By Nick Romano
May 08, 2016 at 06:07 PM EDT

Under the Shadow

  • Movie

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


Director – Kirsten Johnson

Documentary Feature Competition

Special Jury Prize for Narrative Innovation


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


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 


Directors – Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg


Junior Jury

Special Jury Prize for Social Justice 


Director – Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami

Junior Jury Winner


Director — Clay Tweel

Under the Shadow

  • Movie
  • PG-13
release date
  • 10/07/16
  • 84 minutes
  • Babak Anvari
Complete Coverage
  • Under the Shadow