2019 Best in Show Award is under construction. Please check back for updates!

Once a year, the National Media Market awards its prestigious Best in Show Award to a film entered by one of our esteemed exhibitors and selected by a panel of judges.

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Director:  Olivier Jourdain
Writer:  Olivier Jourdain
Featuring:  Dusabe Vestine
56 Min./Documentary/2018


Complete List of 2018 Entries 


Black Code/Music Box Films

Jackson/Collective Eye Films

The Heart of Nuba/Tugg EDU

One October: A Nightmare in Las Vegas/Dreamscape Media

Hale County This Morning, This Evening/Cinema Guild

Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex Fashion & Disco/Film Movement

This Is Home - A Refugee Story/Bullfrog Films

Sacred Water/Docuseek2

Patrimonio/First Run Features (Alexander Street)

RBG/ro*co films educational

The Silk and the Flame/Juno Films

Yours in Sisterhood/Women Make Movies

After Auschwitz/Passion River


95 and 6 to go/New Day Films

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Hale County This Morning, This Evening
Distributed by: Cinema Guild
Director:  RaMell Ross
Writers: RaMell Ross, Maya Krinsky
Featuring:  Latrenda 'Boosie' Ash, Quincy Bryant, Daniel Collins
76 minutes

This Is Home - A Refugee Story
Distributed by: Bullfrog Films
Director:  Alexandra Shiva
91 Minutes/Documentary/2018

Meet the 2019 NMM Best in Show Jurists


Jury Chair. Meghann Matwichuk, Associate Librarian and Coordinator of the University of Delaware's Film & Video Collection, has been evaluating media in many capacities for 10+ years, attending national film festivals, writing reviews, and taking part in national committee work, advisory boards, and focus groups.  She has served as a member and Chair of the American Library Association's Video Round Table Notable Videos for Adults Committee, and is a board member at National Media Market.

Laura Jenemann is the Communication, Media, & Film Librarian at Boston University.  She is a past member and chair of the American Library Association’s Video Round Table Notable Videos for Adults Committee and has been a screener for AFI DOCS for the past two years. She's also a current board member at National Media Market. When not watching or reviewing documentaries, Laura enjoys watching other genres of film and television.

Winifred Metz, Head of the Library’s Media Center at the University of North Carolina, curates the research-level Film & Media collection and consults on media production, analysis & consumption, leveraging the use of film, television, and new media for instruction and research.  Winifred is a member of the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival Programming Team as well as serving on their Selection Committee, and serves on UNC's Global Film Board.  She is a reviewer for a journal on Video Ethnography, writes a media column for Against the Grain and serves on the Senior Advisory Board for Alexander Street Press.

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Kyle Knight is the Studio Manager for the St. Louis Public Library where he helps develop and maintain the DVD and Blu-Ray collections, handle film programming, and answer copyright related questions. He has served on the American Library Association’s Film and Media Round Table Notable Videos for Adults Committee and is currently a National Media Market board member. He has also served as a screener for the St. Louis International Film Festival.

Jeffrey Pearson has worked as the media librarian for Wayne State University in Detroit, and at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor since 2000. He has served on the American Library Association's Video Round Table Notable Videos for Adults Committee, and currently writes reviews for Educational Media Reviews Online.

Best in Show Evaluation Criteria

Quality of ideas:

  • Originality (e.g. addresses a new topic or a unique facet of a well-covered topic)

  • Authenticity (topic is presented in an ethical / thoughtful manner)

Expression of ideas:

  • Expands viewer knowledge of a particular subject

  • Clarity of presentation

Quality of craft:

  • Skillful editing / cinematography / narration / etc.

  • Expands the boundaries of educational video

Winners from Past Years


Grasshopper Film: Last Men In Aleppo

Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary Feature and winner of the Grand Jury documentary prize at the Sundance Film Festival, Syrian filmmaker Feras Fayyad’s breathtaking work — a searing example of boots-on-the-ground reportage — follows the efforts of the internationally recognized White Helmets, an organization consisting of ordinary citizens who are the first to rush towards military strikes and attacks in the hope of saving lives. Incorporating moments of both heart-pounding suspense and improbable beauty, the documentary draws us into the lives of three of its founders — Khaled, Subhi, and Mahmoud — as they grapple with the chaos around them and struggle with an ever-present dilemma: do they flee or stay and fight for their country?

2015 K-12 (tie)

Media Education Foundation: The IllusionistS

Sex sells. What sells even more? Insecurity. Multi-billion dollar industries saturate our lives with images of unattainable beauty, exporting body hatred from New York to Beirut to Tokyo. Their target? Women, and increasingly men and children. The Illusionists turns the mirror on media, exposing the absurd, sometimes humorous, and shocking images that seek to enslave us.

Women Make Movies: On Beauty

From Emmy®-nominated IN THE FAMILY filmmaker Joanna Rudnick and Chicago’s Kartemquin Films comes a story about challenging norms and redefining beauty. ON BEAUTY follows fashion photographer Rick Guidotti, who left the fashion world when he grew frustrated with having to work within the restrictive parameters of the industry’s standard of beauty. After a chance encounter with a young woman who had the genetic condition albinism, Rick re-focused his lens on those too often relegated to the shadows to change the way we see and experience beauty.

2015 Academic

Ambrose Video: Neuroscience: Understanding the Brain

This incredible five part series, Neuroscience: Understanding the Brain, investigates the last and greatest frontier of science, the astonishing world of the human brain. In the 21st Century, the field of neuroscience is drawing the best and brightest from computer science, medicine, engineering, psychology, biology, genetics and ethics to study the human brain. Featuring in-depth interviews and demonstrations with neuroscientists from the country's top institutions, including MIT, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and Washington University, this incredible five part series, Neuroscience: Understanding the Brain, investigates the last and greatest frontier challenging humanity's understanding of our world - the human brain.

2014 Academic:  First Run Features: Through a Lens Darkly

The first documentary to explore the role of photography in shaping the identity, aspirations and social emergence of African Americans from slavery to the present, Through a Lens Darkly probes the recesses of American history by discovering images that have been suppressed, forgotten and lost.

2014 K-12:  ro*co Films: Chasing Ice

The first documentary to explore the role of photography in shaping the identity, aspirations and social emergence of African Americans from slavery to the present, Through a Lens Darkly probes the recesses of American history by discovering images that have been suppressed, forgotten and lost.

2013:  Rosner Educational Media: Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today

One of the greatest courtroom dramas in history, Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today shows how the international prosecutors built their case against the top Nazi war criminals using the Nazis’ own films and records. The trial established the “Nuremberg principles,” laying the foundation for all subsequent trials for crimes against the peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

2012: The Cinema Guild: Inocente

A powerful, moving documentary from the filmmakers of the Academy Award nominated War/Dance. Inocente delivers a rare glimpse inside the inspirational life of a homeless undocumented fifteen-year-old girl, a burgeoning artist, and the extraordinary challenges she must contend with on a daily basis.

2011: First Run Features: Jane’s Journey

It would be hard to name anyone who has had more of an impact in the realm of animal research and wildlife conservation than Jane Goodall, whose 45 year study of wild chimpanzees in Africa is legendary. With Jane Goodall, Pierce Brosnan, Kofi Annan, Angelina Jolie & more.

2010: Eleventh Day Entertainment: For Love of Liberty

If prevalent and accepted accounts of American history—both scholarly and those portrayed by Hollywood—are to be believed, the face of the U.S. armed services has always been white. For Love of Liberty: The Story of America’s Black Patriots finally, and for the first time, sets the record straight.

2009: The National Film Board of Canada: RiP: A remix manifesto

Join filmmaker Brett Gaylor and mashup artist Girl Talk as they explore copyright and content creation in the digital age. In the process they dissect the media landscape of the 21st century and shatter the wall between users and producers. Creative Commons founder, Lawrence Lessig, Brazil's Minister of Culture, Gilberto Gil, and pop culture critic Cory Doctorow also come along for the ride.

2008: Cinema Guild: Taxi to the Dark Side

The educational version of the 2008 Academy Award winner for Best Documentary Feature, Taxi to the Dark Side is the definitive investigation into the introduction of torture as an interrogation technique in U.S. facilities, and the role played by key figures of the Bush Administration in the process.

2007: Visual Learning Company: Adaptations

Characteristics enabling organisms to survive and reproduce are referred to as adaptations. This program explores the wide range of adaptations humans, plants, animals, and all living things exhibit. Beautiful instructive video footage from throughout the world including the Galapagos Islands, Canadian Rockies, and New England, depicts adaptations for getting food, finding a mate, and escaping predators.