has won over 25 international awards, including two Independent Spirit Awards and the Grand Jury prize for Best Documentary at the SXSW Film Festival. Malmberg was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2013, as well as the Jacqueline Donnet Award from the International Documentary Association and Best New Filmmaker from the Boston Society of Film Critics. He works with his wife and partner Chris Shellen through their production company, Open Face.

Project: Spettacolo

Spettacolo is a documentary about villagers in a small Italian farming town who preserve their heritage and confront their community issues by turning their lives into a play. The film tells the story of Monticchiello’s Teatro Povero (Poor Theatre), interweaving episodes from its past with vérité footage from the present as the villagers turn a series of blows—financial ruin, deaths, a dwindling future generation—into a play about the end of their world. Like a novel, each chapter acts as a puzzle piece, filling in details, illuminating issues, and forming a reminder of the value of culture, community and everything else we leave behind as we move forward.