Destin Daniel Cretton’s Just Mercy, starring Michael B. Jordan and Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx, was chosen as the overall favorite among the 42nd Mill Valley Film Festival’s audience, taking the top prize.
Just Mercy tells the true story of world-renowned civil rights defense attorney Bryan Stevenson (Jordan) as he recounts his experiences and details the case of a condemned death row prisoner (Foxx) whom he fought to free. Academy Award winner Brie Larson co-stars.
Fernando Meirelles’ The Two Popes, starring Jonathan Pryce and Academy Award winner Anthony Hopkins won the Audience Award for US Cinema and tells the humorous tale of the conservative Pope Benedict (Hopkins) and the liberal future Pope Francis (Pryce) must find common ground to forge a new path for the Catholic Church.
Roger Michel’s Blackbird was the audience favorite in the US Cinema – Indie category, Pedro Almodóvar’s semi-autobiographical Pain and Glory, starring Antonio Banderas, was the World Cinema winner and A Girl From Mogadishu was the World Cinema – Indie winner.
Other audience award winners were: Harriet (Mind the Gap – US Cinema), 37 Seconds (Mind the Gap – World Cinema), The Great 14th: Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama in His Own Words (Valley of the Docs), Team Marco (Family Films), The Story of Plastic (Active Cinema) and Marighella (Vive El Cine!).
The 42nd Mill Valley Film Festival ran from October 3-13 and featured 200 filmmakers, representing more than 50 countries across twelve World Premieres, eleven North American Premieres, and seventeen US Premieres. The festival hit 48% parity for women directors across all sections as part of its Mind the Gap initiative to close the gap of visibility and opportunity for women filmmakers.