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MUDBOUND Wins 2017 Mill Valley Film Festival Audience Award

Dee Rees’s post-World War II drama Mudbound has won the Overall Audience Award at the 40th Mill Valley Film Festival. The festival has Audience Favorite awards in its separate sections including US Cinema, World Cinema and Documentaries. Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut Molly’s Game, starring Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba, earned to top prize in US Cinema.

These two awards have recently been good bellwethers for the Oscars; previous Overall winners have included Lion, Room and Life of Pi and US Cinema winners have included Moonlight, Spotlight and Silver Linings Playbook. Every one of those films won at least one Academy Award with two, Moonlight and Spotlight, going on to win Best Picture. Agnès Varda’s Faces Places won the Mind the Gap prize, the initiative to celebrate and promote women in film making.

The Festival’s official program included 120 feature films, and 95 short films representing 52 countries, and 43 premieres, with over 330 filmmakers, musicians, panelists and special guests in attendance. The 40th edition drew over 75,000 attendees who flocked to Marin County to get an early glimpse at the Academy Award® contenders, discover some of the best films from around the globe and celebrate the many talented local filmmakers in the Bay Area.

MVFF continues to be a leader in driving the film industry towards gender parity and conscious inclusion: with 44% women directors across all sections at the Festival, they exceeded their goal of 40% for their 40th anniversary. It was standing room only at the inaugural Mind the Gap Summit, leaders in film and tech were brought together for a powerful day of presentations and discussion. Producers Blye Faust(SPOTLIGHT), Osnat Shurer (MOANA); actress Connie Nielsen (WONDER WOMAN); director Catherine Hardwicke (TWILIGHT); and director Dee Rees with the heads of department from her film MUDBOUND were amongst those leading “an incredibly inspiring day,” said Director of Programming, Zoë Elton. She continued “At a time when we are doing a lot of soul-searching about women in the industry, Mind the Gap articulates ways to raise the bar on agency for women, both in storytelling and in their working lives. And, an amazing community of international filmmakers could be seen amongst the redwoods in Mill Valley—from Petra Volpe (THE DIVINE ORDER, Switzerland) to Annarita Zambrano (AFTER THE WAR Italy), from Lynne Sachs (TIP OF MY TONGUE, US) to Greta Gerwig (LADY BIRD, US). And with MVFF honors to Gerwig, Rees and actresses Kristin Scott Thomas and Holly Hunter, our 40th proved to be an extraordinary year for great female talents.”

The full list of 2017 MVFF Audience Award Winners:

OVERALL FAVORITE

The MVFF Audience Favorite 2017
MUDBOUND
Dee Rees

US CINEMA

Audience Favorite – US Cinema
Gold Award
MOLLY’S GAME
Aaron Sorkin

Audience Favorite – US Cinema
Silver Award
LADY BIRD
Greta Gerwig

Audience Favorite – US Cinema Indie
Gold Award
QUEST
Santiago Rizzo

Audience Favorite – US Cinema Indie
Silver Award
THE LIGHT OF THE MOON
Jessica M. Thompson

WORLD CINEMA

Audience Favorite – World Cinema
Gold Award
GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN
Simon Curtis

Audience Favorite – World Cinema
Silver Award
THE INVISIBLES
Claus Räfle

Audience Favorite – World Cinema Indie
Gold Award
AN ACT OF DEFIANCE
Jean van de Velde

Audience Favorite – World Cinema Indie
Silver Award
THE DIVINE ORDER
Petra Volpe

VALLEY OF THE DOCS

Audience Favorite – Valley of the Docs
Gold Award
KIM SWIMS
Kate Webber

Audience Favorite – Valley of the Docs
Silver Award
CITY OF JOY
Madeleine Gavin

MIND THE GAP

Audience Favorite – Mind the Gap
Gold Award
FACES, PLACES
Agnès Varda

In collaboration with the San Francisco Film Critics Circle (SFFCC), the Festival, along with SFFCC President, Randy Myers, awarded filmmakers Richard O’Connell and Annelise Wunderlich with the inaugural SFFCC Award for Best Documentary with Bay Area Ties, for their compelling documentary, THE CORRIDOR. “The SFFCC members who served on the jury acknowledge that there were a number of excellent choices. However The Corridor, an inspiring look at an innovative program that enables Bay Area prisoners in the county jail system to earn high school diplomas, stood out the most,” said SFFCC President, Randy Myers.

About Erik Anderson

Erik blames his mother for his love of all things Oscar, having watched them together since he opened his eyes. They also watched Miss Universe religiously every year (the pageantry!) and Erik came to the conclusion that the combination of these two things ultimately led him down the path to obsessing about awards and ACTRESSING. He began 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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