Best Foreign Film Award Goes to I’m Free

September 09, 2017 — St. George, UT  At the conclusion of its eighth season, The DSU DOCUTAH International Documentary Film Festival today announced the winners of the 2017 Raven Awards. This year’s Festival offered 65 films from 20 countries. As always, the subject matter ranged from intense to lighthearted, but this year, many dealt with the riveting and heart-rending conditions experienced in war torn areas of the globe.

Film awards were presented in 11 categories:

“Documentaries have the ability to reach audiences in a way no other medium can. Whether the films reflect our own culture and foibles back to us or expose the viewer to gut wrenching realities, there is a power in documentary which opens our eyes and, at times, our souls to the world,” said Phil Tuckett, Executive Director of DOCUTAH. “Even when a film is difficult to watch because of the subject matter, despair need not be the reaction. When we know more about our fellow travelers on this planet, we are more apt to have empathy, which leads to understanding and caring and, perhaps, action to help solve the problems the filmmakers bring to light.”

“In its eighth season, DOCUTAH shows no signs of slowing down. I love to see the energy that it brings to the DSU campus each school year,” said Dr. Jeffery Jarvis, Executive Producer for DOCUTAH and Dean of the College of the Arts. “The importance of it as an academic component of this institution cannot be underestimated. Not only do our film students have a chance to work with professionals from the industry to create documentaries, but all our students, no matter their major, can become educated or gain skills and insights in their chosen field.”


DOCUTAH celebrates the art of documentary filmmaking, connecting Dixie State University and the community to the world. DOCUTAH offers a unique, entertaining International Documentary Film Festival and year-round programs providing creative, cultural, and educational engagement. (read more)



“The range of topics, diversity and quality of this year’s DocUtah film festival entries are quite extraordinary. The opportunity to experience all of the feature documentaries was an unexpected journey to places I’ve never been, a history I’ve never known, and people I never could have imagined, with whom the filmmakers connected me mind to mind and heart to heart.” Kieth Merrill,

“I’m overwhelmed by the quality of films this year. DOCUTAH has clearly distinguished itself as a leading documentary film festival!” Reed Smoot, ASC, Cinematographer, DOCUTAH Judge

“With film festivals popping up all over the world, there is always competition for festivals to find the best talent and films.  IN many festivals, documentaries can be lost among the narrative fims.  IN my experience of taking my doc, “The Werecking Crew,” around the world, there is only one DOCUTAH.  It stands out on its own.  As a judge, I was floored by the quality of films in competition.  It wasn’t an easy job to pick winners.” Denny Tedesco, director, “The Wrecking Crew”, DOCUTAH Judge.

I have been to scores of film festivals and seen, perhaps, hundreds of documentaries, but I have never seen the caliber of DOCUTAH 2017 matched, anywhere. Having watched and judged the documentary features for this year’s Festival, I was impressed beyond measure at the quality of storytelling and cinematography. Hats off to DOCUTAH. I definitely look forward to DOCUTAH 2018. It is earning a prime position on the list of “Top Twenty Documentary Film Festivals.” Jennifer Jordan, Director, “3000 Cups of Tea”, DOCUTAH Judge

“DOCUTAH programs an impressive variety of films that tackle both contemporary and historical social issues, as well as deeply personal topics.  It’s a first-rate festival amidst the enchanting backdrop of Southern Utah’s natural beauty.  I’d return to DOCUTAH in a heartbeat.” Bill Brummel, Director, “Selma: The bridge to the Ballot”

“I received great feedback after my film screened at DOCUTAH. Other filmmakers said they were inspired by it, and DOCUTAH generated fans for the film.  DOCUTAH has high end projection equipmemt and an interesting program that allows for a wide variety of subjects.” Nicholas Steiner, Director, “Above and Below”