December 5, 2009 / 4:08 AM / 9 years ago

"Anvil" rocks film documentary awards

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Rock on, Anvil. The aging band that never tasted music stardom found a measure of Hollywood fame on Friday when “Anvil, The Story of Anvil” won two film awards, including best documentary, from a key group of moviemakers.

The International Documentary Association, a Los Angeles group that promotes and supports nonfiction film, late Friday awarded its top prize to “Anvil” director Sacha Gervasi for his story about the metal band that for more than three decades has tried, and failed, to score one major hit record.

The IDA also gave “Anvil” its music documentary award.

The movie, which became a cult hit in art house theaters in 2009, harkens back to the Canadian band’s origins in the 1970s when its two key members, Steve “Lips” Kudlow and Robb Reiner, were on the brink of success playing on the same stages with the likes of Bon Jovi and Poison.

But Anvil never hit the big-time and the movie catches up with the band in the 2000s as Kudlow and Reiner, now aging rockers, pull together one last tour and scrape together cash to make one more album. What emerges is a tale of chasing dreams and testing the bonds of a lifelong friendship.

The IDA is comprised of many key documentary makers and others working in nonfiction film, and because of that, its awards are widely watched leading to the Oscars in March.

Yet, perhaps in keeping tune with Anvil itself, “Anvil” won’t be an Oscar winner as it did not even make the short-list

of documentaries to be considered for Academy Awards.

In other honors, the IDA gave its short documentary award to “Salt,” by directors Michael Angus and Murray Fredericks, in which audiences journey to the featureless landscape of Lake Eyre, South Australia.

Veteran documentary maker and Oscar winner Errol Morris (“The Thin Blue Line” “The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara”) was given the 2009 Career Achievement Award.

Long-running PBS television series “POV” was given the continuing series honor, and the Sundance Channel’s six-part “Architecture School” was named best limited series on TV.

Other honors were:

Pioneer Award: Nicolas Noxon

Amicus Award: Michael Donaldson

IDA/Humanitas Award: “Garbage Dreams”

IDA/Pare Lorentz Award: “The Final Inch”

IDA/ABC News Videosource Award: “Wounded Knee”

IDA/David L. Wolper Student Documentary Achievement Award:

“The First Kid to Learn English from Mexico”

Editing by Jill Serjeant

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