The 2011 winner is She Monkeys.
When 15-year-old Emma lands a competitive spot on a young women's equestrian acrobatics team, she is taken under the wing of her slightly older peer Cassandra. Obsessed with strength and control, Emma covets Cassandra's natural grace and poise, while Cassandra in turn silently desires more than just Emma's discipline. The psychological stakes of their friendship intensify as the two jockey for top position, and loyalty is traded for unbridled power. Meanwhile, Emma's curious and innocent eight-year-old sister (in a remarkably complex performance delivered by rising star Isabella Lindquist) is prematurely spurred to confront the treacherous frontiers of sexuality and womanhood on her own.
Lisa Aschan's award-winning directorial debut digs between the cracks of human behavior to reveal the seemingly naïve experience of girlhood as a feeding ground for underhanded brutality and rivalry. Using naturalistic direction, evocative imagery, and engrossing performances, Aschan smartly presents a world where creatures may be the safest and most reliable companions.