Thu. Oct 29th, 2020

43rd Mill Valley Film Festival (MVFF) full lineup announced; tributes to Viola Davis, Judi Dench, Sophia Loren, Kate Winslet

Spotlight Program and Conversations include Delroy Lindo, Clare Dunne and Aaron Sorkin

Mark Fishkin, Founder/Executive Director of the California Film Institute and Zoë Elton, MVFF Director of Programming, have announced the complete lineup for the 43rd Mill Valley Film Festival (MVFF43) available in the CAFilm Streaming Room online virtual cinema and Drive-In Cinema launching, Thursday, October 8 and running through Sunday, October 18. The MVFF43 Drive-In Cinema will be located at the beautiful Lagoon Park-Marin Center in San Rafael.

MVFF43 will present a number of Spotlights and Tributes throughout the Festival. This year’s Tributes are presented to Kate Winslet, Judi Dench, Viola Davis (who is also the recipient of the Mind the Gap Award – Actor of the Year), and legendary Hollywood star Sophia Loren. Festival Spotlights include Clare Dunne, presenting her new film Herself, and Regina King, whose eagerly anticipated film One Night in Miami is the Festival Centerpiece. MVFF Conversations this year will be held with Delroy Lindo regarding his career and recent work in Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and members of the cast of his latest film The Trial of the Chicago 7. DocLands this year honors filmmaker Frieda Lee Mock, who will present her new film RUTH: Justice Ginsburg in Her Own Words.

In collaboration with Outdoor Movies, the Festival is installing a studio-grade outdoor cinema, with a 52-foot screen, 4K projection, and Dolby 5.1/7/1 sound. Drive-In screenings include Blithe Spirit, a spectacular Noël Coward adaptation from Edward Hall starring Judi Dench; the ultra-stylized Mainstream by Gia Coppola, a commentary on contemporary social media; Ammonite by Francis Lee starring Kate Winslet, an 1840s-set portrait of an intense relationship between a fossil hunter and a young woman sent to convalesce by the sea; The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart from legendary producer Frank Marshall; Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion winner Nomadland by Chloé Zhao, starring Frances McDormand; and a special 40th anniversary presentation of Star Wars, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.
This year’s special events and one-time-only appointment screenings include One Night in Miami (with Regina King)King’s impressive directorial feature debut; Sundance favorite Herself (with Clare Dunne), co-written by and starring Dunne; Erika Cohn’s chronicle of women fighting reproductive injustice in their communities, Belly of the Beast; the jazz-infused period romance Sylvie’s Love, starring Tessa Thompson; Laurel Canyon: A Place in Timedirector Allison Ellwood’s intimate portrait of the artists who created a music revolution; Sound of Metalin which a heavy-metal drummer’s life is thrown into freefall when he begins to lose his hearing; The Father, by Florian Zeller, starring Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Coleman in Zeller’s screen adaptation of his acclaimed play, an uncanny examination of the dramatic effects that dementia inflicts upon both the person afflicted and their loved onesI Carry You with Me, a cross-border romantic drama by acclaimed documentarian Heidi Ewing; and The Truffle Hunters, a portrait of men and their canine companions who search for rare, expensive, and delicious white Alba truffles deep in the forests of Italy.
The Festival will present another strong slate of Panels and Workshops to supplement the outstanding film programming and to continue important and thoughtful discussion for Festival attendees. Mind the Gap, the Festival’s ongoing Initiative and pledge to include a minimum of 50% women filmmakers, will present six programs on topics such as The Evolution of Black Women’s Roles Onscreen, Rethinking Classic Cinema, and Changing the Film Industry From the Inside. Panels include a Democracy Roundtable, a look at the State of the Industry, and “10 Screenwriters to Watch” presented by Variety.
MVFF’s US Cinema section is a showcase of new films by master and emerging American filmmakers who share a talent for independent storytelling. Program highlights include Alan Ball’s (American Beauty, Six Feet Under) new film Uncle FrankSweet Thing, Alexandre Rockwell’s (In The Soup, Little Feet) beautiful lo-fi ode to the magical resilience of childhood; SXSW Grand Jury Award Winner S#!%house from up-and-comer Cooper Raiff; I Carry You with Me, Oscar nominee Heidi Ewing’s first foray into narrative cinema, an epic romance between two Mexican men who risk everything by relocating to New York as undocumented immigrants; Shatara Michelle Ford’s award-winning Test Pattern, a portrait of an interracial relationship coping with trauma; Gia Coppola’s (Palo Alto) sophomore film Mainstream, a vibrant satire of celebrity in the influencer age; Sundance Grand Jury Prize nominee The Evening Hour, Braden King’s empathetic portrait of a rural community struggling against a rising tide of opioid addiction; and Chloé Zhao’s majestic and highly anticipated Nomadland, starring Academy Award® winner Frances McDormand.
MVFF presents the latest in documentary filmmaking from heartfelt stories of activism to historical profiles, current events and more. Highlights include the World Premiere of The Falconer, Annie Kaempfer’s compelling portrait of former “corner boy” Rodney Stotts, who learned how to rescue and train predatory birds, rescuing himself from a life of violence; the US Premiere of 9to5: The Story of a Movement by Julia Reichert and Steve Bognar, the filmmakers of last year’s Oscar-winning documentary American FactoryAlice Street, Bay Area filmmaker Spencer Wilkinson’s (One Voice) loving portrait of Oakland in the age of gentrification; and Babenco: Tell Me When I Die, winner of the Best Documentary on Film award at the Venice Film Festival, a moving chronicle of the end of Oscar®- nominated filmmaker Héctor Babenco’s (Kiss of the Spider Woman) life as he faces cancer, directed by his wife Bárbara Paz.
MVFF’s World Cinema section features stories from around the world that foster a new understanding of our global neighbors and ourselves. Highlights include Apples, a surreal comedy from Greek filmmaker Christos Nikou about a mysterious amnesia pandemic sweeping the globe; the US premiere of Bandar Band, the story of a battle-of-the-bands competition in Tehran from filmmaker Manijeh Hekmat; veteran Polish director Agnieszka Holland’s stunning new film about renowned Czech healer Jan Mikolášek, CharlatanThe Heist of the Century, a wild ride through one of the greatest bank heists in Argentinian history; Here We Are, a tender Israeli drama about a father who goes on one last road trip with his autistic adult child; Herself, starring Irish stage actor Clare Dunne in an uncompromisingly powerful lead performance; Jumbo, one of the most talked-about films at both Sundance and the Berlinale this year, a neon-lit fable of an unlikely romance that unfolds in an amusement park; and Master Cheng, from Finnish director Mika Kaurismäki, about a mysterious Chinese gentleman and his young son who arrive in a remote village looking for someone no one seems to know.
DocLands Documentary Film Festival (presented this year in tandem with MVFF) brings compelling feature-length and short documentary films and the provocative insights behind them to Marin County. Highlights from DocLands include Public Trust by David Garrett Byars, a searing examination of public lands under threat; Time, a mesmerizing portrait of the impact of incarceration on a family by Garrett Bradley, winner of the Documentary Directing Award at the Sundance Film Festival; The Book Makers from Bay Area filmmaker James Kennard, which examines the people who are keeping books and book-making alive in the 21st century; Citizen Penn by Don Hardy, an incisive portrait of actor Sean Penn’s humanitarian work in Haiti; and Current Sea by Christopher Smith, an environmental thriller that exposes the illegal fishing trade in Cambodia.
MVFF’s Family Films section features a global sampling of cultures and adventures for young people (and their families) that nurture their love of film. Feature films and shorts from Belgium, Netherlands, South Africa, Columbia, Norway, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Cuba, US, and much more will be showcased. Highlights include Frederike Migom’s Binti, about a budding YouTube star who dreams of making a permanent home with her Congolese father in Belgium; from the Netherlands, the charming Jackie & Oopjen, a funny friendship tale between a precocious 12-year-old and a Rembrandt painting come to life; two young Indian boys join forces to take down a local hoodlum in the exuberant, silly, sly, and action-packed Kings of Mulberry Street; Byambasuren Davaa’s (The Story of the Weeping Camel) tale of a young Mongolian boy’s coming of age and activism in Veins of the World; and Justin Baldoni’s Clouds from Disney Plus, about a teenager diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer who finds a way to inspire others,  based on Laura Sobiech’s book “Fly a Little Higher.”
MVFF again presents a popular showcase of collections of short cinematic gems from every genre including narratives, documentaries, animation, family films, and youth works. Highlights include DocLands Shorts: Nothing But the Facts!, featuring short documentary stories from remote lands and welcoming cultures; 5@5 Kilburn Towers, a collection of true-life tales from Bay Area directors about extraordinary individuals; Love & Teamwork: Animation For All, a charming collection of uplifting animated shorts that highlight the power of love, friendship, and collaboration; and ¡Viva Los Niños!,featuring kid-centric animated, narrative, and documentary films that provide a visual feast for both Spanish and English speakers alike.

For tickets, schedules and more information visit Here is the full list of feature films, shorts and documentaries appearing at the 43rd Mill Valley Film Festival.

Mill Valley Film Festival Feature Length Films
23 Walks, director Paul Morrison (restricted to California)
9to5: The Story of a Movement, directors Julia Reichert, Steven Bognar (restricted to California)
Alice Street, director Spencer Wilkinson
Ammonite, director Francis Lee (drive-in only)
Apples, director Christos Nikou
Babenco: Tell Me When I Die, director Bárbara Paz
Bandar Band, director Manijeh Hekmat
Banksy Most Wanted, directors Aurélia Rouvier & Seamus Haley (restricted to California)
The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart, director Frank Marshall
Belly of the Beast, director Erika Cohn
Binti, director Frederike Migom
Blithe Spirit, director Edward Hall (drive-in only)
The Boys Who Said NO!, director Judith Ehrlich
Charlatan, director Agnieszka Holland (restricted to California)
Clouds, director Justin Baldoni
Coded Bias, director Shalini Kantayya
The Comeback Trail, director George Gallo (drive-in only)
The Evening Hour, director Braden King
The Falconer, director Annie Kaempfer
Farewell Amor, director Ekwa Msangi (restricted to California)
The Father, director Florian Zeller
Freeland, directors Kate McLean, Mario Furloni
The Heist of the Century, director Ariel Winograd (restricted to California)
Here We Are, director Nir Bergman
Herself, director Phyllida Lloyd
I Carry You with Me, director Heidi Ewing
Jackie & Oopjen, director Annemarie van de Mond
Jumbo, director Zoe Wittock (restricted to California)
Kings of Mulberry Street, director Judy Naidoo
Lapsis, director Noah Hutton
Los Hermanos/The Brothers, directors Ken Schneider, Marcia Jarmel (restricted to California)
Mainstream, director Gia Coppola (drive-in only)
Master Cheng, director Mika Kaurismäki
Maxima, director Claudia Sparrow
My Donkey, My Lover & I, director Caroline Vignal (restricted to California)
The Names of the Flowers, director Bahman Tavoosi
Never Too Late: The Doc Severinsen Story, directors Kevin S. Bright, Jeff Consiglio (restricted to California)
Nomadland, director Chloe Zhao (drive-in only)
One Night in Miami, director Regina King
The Outside Story, director Casimir Nozkowski (restricted to California)
Playing for Keeps, director James Redford
Ruthless Souls, director Madison Thomas
Searching for Mr. Rugoff, director Ira Deutchman (restricted to California)
S#!%house, director Cooper Raiff (restricted to California)
Sisters: The Summer We Found Our Superpowers, directors Silje Salomonsen, Arild Østin Ommundsen  (restricted to California)
Sound of Metal, director Darius Marder
Spring Blossom, director Suzanne Lindon (restricted to California)
Star Wars, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, director Irvin Kershner (drive-in only)
Stop Filming Us, director Joris Postema
Sweet Thing, director Alexandre Rockwell
Sylvie’s Love, director Eugene Ashe
Take Me to the River New Orleans, director Martin Shore
Teddy, Out of Tune, director Daniel Freeman
Test Pattern, director Shatara Michelle Ford (restricted to California)
The Warden, director Threes Anna
This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection, director Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese
Three Summers, director Sandra Kogut
The Truffle Hunters, directors Michael Dweck, Gregory Kershaw
Trust Me, director Roko Belic
Uncle Frank, director Alan Ball
Undine, director Christian Petzold (restricted to California)
Us Kids, director Kim A. Snyder (restricted to California)
Veins of the World, director Byambasuren Davaa (restricted to CA, AZ, OR, NV, WA)
Weed & Wine, director Rebecca Richman Cohen (restricted to California)

Mill Valley Film Festival Short Films
11:40, director Claudia Ruiz
199 Little Heroes: Jesus from Mexico, director Lina Luzyte
A Cure for Humanity, directors Jared Fontecha, Iziyah Robinson
Abuelos, director Rodrigo Reyes
Adeline, the Great, director Jessica Mendez Siqueiros
Ailín on the Moon, director Claudia Ruiz
Avalanche, director Heather Jack
Baskethood, director Tsz Shun CHOW
The Birth Order Experiment, director Tom Schroeder
The Blue Cape, director Alejandra López
Caregiver: A Love Story, directors Kevin Gordon, Jessica Zitter
Champiñon, director Luber Yesid Zuñiga Ordoñez
Circus Person, director Britt Lower
Colette, the Artist, director Colette the Artist
The Collector, director Godefroy Ryckewaert
The Cubicbird, director Jorge Alberto Vega
Dennis: The Man Who Legalized Cannabis, director Brandon Moore
The Dummy, director Sidney Kuehn
For Estefani, Third Grade, Who Made Me a Card, director Jordan Bruner
For Your Memory, director Katrina Kwok
Fort Irwin, director Quinn Else
The Fox & the Pigeon, directors Michelle Chua, Aileen Dewhurst, Sharon Gabriella, Viktor Ivanovski, Sang Lee, Tyler Pacana, Sikyung Kevin Sung, Morgan Thompson, Chelsea van Tol, Matt Walton, Steven Wang
Girasol, director María Victoria Sánchez Lara
Golem, director Theo Taplitz
I’ll Be There, director Kallista Palapas
Idea, director Olli Huttunen
It’s Nicer Here, director Kane Parsons
It’s What She Would Have Wanted, director Nate Trinrud
Land Without Evil, director Katalin Egely
Little Chief, director Erica Tremblay
Michael Aragon: The Beat Goes On, directors Erin Turney, Sam Huff
Mighty, director Lola Glaudini
Migrantes, director Ian Duncanson, Ethan Swope
The Most Magnificent Thing, director Arna Selznick
The Movie About Us, director Keung Chor Kiu
No Fan of Andy, director Kai Tomizawa
Ode to the Beans (Oda a los frijoles), director Karolina Esqueda
One Thousand Stories: The Making of a Mural, director Tasha Van Zandt
Out of Place, director Peier “Tracy” Shen
The Painter, director Vivian Blantz
Phyllis: A Self Portrait, director Harris Cohen
Potluck, director Olivia Squires, Jared Goudsmit
Ramón, director Natalia Bernal
Sacheen, Breaking the Silence, director Peter Spirer
Seeing Things in Black and White, director Ashley Lee
Shy & Ketchup, director Teresa Romo
Side EFX, director Students of Toon Club & Oberoi International School
Signs, director Jason Satterlund
Small Footprint, director Deanne Fitzmaurice
The Snail and the Whale, directors Max Lang, Daniel Snaddon
Spelliasmous, director Ben Garfield
Stucco, director Janina Gavankar, Russo Schelling
Topping Out, director Kerry Fox
Wally Wenda, director Diane Russo
We Still Matter, directors Talia Smith, Ashalia Dawkins, Sophia Kerner, Lauren Pyfer
What’s My Superpower?, director Justin Heymans

DocLands Feature Length Films 
Augmented, director Matthew Orr
The Big Scary “S” Word, director Yael Bridge
The Book Makersdirector James Kennard (restricted to California)
Citizen Penn, director Don Hardy (restricted to California)
Current Sea, director Christopher Smith
The Dilemma of Desire, director Maria Finitzo (restricted to California)
Five Years North, directors Zach Ingrasci, Chris Temple 
He Dreams of Giants, directors Keith Fulton, Louis Pepe (restricted to California)
Home, director Jen Randall
The Infinite Race, director Bernardo Ruiz
Piano to Zanskar, director Michal Sulima
Public Trust, director David Garrett Byars
Queen Without Land, director Asgeir Helgestad
Ruth: Justice Ginsburg in Her Own Words, director Freida Lee Mock (Freida Lee Mock is also the recipient of the 2020 DocLands Honors Award)
Time, director Garrett Bradley
DocLands Short Films 
Between The Notes, director Jordan Hwang
Calabria By Feel, director Maya Pisciotto  
Dick Ogg: Fisherman, director Cynthia Abbott
From Kurils With Love, director Taylor Rees
The Last Glaciers in Yosemite, director Alexander Schwartz 
Merhawi, director James Walsh
One Word Sawalmem, directors Natasha Deganello Giraudie, Michal “Pom” Preston
Out on a Limb, director Jordan Manley
The Roads Most Traveled, director Bill Wisneski
The Undocumented Lawyer, directors Zach Ingrasci, Chris Temple
Unnúr, director Chris Burkard
The Way Home: The Most Vulnerable, directed by Camille Servan-Schreiber 

%d bloggers like this: