MONTCLAIR, NJ - As the ten-day 2015 Montclair Film Festival (MFF) came to a close, an awards ceremony was held at Montclair Kimberley Academy Upper School.
Lucie Borleteau’s Fidelio: Alice's Odyssey took home the Narrative Feature Jury prize. The narrative competition jury also awarded a special jury prize to Yury Bykov’s The Fool for storytelling.
The festival also inaugurated two awards in honor of the late David Carr and Bruce Sinofsky, both Montclair residents.
The Russian Woodpecker, directed by Chad Gracia, took home the Bruce Sinofsky Prize in the festival’s Documentary Feature competition. This award was established in memory of Bruce Sinofsky and was presented by Sinofsky’s long time friend and collaborator Joe Berlinger (Paradise Lost I, II, AND III).
Brad Barber and Scott Christopherson’s Peace Officer took home the David Carr Award for Truth in Non-Fiction Filmmaking, which honors a filmmaker, selected by the festival, who utilizes journalistic techniques to explore important contemporary subjects. The award was presented by Ta-Nehisi Coates, a longtime friend and colleague of Carr.
Elise DuRant’s Eden was awarded with the Future/Now prize, honoring emerging low-budget American independent filmmaking, and Marah Strauch’s Sunshine Superman took home the New Jersey Films Award, which honors a selected group of films made by New Jersey artists. The junior jury prize went to Alexandra Shiva’s documentary How to Dance in Ohio.
“We’re thrilled to be launching these awards for our fourth installment, and to honor the diverse group of talented filmmakers,” said MFF founder and Chairman Bob Feinberg. “This has been a significant year for us and it truly exemplifies the festival’s impact and growth, as we continue to lay the groundwork for many more successful years ahead.”
The MFF featured John Battsek, Stephen Colbert, Dane DeHaan, Jonathan Demme, Richard Gere, Sam Green, Barbara Kopple, Mavis Staples, Michael Showalter, Patrick Wilson and Alex Winter.
“This year’s festival featured over 135 films and we are incredibly proud of each and every one of our filmmakers. These inaugural awards represent the best of what our festival can offer – global stories that have an intimate, connection to our audiences and help Montclair connect to the world of cinema,”said MFF Executive Director Tom Hall.
The following is a list of 2015 winners of The Montclair Film Festival Awards:
David Carr Award for Truth in Non-Fiction Filmmaking Winner
Directors – Brad Barber and Scott Christopherson
Narrative Feature Competition Winner
FIDELIO: ALICE’S ODYSSEY
Director – Lucie Borleteau
Narrative Feature Competition
Special Jury Prize for Storytelling
Director – Yury Bykov
Bruce Sinofsky Prize for Documentary Feature Competition Winner
THE RUSSIAN WOODPECKER
Director – Chad Gracia
Director – Elise DuRant
New Jersey Films Competition Winner
Director – Marah Strauch
Junior Jury Winner
HOW TO DANCE IN OHIO
Director – Alexandra Shiva
Narrative Feature Competition
Thelma Adams – Writer and leading New York based film critic for Yahoo! Movies
Eric Hynes – Film critic and reporter for the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Slate
Stephen Whitty – Film Critic, writer for the Star Ledger
Documentary Feature Competition
Logan Hill – Freelance writer for the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Glamour
Joe Neumaier – Chief Film Critic and film editor at the New York Daily News
Jordan Zakarin – Entertainment journalist for Yahoo Movies
Jeremy Boxer – Creative Director, Film & Video at Vimeo
Eric Kohn – Deputy Editor and chief film critic for IndieWIRE
Dan Schoenbrun – Film Outreach Lead at Kickstarter
New Jersey Films Competition
Georgette Gilmore – Freelance writer and editor for Baristanet
Christina Kotlar – Screenwriter, digital media content designer, and founder of Film Festival Reviews
Lacey Schwartz – CEO of production company Truth Aid
For information about MFF, visit www.montclairfilmfest.org.