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‘Lion’ and ‘Moonlight’ Win 39th Mill Valley Film Festival Audience Awards

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Lion and Moonlight take top honors at 39th Mill Valley Film Festival

The Weinstein Company’s LION and A24’s MOONLIGHT walked away with the top Audience Awards from the 39th Mill Valley Film Festival, which concluded last Sunday with the film LOVING. During the festival LION‘s Nicole Kidman was on hand to receive a tribute and present her film and MOONLIGHT director Barry Jenkins was on hand to present his film for the festival’s Director’s Night.

The Festival opened October 6 with the Bay Area premieres of LA LA LAND and ARRIVALEmma Stone, Damien Chazelle, and Justin Hurwitz were in attendance for the premiere of LA LA LAND and Amy Adams was on hand to represent ARRIVAL.

During the 11 days, the Festival presented Academy Award® winning actress Nicole Kidman with a special Tribute for her performance in Garth Davis’ LION and acclaimed filmmaker Julie Dash with a Tribute to her career, featuring a special anniversary screening of the newly restored digital print of her groundbreaking film DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST.

The Festival also presented Spotlight programs on actor Ewan McGregor for his directorial debutAMERICAN PASTORAL, actor and director Gael García Bernal for his performance in Pablo Larraín’s NERUDA and actor Aaron Eckhart for his supporting work alongside Miles Teller in Ben Younger’s BLEED FOR THIS.

Mike Mills’ 20TH CENTURY WOMEN served as the Festival Centerpiece, receiving the first ever MVFF Ensemble Spotlight Award. Mike Mills was in attendance to accept the award on behalf of the entire cast and was joined on stage by Annette Bening, Elle Fanning, and newcomer Lucas Jade Zumann.

Festival Highlights
The Festival program consisted of 113 feature films, 88 short films, with 60 premieres from 37 countries and 336 visiting filmmakers, panelists, and performers from all over the world. Notable guests at the Festival included Academy Award® winning filmmaker Asghar Farhadi in attendance for the Bay Area premiere of his Cannes’ Film Festival winning drama THE SALESMAN; breakout actor Lucas Hedges in attendance for Kenneth Lonergan’s acclaimed Sundance drama MANCHESTER BY THE SEA; filmmakers Barry Jenkins and J.A. Bayona in attendance for the Bay Area premieres of MOONLIGHT and A MONSTER CALLS, respectively, for the Festival’s Directors’ Night in Mill Valley.

Edward James Olmos and the entire cast and crew of MONDAY NIGHTS AT SEVEN present for the World Premiere of Marty Sader’s drama;Wayne Roberts in attendance for the US Premiere of his directorial debut, KATIE SAYS GOODBYE; acclaimed filmmaker Kelly Reichardt in attendance for the Bay Area premiere of her film CERTAIN WOMEN; Gianfranco Rosi in attendance for two screenings of his Golden Bear-winning documentary FIRE AT SEA; James Franco and newcomer Lola Sultan present for the US Premiere of Franco’s latest directorial effort IN DUBIOUS BATTLE; Eleanor Coppola in attendance for the premiere of her first feature, PARIS CAN WAIT, with special guest Tom Waits in the audience; director Rob Nilsson premiered his latest film LOVE TWICE, with actor/musicianJohn Cale and actor Carl Lumbly in attendance; actor Bruce Davison in attendance for his short film I REMEMBER YOU, programmed alongside brothers Christian and Justin Long’s short film ABE & IKE; actress Katee Sackhoff on hand to support her latest film GIRL FLU; Metallica’s Lars Ulrich hosted a Q&A for Jonathan Parker’s THE ARCHITECT, which he produced.

Iron & Wine’s Sam Beam came out in support of poet Michele Poulos’ feature debutA LATE STYLE OF FIRE: LARRY LEVIS, AMERICAN POET; director Pablo Larraín was presented with Variety Magazine’s International Director of the Year Award by Vice President and Executive Editor Steve Gaydos in advance of a screening of Larraín’s highly acclaimed new filmJACKIE; actors Raza Jaffrey, actress Stana Kanic, and director Amin Matalqa attended the world premiere of their film THE RENDEZVOUS; actress and director Amber Tamblyn attended the screenings of her feature debut PAINT IT BLACK; Wildfilm Panda Award winner Ryan Patrick Killacky with the World Premiere of his film YASUNI MAN; actress Kate Micucci and director Finn Taylor supported both screenings of their locally shot film UNLEASHED; and actress Connie Nielson provided an introduction in support of her film THE CONFESSIONS.

Audience Award Winners 2016

OVERALL FAVORITE
The MVFF Audience Favorite 2016
LION
Garth Davis

US CINEMA
Audience Favorite – US Cinema
Gold Award
MOONLIGHT
Barry Jenkins

Audience Favorite – US Cinema
Silver Award
LOVING
Jeff Nichols

Audience Favorite – US Cinema Indie
Gold Award
UNLEASHED
Finn Taylor

Audience Favorite – US Cinema Indie
Silver Award
DIANI AND DEVINE MEET THE APOCALYPSE
Etta Devine, Gabriel Diani

WORLD CINEMA
Audience Favorite – World Cinema
Gold Award
A MAN CALLED OVE
Hannes Holm

Audience Favorite – World Cinema
Silver Award
LAND OF MINE
Martin Zandvliet

Audience Favorite – World Cinema Indie
Gold Award
FUKUSHIMA, MON AMOUR
Doris Dörrie

Audience Favorite – World Cinema Indie
Silver Award
LAND LEGS
Samuel Collardey

VALLEY OF THE DOCS
Audience Favorite – Valley of the Docs
Gold Award
MAYA ANGELOU: AND STILL I RISE
Bob Hercules, Rita Coburn Whack

and

THE EAGLE HUNTRESS
Otto Bell

Audience Favorite – Valley of the Docs
Silver Award
YASUNI MAN
Ryan Patrick Killackey

FAMILY FILMS
Audience Favorite – Family Films
Gold Award
ODDBALL
Stuart McDonald

Audience Favorite – Family Films
Silver Award
KEPLER’S DREAM
Amy Glazer

About the Mill Valley Film Festival
For nearly four decades, the world-renowned Mill Valley Film Festival (MVFF) has maintained its position as a vital showcase of the global film community, attracting iconic red-carpet talent, burgeoning filmmakers, passionate audiences, and astutely curated premieres. An in-demand destination for film lovers, drawn by unmatched locale and a diverse program of mainstream studio features and new visions from independent voices from around the world, MVFF also hosts an exciting array of filmmaker and industry conversations, panels, parties, and live music performances, featuring the most acclaimed emerging and veteran actors, filmmakers, and musicians of our time. A destination event for cinephiles everywhere, and known for launching new films and creating awards season buzz, MVFF has earned a deserved reputation as a “filmmaker’s festival” by celebrating the best in American, independent, and world cinema alongside high profile and prestigious award contenders. Presented by the California Film Institute, this year’s Festival runs October 6 – 16, 2016. Opening Night Gala will be held at Marin Country Mart and Closing Night Party will be held at Cavallo Point.

Screening locations included: CinéArts@Sequoia and The Sweetwater Music Hall (Mill Valley), Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center (San Rafael), Cinemark Century Larkspur Landing and Lark Theatre (Larkspur), and Cinemark Century Cinema Corte Madera (Corte Madera).

About the California Film Institute
The non-profit California Film Institute celebrates and promotes film as art and education through year-round programming at the non-profit independent theatre, Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center, presentation of the acclaimed Mill Valley Film Festival and cultivation of the next generation of filmmakers and audiences through CFI Education programs. For more information, visit http://www.cafilm.org or call (415) 383-5256.

About Erik Anderson

Erik blames his mother for his love of all things Oscar, having watched the Academy Awards together since he was in the single digits; making lists, rankings and predictions throughout the show. This led him down the path to obsessing about awards. Much later, he found himself at GoldDerby, led by Tom O’Neill and then migrated over to Oscarwatch (now AwardsDaily), headed up by Sasha Stone before breaking off to create AwardsWatch. He is a member of the International Cinephile Society, GALECA (The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics), the International Press Academy and is the founder/owner of AwardsWatch.

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