• Awards

• Nominee, Best Short Documentary Subject, The 88th Academy Awards 2016


• International Documentary Association (IDA) -Best Short

IDA Laurels_Bestshort 2015

•  45th Annual Northern California Area Emmy® Award:  News and Program Specialty -Documentary-Topical

• SIMA – Social Impact Media Award: Best Directors, Best Editing and The Stylistic Achievement Award

• Hollywood International independent Documentary Awards, April 2016 Edition


• 2015 Platinum Award Winner of the Spotlight Documentary Film Awards


• Finalist, Documentary Short, 59th Cine Eagle Award.


• John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, Film (2016)

Gideon Award, California Public Defenders Association

• The 2016 Veterans Braintrust Award, United States Congressional Black Caucus


About the awards:
• Full Frame Jury Award for Best Short

The Jury, J. Christian Jensen, Yael Melamede, and Nicole Triche, stated, “This film demonstrates and reminds us of the simple power and intimacy of the human voice. It interweaves different visual styles of animation and engages the audience fully in an increasingly fraught tale that ultimately presents the supreme cost of doing the right thing.”

• The Center for Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival

Documentaries shine when they show us fresh, relevant, meaningful ways to understand, and reflect upon, ourselves and the world.

Most start with pictures of reality, sounds of existence. These signals in the atmosphere of what we see, hear, and feel – are exterior signs, documented and shared. Yet as we dig deeper, it’s the interior life that animates our questions, our creative explorations, our theories about what matters and how we know things to be so. And the challenges of documenting these quiet or raging or dissonant places inside the heart and mind are ever present in our field.

The CDS Filmmaker Award this year goes to a film that wades with boldness and generosity of spirit and innovativeness in filmmaking into these waters. For how DO you document memory, something that lives primarily in the brain and heart? What are the primary documents to draw from? Where is the imprint in the field? These are pressing questions, hardly new but presently interesting in a digital age when new analog artifacts are fewer in number and scarcer in practice.

Our award this year goes to a filmmaker team who found a new and captivating way to merge past and present, to transform a conventional first-person interview, to convey trauma and tragedy without pigeon-holing people by class or race, and indeed to ask if something so intensely personal can ever be represented visually, really, at all. The CDS Filmmaker Award focuses on the artistic hand and craft of the filmmaker, and this year that is perhaps more literally true that years past, opening up possibilities for our imaginative documenting of both our outer and our interior lives, and the sharing of these experiences with others. There is a powerful line in the film, about war veterans, PTSD, the American criminal injustice system, family bonds, the death penalty,  ‘We all have blood on our hands now…we’re all part of this experiment.’ Indeed we are, and in honor of how this film acts as a catalyst for self-reflection, creating space for a reconsideration of what we think we know of the world and our place in it… we are happy to present the 2015 CDS Filmmaker Award to a magnificent experiment in documenting the deeply important terrain of our memories and our personal stake in the world, Last Day of Freedom, by Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman.

Wesley Hogan
Director, Center for Documentary Studies

About Last Day of Freedom Awards (press)
Best Short Documentary – TallGrass Film Festival
In a Snapshot
Hamptons International Film Festival (Best Short Documentary Award)
Indiezone.TV (Full Frame)
EDN (Full Frame)
Film Babble Blog (Full Frame)