The 46th Mill Valley Film Festival began on Oct. 5 with the uniqueness of hosting a blockbuster event stocked with amazing films and renowned filmmakers but lacking a crucial ingredient, as many of the stars of the show remained on strike and unable to promote their films. Zoe Elton, the event’s director of programming told an audience at the Smith Rafael Film Center that it was “like going back to our roots,” when the event began as a director-oriented festival.
The opening night showcase film was “Day of the Fight,” which does not yet have distribution but does boast the directorial debut of Jack Huston. The British actor known for his work with Martin Scorsese (HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” and the role of Bobby Kennedy in “The Irishman”) and as a regular on the fourth season of “Fargo” is a black-and-white film about a boxer coming to terms with his past on the day of his first fight in 10 years.
After the multiple screenings of “Day of the Fight” kicked off the evening, the throngs of film lovers descended on Marin Country Mart in Larkspur for a multi-faceted party with live music and plenty of food and drinks.
The 46th Mill Valley Film Festival closed with a thrilling party on Fourth Street in downtown San Rafael. “A BIG thank you to everyone who joined us for this year’s films, panels, conversations, and more,” organizer said in a statement. From our sponsors, donors, and members, to first-time attendees—we are so happy to have you as part of this Festival. We couldn’t do this without you!”
MVFF Streaming continues now through Sunday, Oct 22. Check out these feature-length films, or browse all titles, including short film collections here. Additional opportunities to see some of this year’s selections on the big screen are also happening at the Smith Rafael Film Center.
The results are in for the MVFF46 Audience Favorites! Find out, at left, who won for each category below, plus photos from the final day of the fest.
There were also plenty of lesser known films that delivered amazing stories and performances, including “I Am Hope,” a film chronicling ShakaJamal’s Effort to create a youth wellness program for Oakland Unified School District, and ‘Adrift,’ veteran filmmaker Rory Kennedy’s intervention into the ongoing global refugee crisis.
Other awards given out during MVFF included:
MVFF Awards for Directing | George C. Wolfe (Rustin) and Jeff Nichols (The 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)