And the TWIN CITIES FILM FEST 2019 award winners are…

Hello FC readers, it’s Ruth here!


Noah Baumbach’s critically-acclaimed relationship drama Marriage Story tops 2019 winners. Twin Cities audiences honor local productions 3 Day Weekend & Oh My Stars alongside the empowering beauty documentary A Perfect 14.

So, last night Twin Cities Film Fest announced its 2019 award winners Saturday evening, recognizing films and artists across nine top categories. The 11-day marathon of movies, educational sessions and industry events, which showcased more than 120 titles and facilitated a broader conversation around the social cause of environmental sustainability, named Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story as the Best Feature Film of 2019 (stay tuned for my full review!)

“This is fearless, unshakable filmmaking,” said TCFF Artistic Director Steve Snyder. “And in the captivating performances from Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson, we see two of today’s most talented artists confronting the darkness and disorientation of divorce. It’s an unflinching portrayal of disintegrating love, and in the conversations that followed the screening this year at our festival, it was clearly an experience few in the audience will forget.”

Perfect 14 doc

The festival’s top non-fiction award went to A Perfect 14, director Giovanna Morales Vargas’s exploration of the fashion industry, body image, and the world of plus size modeling. Best Short Film went to Alex Reeves’s The Automaton, a period drama set in the late 1800’s about a young widow’s shocking discovery that her late husband was building a sentient machine.

The 2019 Audience Awards went to Destin Daniel Cretton’s Just Mercy, a new drama profiling renowned civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson and a notable lawsuit in which he fought to free a wrongly condemned death row inmate; Scream Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street, an eye-opening documentary that spotlights the influential homoerotic subtext of the classic horror film.

The Best Audience Award for short films went to Oh My Starsa short film from director Cynthia Uhrich (check out my interview with her) set during the Great Depression about one woman’s fight to overcome personal adversity with the help of two friends — one white, one black. The film I helped produce, Master Servant, directed by Julie Koehnen, was the runner up for Best Audience Award.

Actress Zora Howard received this year’s Indie Vision – Breakthrough Performance Award for her searing portrayal of a 17-year-old living out her last summer at home before going to college in the coming-of-age drama Premature. Check out her red carpet interview of Zora and Premature‘s director Rashaad Ernesto Green:

Wyatt McGill
took home this year’s Indie Vision – Breakthrough Achievement Award for his innovative screenplay for 3 Day Weekend, a thriller told through multiple different perspectives, each one offering a different interpretation of the same chain of events.

Albert Magnoli, the director behind Purple Rain, was bestowed with the 2019 North Star Award For Excellence following a special 35th anniversary screening of the film.

The 2019 Fun Is Good Bill Murray Comedic Shorts Award went to Fairy Tail, directed by Justin and Kristin Schaak.

2019 TCFF Award Winners

Here’s the complete listing of 2019 award winners — you can see the full roster of 2019 TCFF finalists here.

Best Feature Film Award: Marriage Story, directed by Noah Baumbach

The Robert Byrd Best Documentary Award: A Perfect 14, directed by Giovanna Morales Vargas

Best Short Film Award: The Automaton, directed by Alex Reeves

Audience Award, Feature: Just Mercy, directed by Destin Daniel Cretton

Audience Award, Non-Fiction: Scream Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street, directed by Roman Chimienti and Tyler Jensen

Audience Award, Short Film: Oh My Stars, directed by Cynthia Uhrich

Indie Vision — Breakthrough Performance: Zora Howard (Premature)

Indie Vision — Breakthrough Achievement: Wyatt McDill (3 Day Weekend)

The Fun Is Good Bill Murray Comedic Shorts Award: Fairy Tail, directed by Justin Schaack and Kristin Schaack

2019 North Star Award For Excellence: Albert Magnoli (Purple Rain)

2019 TCFF Changemaker Award: Isra Hirsi and Rosemary Whipple

Thank you for checking out our TCFF 2019 coverage!

Stay tuned for more TCFF film reviews, as well as other new releases!

TWIN CITIES FILM FEST announces 2019 Awards Finalists

Hello FC readers, it’s Ruth here!

It’s the last day of Twin Cities Film Fest and TCFF has unveiled more than 25 finalists for its top awards. Among the 2019 contenders for Best Feature Film are Taika Waititi’s provocative anti-hate satire Jojo Rabbitwhich recently took home the top prize at the Toronto International Film Festival, Noah Baumbach’s divorce drama Marriage Story starring Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson, Trey Edward Shults’ ravishing family portrait Waves, and Alex Thompson’s Saint Francesa surprising story about a six-year-old who forms a close bond with her deadbeat nanny.

Limited tickets remain available for Waves and Saint Frances, both screening this afternoon.

Other notable 2019 finalists include PrematureRashaad Ernesto Green’s romantic drama nominated for this year’s TCFF Indie Vision Award for Zora Howard’s remarkable lead performance, and Rebecca Stern’s Well Groomeda film that goes inside the world of competitive pet grooming and is nominated for this year’s Robert Byrd Best Documentary Award.

Rounding out this year’s Best Feature Film nominees are Alma Har’el’s Honey Boy, an autobiographical script from star Shia LaBeouf about a young actor’s difficult early years, his struggles to cope with his mental health and his push to reconcile with his father; and Destin Daniel Cretton’s Just Mercy, a new drama profiling renowned civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson and a notable case in which he fought to free a condemned prisoner on death row.

Actor Bill Murray is serving as a special guest judge for this year’s Comedy Shorts Award. Murray will be choosing his favorite comedic short from the three finalists listed below.

This year’s TCFF slate, which continues to screen in St. Louis Park through Saturday evening, is comprised of more than 120 short and feature films. In recent years, TCFF organizers have prioritized the recruiting of more diverse films and directors to Minnesota; more than 60 percent of the 2019 TCFF program are titles directed or produced by female filmmakers.


Best Feature Film: Honey Boy, directed by Alma Har’el; Jojo Rabbit, directed by Taika Waititi; Just Mercy, directed by Destin Daniel Cretton; Marriage Story, directed by Noah Baumbach; Saint Frances, directed by Alex Thompson; Waves, directed by Trey Edward Shults.

Robert Byrd Best Documentary Film: A Perfect 14, directed by Giovanna Morales Vargas; Gay Chorus Deep South, directed by David Charles Rodrigues; Like Harvey Like Son, directed by Rudy Harris Jr.; The Truth About Marriage, directed by Roger Nygard; Well Groomed, directed by Rebecca Stern.

Best Short Film: Automaton, directed by Alex Reeves; Black Hat, directed by Phillip Guttmann; Grace, directed by Alexia Oldini; Master Servant, directed by Julie Koehnen; Our Transition, directed by Connor O’Keefe.

Thrilled that MASTER SERVANT (pictured above), the historical drama short I produced last year is among the nominees for Best Short!

Indie Vision Award for Breakthrough Achievement: 3 Day Weekend (Writer Wyatt McDill); The Field (Cinematographer Tate Bunker); Last Call (Director Gavin Michael Booth); Olympic Dreams (Writer Jeremy Teicher); Premature (Actress Zora Howard); The Protectors (Visual Effects Supervisor Ben Hughes)

Fun Is Good Bill Murray Comedy Shorts Award: Be Right Back, directed by Michael Driscoll; The Do It Up Date, directed by Andrew Barchilon and Emily Ting; Fairy Tale, directed by Justin Schaack and Kristin Schaack.

2019 North Star Award For Excellence: Albert Magnoli, director of “Purple Rain”

Stay tuned for more TCFF reviews in the coming days!