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The Twin Cities Film Fest announced its 2016 award winners and named Barry Jenkins’ critically-acclaimed drama “Moonlight” as this year’s Best Feature Film. “Blood Stripe,” a drama directed by Remy Auberjonois, starring Kate Nowlin and filmed in Minnesota, took home multiple statues, including the 2016 Audience Award and the Indie Vision – Breakthrough Performance Award for Nowlin’s dynamic performance as a military veteran struggling to adapt to civilian life after her tour of duty.

“What is clearly resonating with Twin Cities audiences right now — and what brought a record-breaking crowd to this year’s festival – is this push towards more diverse stories, casts and visions,” said TCFF executive director Jatin Setia. “Performances like Kate’s, screenplays like Barry’s…these diverse perspectives about men and women at a crossroads are why independent cinema is thriving today, in both theaters and on digital platforms. And I have no doubt that our record breaking attendance shows that viewers have been craving more visions like this.”

This year’s award for Best Documentary went to “I Do?,” a film about marriage and relationships filmed by Minnesotan Joe Brandmeier; Best Short Film was bestowed to John and Amy Thompson’s “Lend a Hand For Love;” the festival’s other Indie Vision awards went to the documentary “They Call Us Monsters” and the expressionistic drama “No Light and No Land Anywhere.”

The 2016 North Star Awards were handed to Dominic Rains, who appeared in person with his thriller “Burn Country” — for which he won Best Actor at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival — and Tim Guinee, who returned to Minnesota for a special 10th anniversary screening of his critical smash hit “Sweet Land.”

The full list of 2016 award winners:

Best Feature Film: “Moonlight,” directed by Barry Jenkins. (Runner-Up: “First Girl I Loved,” directed by Kerem Sanga)

Best Documentary: “I Do?” directed by Joe Brandmeier. (Runner-Up: “Denial,” directed by Derek Hallquist)

Best Short Film: “Lend a Hand For Love,” directed by John and Amy Thompson. (Runner-Up: “Twinsburg,” directed by Joe Garrity)

Audience Award, Feature Film: “Blood Stripe,” directed by Remy Auberjonois. (Runner-Up: “Lion,” directed by Garth Davis; Second Runner-Up: “Oxenfree,” directed by Dan Glaser)

Audience Award, Documentary: “Iron Will,” directed by Sergio Valenzuela. (Runner-Up: “Free CeCe!” directed by Jacqueline Gares; Second Runner-Up: “The Eagle Huntress,” directed by Otto Bell)

Audience Award, Short Film: “Waabooz,” directed by Molly Katagiri. (Runner-Up: “The Mermaid Story,” directed by James Snapko; Second Runner-Up: “I,” directed by Ben McDonnell)


The 2016 Indie Vision Awards:

Breakthrough Feature Film: “No Light and No Land Anywhere,” directed by Amber Sealey. (Runner-Up: “June Falling Down,” directed by Rebecca Weaver)

Breakthrough Documentary: “They Call Us Monsters,” directed by Ben Lear. (Runner-Up: “Prison Dogs,” directed by Geeta Gandbhir and Perri Peltz.

Breakthrough Performance: Kate Nowlin, star of “Blood Stripe.” (Runner-Up: Tomas Pais, star of “Hunky Dory”)


Also Awarded This Year:

North Star Awards For Excellence: Dominic Rains (“Burn Country”) and Tim Guinee (“Sweet Land”).

Lifetime Achievement Award: Lea Thompson.

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