William W. Warner Beautiful Swimmers Award

Established in memory of William Warner by the Warner/Kaempfer family for the 2015 Festival, the William W. Warner Beautiful Swimmers Award recognizes a film that reflects a spirit of reverence for the natural world. William Warner was the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Beautiful Swimmers, a study of crabs and watermen in the Chesapeake Bay. The award includes a $10,000 cash prize.


2018 Winner


Liberian activist, Silas Siakor is a tireless crusader, fighting to crush corruption and environmental destruction in the country he loves. Silas is a global tale that warns of the power of politics and celebrates the power of individuals to fight back. One man’s battle gains momentum and emboldens communities to raise their fists and smartphones, seize control of their lands and protect their environment. It is a new generation of resistance.


DIRECTOR: Anjali Nayar and Hawa Essuman

(Canada/Kenya/South Africa, 2017, 80 min.)


Past Winners


2017. The Lost City of Z, (USA, 2017, 142 min.), Directed by James Gray.

2016. The Seer, (USA, 2016, 76 min), Directed by Laura Dunn.

2015. Tiger Tiger, (USA, 2015, 90 min.), Directed by George Butler.