At a 41st Mill Valley Film Festival screening of “The Kindergarten Teacher,” as well as a Spotlight event on her career, actress Maggie Gyllenhaal was joined by her husband and fellow actor Peter Sarsgaard, as well as MVFF Director of Programming Zoe Elton. Photos by Kirke Wrench.

When they unveiled the lineup for its 41st edition, organizers of the Mill Valley Film Festival included Sara Colangelo’s The Kindergarten Teacher, which tells a story of obsession as a sensitive teacher, played by Maggie Gyllenhaal, goes to great lengths to protect one of her students who she believes is a child prodigy for poetry. 

But the screening also provided an opportunity for MVFF to honor Gyllenhaal for a career that spans 30 films and 11 televised movies and series, work that “can be seen as nothing less than fearless,” they said. “Ever since her sexy and outrageous breakout role in 2002’s Secretary, Gyllenhaal has crafted singular and unforgettable characters in Adaptation.Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Mona Lisa Smile, Happy Endings, Sherrybaby, The Dark Knight, her Academy Award®-nominated turn in Crazy Heart, Hysteria, Frank, HBO’s The Deuce, and many more.”

They did just that with an Oct. 12th Spotlight event on Gyllenhaal, at which Gyllenhall sat with MVFF Director of Programming Zoe Elton and received the Mind the Gap Award, an honor in conjunction with the festival’s gender equity initiative, which seeks to amplify and champions work by women filmmakers. MVFF has committed to a goal of 50/50 by 2020—50 percent women directors across all festival sections by 2020.

Gyllenhaal appeared at the event with her husband Peter Sarsgaard, best known for his work in films like Garden State, An Education and Shattered Glass.

Stay tuned for more coverage of the 41st Mill Valley Film Festival.

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