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Montclair Film Festival winners: Under the Shadow, Sophia Takal, Weiner earn top honors

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This weekend, the New Jersey-based Montclair Film Festival announced its 2016 award winners, including Under the Shadow (helmed by Babak Anvari), director Sophia Takal for her work on Always Shine, and Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg’s Anthony Weiner documentary

Anvari’s film, about a family living in war-torn Tehran, won the Narrative Feature Jury prize, while Takal took home the Special Jury Prize for Direction. Elsewhere, Weiner earned the David Carr Award for Truth in Non-Fiction Filmmaking, which honors a film that utilizes journalistic techniques to explore important contemporary subjects. 

Other winners include Kirsten Johnson’s Cameraperson documentary about her 25-year career as a documentary cinematographer, Taika Waititi’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople, and Kris Avedisian for his performance in Donald Cried

“We are deeply honored by the fact that so many incredible filmmakers chose to share their work with the festival and our audiences. We thank every one of our filmmakers for their overwhelming generosity,” the festival’s executive director, Tom Hall, said in a statement. “These awards are the festival’s way of honoring work that challenges and inspires us, and we hope they offer further encouragement to the filmmakers to continue making great work.”

See the full list of winners below. 

Narrative Feature Competition Winner

Under the Shadow

Director – Babak Anvari 

Narrative Feature Competition

Special Jury Prize for Directing

Sophia Takal, Always Shine

 

Bruce Sinofsky Prize for Documentary Feature Competition Winner

Cameraperson

Director – Kirsten Johnson

Documentary Feature Competition

Special Jury Prize for Narrative Innovation

Tower

Director — Keith Maitland

Future/Now Competition Winner

The Fits

Director – Anna Rose Holmer

Future/Now Competition

Special Jury Prize for Acting

Kris Avedisian for his performance in Donald Cried

 

New Jersey Films Competition Winner

The Wrong Light

Director – Josie Swantek Heitz & Dave Adams

New Jersey Films Competition 

Special Jury Prize for Archival Storytelling

Silicon Cowboys

Director — Jason Cohen

Audience Award Winner Narrative Feature

Hunt for the Wilderpeople 

Directed by Taika Waititi

  

Audience Award Winner Documentary Feature 

Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You 

Directed by Heidi Ewing & Rachel Grady

Audience Award Winner World Cinema

Sonita

Directed by Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami

Audience Award Winner Short Film

Joe’s Violin

Directed by Kahane Cooperman

David Carr Award for Truth in Non-Fiction Filmmaking 

Weiner

Directors – Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg

 

Junior Jury

Special Jury Prize for Social Justice 

Sonita

Director – Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami

Junior Jury Winner

Gleason

Director — Clay Tweel

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