Radical directed by Christopher Zalla

The 46th Mill Valley Film Festival capped 11 days of films, panels, parties, and musical performances and with Radical directed by Christopher Zalla winning MVFF Overall Audience Favorite prize. American Fiction directed by Cord Jefferson and Rustin directed by George C. Wolfe tied for Audience Favorite – US Cinema; with The Taste of Things (La Passion de Dodin Bouffant) directed by Trân Ang Húng winning for World Cinema and Water for Life directed by Will Parrinello took the prize for Audience Favorite – Documentary.

The Festival screened 147 films representing 41 countries, including 56 premieres, 85 features, and 62 shorts; 45% of all films across the 2023 Festival were directed by women.

Mark Fishkin Founder/Director of the Mill Valley Film Festival, reflects on this year’s 46th edition as “a testament to the enduring power of storytelling through cinema, showcasing its unique ability to unite our community. Despite the challenges posed by the SAG/AFTRA strike, limiting the presence of Hollywood actors, we returned to our roots as a directors’ festival. Featuring films from first-time director Jack Huston’s Day of the Fight to eloquent love story Maestro, audiences were introduced to stories of hope, tragedy, and redemption. The overwhelmingly positive response to films addressing significant themes—whether World, US, or documentary films such as Fancy Dance, Radical, or Water for Life—affirms that serious stories delving into our shared humanity deeply resonate with audiences. It was an honor to celebrate the exceptional talents of filmmakers from around the world, allowing them to engage with our audience and discuss their creations. In a world marked by turbulent changes, events like ours hold greater significance than ever before. We provided a safe and inclusive space for both local and international talents and guests to exchange ideas and foster dialogue. As we bid farewell to our 46th year, I take immense pride in the Mill Valley Film Festival’s continued ability to push boundaries, made possible by the unwavering support of our entire community and staff.”

Winners of 2023 Mill Valley Film Festival

MVFF Overall Audience Favorite
Christopher Zalla

Audience Favorite | US Cinema (tie)
Cord Jefferson
George C. Wolfe

Audience Favorite | World Cinema
THE TASTE OF THINGS (La Passion de Dodin Bouffant)
Trân Ang Húng

Audience Favorite | Documentary
Will Parrinello

Audience Favorite | Family
Billy Luther

Audience Favorite | Mind the Gap
A DOUBLE LIFE (documentary)
Catherine Masud
FANCY DANCE (narrative)
Erica Tremblay

Audience Favorite | ¡Viva el cine!
SKIN OF GLASS (Pele de Vidro) (documentary)
Denise Zmekhol
SOCIETY OF THE SNOW (La Sociedad de la Nieve) (narrative)
J.A. Bayona

Other awards given during MVFF this year include:
MVFF Awards for Directing | George C. Wolfe (Rustin) and Jeff Nichols (Bikeriders)
MVFF Award for Breakthrough Directing | Cord Jefferson (American Fiction)
MVFF Award Lifetime Achievement: Collaboration | Todd Haynes & Christine Vachon (May December)
MVFF Award for Filmmaking | Sofia Coppola (Priscilla)
Mind the Gap Award Filmmaker of the Year | Emerald Fennell (Saltburn)
Mind the Gap Award Lifetime Achievements: Visionary Artist | Lynn Hershman Leeson
Mind the Gap Award Vision in Film Education | Dr. Jimmeka Anderson (Founder, Black Girls Film Camp)
Mind the Gap Creation Prize | Lila Avilés (Tótem)

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