U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Filmmaking — Bing Liu, Minding the Gap

Minding the Gap

Welcome to Rockford, Illinois, the heartland of the post-industrial rust belt of America. But more importantly, welcome to the revelatory work of Bing Liu, an electrifying new voice in documentary filmmaking.

Bing, 24, returns home and reconnects with his friends Zack and Keire, whom he’s been skateboarding with since childhood. Archival recordings of their former glory coupled with current interviews and extraordinary skateboard footage tell the story of three young men who banded together to escape their volatile families. As they grow up before our eyes, unexpected revelations threaten to crash their decade-long friendship.

In Minding the Gap, Bing Liu defies so many of the “no-no’s” of conventional documentary filmmaking: he’s in his own film, he breaks the fourth wall often, and he embraces filmmaking as therapy—yet it all works brilliantly. What emerges is an insider’s story that defies the media’s fixation of the skateboarder as mindless slacker and digs into the heart of modern-day masculinity. This provocative film explores the gap between fathers and sons, between discipline and domestic abuse, and ultimately that precarious chasm between childhood and becoming an adult.


Sun. 1/28, 4:00 p.m., Holiday 1, PC

SECTION Award Winners

RUN TIME 98 min