Gibney wins Best Doc Oscar

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Taxi to the Dark Side, directed by Saville Productions' Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room), took home the statuette for the best documentary Academy Award last night. The film, which took top doc honors at both the Tribeca and Chicago film festivals, uses the death of an Afghan taxi driver as a starting point for a more in-depth examination of American torture policy and the treatment of prisoners captured in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The film is Version2 editor Sloane Klevin's first foray into feature documentary territory. We spoke to Klevin about the film when it won the top doc award at Tribeca last July. Klevin watched the Oscar ceremony from New York, having given her ticket to producer Blair Foster, who Klevin said had worked incredibly hard on the film but wasn't nominated because of the Academy's limit on nomination producers. The New York-based editor's first reaction to the win was shock. "I really didn't expect it," she said. "I thought it would be No End in Sight or War/Dance so I went crazy when Tom Hanks said Taxi to the Dark Side. Alex had a feeling we might win, so he had called me earlier in the day to thank me profusely for my work on the film. He told me that you only get 60 seconds from the time they announce your name. So if he won, he planned to make a political statement with his time and not thank anyone."

Gibney dedicated the film to his late father, a WWII Naval interrogator who was angered by the revelations of torture at U.S. prisons. Upon accepting the Oscar, Gibney said "Let's hope we can turn this country around."

"I was glad he chose to do that," says Klevin. "That is the point of making this film. To keep this issue alive and get people to talk about it. Not to let people forget about what is going on, and to keep trying to get the American people to hold their leaders accountable for what is being done in our names! I'm really thrilled about the win and about HBO's decision to air the film before the November elections. I hope it continues to have an impact."

Next month, Klevin will be leaving Version2 to launch the New York office of Santa Monica-based post company Union Editorial, where she will be will be a partner and editor.
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