Through out the past couple of years some of my favorite work to come from COPY has been in the Documentary category. Alex Welsh’s piece Hunters Point, ‘We Out Here.’ and then Rachel Mummey’s Southeast Side Iowa City. I would say Documentary is one the harder categories to judge because the stories are usually much more complex for which the images must make sense of things. For this year’s category, most of the submissions that just seemed like single stories were “outted” right away. And just as with other picture story categories you could tell that if the first few set of images didn’t get across to the judges the entry wouldn’t get very far. I was happy to see that some of the more experimental entries were voted in the first round, though many didn’t make it much farther than that. Honestly, I think I was pretty pleased with the way the judging went for documentary. Brad Vest’s story had the most emotional impact out of all of them and was kept well together. I remember thinking that Jimmy Croona’s orphan story should have been in first or second but can see how the unique sensibility of Salvi Dane’s Japan isolation story and Brad Vest’s story had more vision and impact. I think that multimedia categories were just as good as documentary this year. I really liked a lot of the way the projects were shot, as they just pulled you right into their stories right from the get go. I think this had to do with the sequencing of video shots for many of the projects. I was pretty blown away with Arkasha Stevenson’s story Safekeeping. The entire piece was very fluid and the images — though a lot of video — worked very well off eachother. I remember one of the more notable aspects of the production of the piece was the above-the-head video interview. It was like she was looking up to the viewer for help. This is the kind of work that demands attention and Arkasha got the right place, I think.