One of our favorite Honors, the Audience Choice Prize is the award that everyone gets to vote for. It goes to those special films that engage, enrage, inspire, entertain and create intimate connections with their audiences. Previous winners in this category include The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (2008), Up the Yangtze (2009), The September Issue (2010), Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (2011), Buck (2012), Bully (2013) and Sound City (2014).
This film is nominated for:
- Audience Choice Prize – Liz Garbus
This richly expressive biopic of the legendary singer and civil rights icon Nina Simone is narrated by the late singer herself, serving up intimate insight into Simone’s psyche. We get a guided tour of her life, beginning with her early days as a piano prodigy in a rural North Carolina church. She rose to fame and found transcendence in the civil rights movement—we witness her electrifying performance of the career-changing anthem “Mississippi Goddamn” (written in response to the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing). But tragedy was always close at her heels. After an eight-year exile in Liberia, Simone found her way to Switzerland and then Paris, where she re-emerged as a singer. This honest, layered film doesn’t shy away from her personal demons. But it also exalts her as a brave black woman whose music still holds sway.