We had so many great films with so much excellence filling out our 10th season that our Audience Award came right down to a photo finish. Our dual winners tied after unprecedented rates of voting by a very passionate fan base. Thanks to all of our fans for standing up and being counted!

So allow us to extend our hearty congratulations to our season finale Strong! and its director Julie Wyman, and the Emmy-nominated Have You Heard from Johannesburg and its director Connie Field for both winning this year’s honor as our audience’s favorites.

Here’s what the filmmakers had to say!

Julie Wyman

It’s risky to challenge the status quo, and I wasn’t sure how many people would really be able to see the beauty and power of women’s weightlifting and the possibility that a story like Cheryl’s offers. It’s so rewarding for me, for my production team to find the audience so in love with our hero, Cheryl Haworth, and for the film to receive recognition from such a broad and wonderful base as the Indy Lensaudience. Most importantly, this award honors and validates the film’s big picture goal of expanding the range of images of and possibilities for young women out here. Here’s to continuing the project of expanding our culture’s still very narrow definition of healthy body size, and women’s power and place in the world! — Julie Wyman

Connie Field
Connie Field

It has been such a terrific experience to share our story of the most globalized human rights struggle in history shared with the Independent Lens audience and to have them honor us with the audience award. We hope we have inspired people with this story of an extraordinary victory against seemingly impossible odds and lent strength to those trying to change the world today.— Connie Field

Cheers to you both on the most sincerely well-deserved laurels!

Did you miss one or both of our award-winners this season? Check out the trailers below: