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Belfast directed by Kenneth Branagh
Belfast directed by Kenneth Branagh

The 44th Mill Valley Film Festival came to a close after 11 days of films, panels, parties, and musical performances at the annual autumn showcase. Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast was voted MVFF Overall Audience Favorite with other top audience awards going to Last Film Show by Pan Nalin won Audience Favorite / World Cinema, C’mon C’mon by Mike Mills won Audience Favorite / US Cinema and The Rescue by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin won Audience Favorite / Documentary.

Additionally, Mind the Gap launched its inaugural MTG Creation Grant, awarding $10,000 to first-time director Nana Mensah.

“My intent for the 44th Mill Valley Film Festival was to create a safe and vibrant festival that entertains and addresses the universal need to gather together and share stories about our common humanity. After 11 days, 125 films, and over 23,000 guests, I can say unequivocally that the hopes for this year’s festival were realized,” said MVFF Founder/Director Mark Fishkin.

“The one-two punch of being both in theaters and in the virtual arena made it possible to include a wide selection of films from around the globe that were embraced with unbridled excitement and joy by theatergoers. MVFF44 was slightly smaller with fewer screens than normal (pre-pandemic). However, it included all the elements, special “Big Night” events, conversations with industry experts, and host to Variety’s 10 Screenwriters to Watch, that make the Mill Valley Film Festival one the most highly anticipated film festivals in the country,” continued Fishkin. “Audiences were giddy to be in theaters and showed up in large numbers for films and stayed to enjoy dozens of post-film conversations that took place at CFI’s Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center as well as the Sequoia theater in Mill Valley. I believe that in this polarized world, our work at MVFF44 is more important than ever.”

44th Mill Valley Film Festival Audience Favorite Awards

MVFF Overall Audience Favorite – BELFAST • Kenneth Branagh
Audience Favorite / World Cinema – LAST FILM SHOW • Pan Nalin
Audience Favorite / US Cinema – C’MON C’MON • Mike Mills
Audience Favorite / Documentary – THE RESCUE • Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin
Audience Favorite / Family – RICKSHAW GIRL • Amitabh Reza Chowdhury
Audience Favorite / Active Cinema – REFLECTION: A WALK WITH WATER • Emmett Brennan
Audience Favorite / Mind the Gap – LADY BUDS • C.J. Russo
Audience Favorite / ¡Viva el cine! – WOMEN IS LOSERS • Lissette Feliciano

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