The 43rd Mill Valley Film Festival (MVFF43) and the DocLands Documentary Film Festival (which ran in tandem this year) concluded on October 18th after 11 days of virtual and drive-in screenings, panels, and special events.
Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion winner NOMADLAND by Chloé Zhao, starring Frances McDormand was voted Audience Favorite – Drive-In along with Audience Favorite – Mind the Gap. Regina King’s eagerly anticipated film ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI which screened as the Festival Centerpiece tied for Audience Favorite – Online with THE FATHER, by Florian Zeller and starring Anthony Hopkins.
MVFF43 presented special Tributes to Kate Winslet, Dame Judi Dench, Viola Davis (who was also the recipient of the Mind the Gap Award – Actor of the Year), Sir Anthony Hopkins, and international icon Sophia Loren. Festival Spotlights included Clare Dunne, who presented her new film HERSELF, and MVFF Conversations this year were 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 honored filmmaker Freida Lee Mock, who presented her new film RUTH: JUSTICE GINSBURG IN HER OWN WORDS.
MVFF’s gender equity initiative Mind the Gap surpassed its pledged goal of 50/50 women director representation by 2020, with 57% women directors or co-directors represented across the entire Festival.
“One could make the case that the 43rd MVFF was smaller — fewer films, no receptions — yet in fact, it felt grander, in a multitude of surprising ways.” said Mark Fishkin, Founder/Director Mill Valley Film Festival and California Film Institute, “Larger certainly in spirit, with ideas plucked from our Board, staff, and community. Initially, the most common answer to any question asked of us was, “I don’t know.” As staff settled on the concept of a virtual festival as well as a Drive-In, trust never played a more important role than this year, a year of unknowns.”
43rd Mill Valley Film Festival Audience Favorite Awards
Audience Favorite – Drive-In – NOMADLAND
Audience Favorite – Online – THE FATHER and ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI (tie)
Audience Favorite – US – UNCLE FRANK
Audience Favorite – World – MASTER CHENG
Audience Favorite – Valley of the Docs – THE BOYS WHO SAID NO!
Audience Favorite – Family – SISTERS: THE SUMMER WE FOUND OUR SUPERPOWERS
Audience Favorite – DocLands –LAUREL CANYON: A PLACE IN TIME
Audience Favorite – Mind the Gap – NOMADLAND
Audience Favorite – ¡Viva el Cine! – THE HEIST OF THE CENTURY