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The Unknown Country directed by Morrisa Maltz
The Unknown Country directed by Morrisa Maltz

The Mill Valley Film Festival announced the 3 films nominated for the 2022 Mind The Gap (MTG) Creation Prize of $10,000. Awarded to a first- or second-time Mind the Gap filmmaker, the prize recognizes exciting new voices in cinema who demonstrate creativity of vision and exceptional use of the film medium.

All first- or second-time Mind The Gap filmmakers screening their narrative or documentary feature-length film at the 2022 Mill Valley Film Festival were eligible. The recipient receives a $10,000 prize to use at their discretion.

Launched in 2021, the inaugural Mind the Gap Creation Prize was awarded to Nana Mensah for her feature directorial debut, Queen of Glory, which captured the 2021 MTG theme, Reconnecting with Community.

The 2022 nominees for the 2022 Mind The Gap (MTG) Creation Prize are:

Our Father, the Devil directed by Ellie Foumbi clip trailer
Our Father, the Devil directed by Ellie Foumbi

Ellie Foumbi, Our Father, The Devil (Mon Père, Le Diable)
Ellie Foumbi is an actor, writer, and director from Cameroon whose work has screened at Venice, Santa Barbara International Film Festival and Tribeca where her first feature won the Best Narrative Feature Audience Award. She’s an alum of Berlinale Talents and New York Film Festival’s Artist Academy. Her projects have been supported by The Gotham, SFFILM Rainin Grant, Film Independent, the Tribeca Film Institute and the Venice Biennale College. She holds an MFA from Columbia University’s School of the Arts in Directing.

Our Father, the Devil (US, narrative feature, dir. Ellie Foumbi) In Cameroonian-American filmmaker Ellie Foumbi’s ravishing and provocative feature debut, an African refugee’s modest life in a sleepy French mountain town is irrevocably shattered when she recognizes a newly arrived Catholic priest as a disturbing figure from her violent past. In French with English subtitles – West Coast Premiere

Nanny by Nikyatu Jusu
Nanny by Nikyatu Jusu

Nikyatu Jusu, Nanny
Nikyatu Jusu is an independent writer, director, and Assistant Professor in Film & Video at George Mason University. Her films have played at festivals nationally and internationally. Jusu is the second black woman director and Nanny is the first horror film to win the Sundance Grand Jury Prize (US Dramatic).

Nanny (US, narrative feature, dir. Nikyatu Jusu) In this psychological fable of displacement, Aisha (Anna Diop), a woman who recently emigrated from Senegal, is hired to care for the daughter of an affluent couple (Michelle Monaghan and Morgan Spector) living in New York City. Haunted by the absence of the young son she left behind, Aisha hopes her new job will afford her the chance to bring him to the U.S. but becomes increasingly unsettled by the family’s volatile home life. As his arrival approaches, a violent presence begins to invade both her dreams and her reality, threatening the American dream she is painstakingly piecing together.

Morrisa Maltz, The Unknown Country
An artist/filmmaker with a degree in Fine Art (Columbia University), Morrisa’s work has been shown at MOCA, and international galleries. Her first documentary, INGRID, premiered on PBS. She recently completed her first narrative feature THE UNKNOWN COUNTRY. Morrisa is a 2018/2019 AFS grant recipient and was included in 2019’s IFP Narrative Lab, US in Progress Poland and AFS Artist Intensive.

The Unknown Country (US, narrative feature, dir. Morissa Maltz) With a staggering sense of humanity, Morrisa Maltz’s documentary-narrative hybrid follows a grieving young woman (Lily Gladstone) on a road trip across the American Midwest — contemplating death and rebirth amidst a magnificent, heart-wrenching search for one’s place in the world. – Bay Area Premiere

A jury of industry professionals will select the 2022 Creation Prize recipient. The 2022 jury includes Zoë Elton, MVFF & MTG Director of Programming; Osinachi Ibe, MTG Production Manager; KD Davis, MVFF Senior Programmer–World Cinema; Celeste Wong, MVFF US Indies Programmer; Christine A. Schantz, MTG Executive Advisor and Creation Prize Underwriter, and Pratibha Parmar, filmmaker, and past Mind the Gap Award recipient.

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