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'Anvil!' captures top prize at International Documentary Assn. Awards

December 4, 2009 |  8:00 pm

Anvil

Underdog of the year Anvil continued its winning streak when the documentary "Anvil! The Story of Anvil" took the top prize at the International Documentary Assn.'s 2009 Documentary Awards today.

Sacha Gervasi's film about the Canadian metal outfit won the Distinguished Feature award at a ceremony in Los Angeles; this was the second honor bestowed upon the film by the association, which presented Gervasi with the Music Award earlier in the week. Gervasi and Anvil frontman Steve "Lips" Kudlow and drummer Robb Reiner accepted the award. 

The award is something of a vindication for "Anvil," which failed to secure a spot on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' shortlist for a best documentary Oscar. The decision was widely decried by fans and critics alike, who had praised the film as among the year's best. 

Other awards presented at the ceremony were the Distinguished Short Film prize, which went to Michael Angus and Murray Fredericks' "Salt," about the arid landscape of Lake Eyre in South Australia. The Career Achievement Award was presented to legendary documentarian Errol Morris ("Fast, Cheap and Out of Control," "The Gates of Heaven," "The Fog of War") by his longtime collaborator, composer Philip Glass. Veteran director and producer Nicolas Noxon received the Pioneer Award. Independent film advocate and entertainment lawyer Michael Donaldson was given the Amicus Award, and "Al Otro Lado" director Natalia Almada took home the Jacqueline Donnet Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award.

A tribute to journalists and documentary filmmakers who lost their lives this year was paid by Current Media's Laura Ling and Euna Lee, who were sentenced to 12 years of hard labor by a North Korean court this year before international intervention secured their release. 

-- Paul Gaita

Photo: From left, Glenn "G5" Five, Robb Reiner and Steve "Lips" Kudlow of Anvil. Credit: Getty Images

More from The Circuit:

10 films eligible for best live-action short Oscar, but which will win?

Friday roundup: De Niro, Brooks, Springsteen to receive Kennedy Honors

Review roundup: "Nine"

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