Many critics consider When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts to be the best documentary of 2006, but it wasn't eligible for the Academy Award because it was released on HBO rather than in theaters. Fortunately the film and its director, Spike Lee, are getting recognition from other places, such as the George Polk Awards, which honors the best in journalism from the previous year. Lee and producer Sam Pollard were named as winners of a television documentary prize, which they'll receive at the annual awards luncheon April 12.

As far as I can tell, a Polk Award for film or television documentary is rarely given -- the previous one was handed out in 1994 (though Fred Wiseman did win a career award in 2005 for his contributions to film journalism) -- so this is a very special honor. It is also probably a great convenience to Lee since Long Island University, which gives out the awards, is literally around the corner from the filmmaker's 40 Acres and a Mule production offices in Brooklyn (too bad the luncheon will be in Manhattan instead of on campus). Read Ryan's review of When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, and check out the doc, still airing on HBO and available on DVD.