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Perishing parish leads to best doc prize

The Swiss film Shake the Devil Off has won the best documentary prize at the Nashville Film Festival in the United States.

The film chronicles the struggle of the predominantly black St Augustine Church in New Orleans to stay open following Hurricane Katrina, as the city’s archdiocese works to close it down.

Variety, the influential United States magazine, has called it a “broad indictment of the heavy-handed decision-making by [New Orleans] outsiders”.

The documentary’s producer, Peter Entell, is based in Switzerland.

Shake the Devil Off is among three Swiss films due to be screened during the first week of May at the International Documentary Film Festival in the German city of Munich.

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