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MLFF 2020 Winners

Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature - RESIDUE (USA)

Director Merawi Gerima

West Coast Premiere

A young filmmaker returns home after many years away to write a script about his childhood, only to find his neighborhood unrecognizable and his childhood friends scattered to the wind.

Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature - DESIRE PATH (USA)

Director Marjorie Conrad​​

World Premiere

Desire path: a path created as a consequence of erosion caused by human or animal foot-fall traffic. The path usually represents the shortest or most easily navigated route between an origin and destination.A young woman walks down a desire path next to her house and invites a demonic figure into her life. A vampire film with an elliptical plot, minimal dialogue, and characters that are defenseless against their drives.

Jury Award for Documentary Feature - FEATHER & PINE (USA)

Directors Star Rosencrans, Michael James Beck

West Coast Premiere

A poetic, visually stunning portrait of a northern California logging community and a young couple being pulled apart by conflicting ambitions in in the wake of the Great Recession.

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Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature - THE WIND. A DOCUMENTARY THRILLER (Poland)

Director Michal Bielawski


Poland’s Halny wind comes in cycles, every spring and autumn, sometimes turning into a destructive gale that creates a
setting for a wild performance of human struggle against the destructive forces of nature.

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Jury Bravery Award for Documentary Feature - PEIR KIDS (USA)

Director Elegance Bratton​

Krystal LaBeija, a transgender woman, returns to her Missouri home seeking the acceptance of her mother, who doesn’t fully embrace Krystal’s identity. Casper and Desean go from being homeless to housed while carving out their place in the world. Along the piers at the end of Christopher Street, transgender youth navigate the precarities of a complicated and vibrant lifestyle.

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Honorable Mention for Narrative Feature MARLENE (Germany)

Director Andreas Resch

N. American Premiere

This nightmarish film tells the story of a woman, Marlene, who moves to Berlin in order to begin a new life and soon meets her upstairs-neighbor Flo, seemingly a nice guy. After starting a job as a restorer, Marlene quickly forgets about Flo. She finds new friends while simultaneously being drawn back into her past. It’s almost too late when Marlene finally realizes how dangerous Flo really is ; she gets wrapped up inside a game of life and death.

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Honorable Mention for Documentary Feature - DEMOCRACY ON THE ROAD OF SAVEH (Iran)

Director Turaj Kalantari

N. American Premiere

An up-close, humorous look at the campaigns of three local candidates, and the grotesque political maneuvering in the run-up to council elections in Robat Karim, a small city in Tehran province.

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Jury Award for Best Narrative Short - FOLLOW ME (Israel)

Director Elinor Nechemya

​International Premiere

Narrative Short

It’s party night, and volunteering at a youth hotline is Omer’s typical excuse not to show up. When he finds out tonight may be his last chance with the girl he fancies, he decides to carry the call center into the night.

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Jury Award for Best Documentary Short - HUNTSVILLE STATION (USA)

Directors Chris Fillippone, Jamie Meltzer

Every weekday, inmates are released from Huntsville State Penitentiary, taking in their first moments of freedom with phone calls, cigarettes, and quiet reflection at the Greyhound station up the block.

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Jury Award for Best Animated Short - THE FOURFOLD (Canada)

Director Alisi Telengut

Based on the animistic beliefs and shamanic rituals in Mongolia and Siberia, the film is about the indigenous worldview and wisdom: Nature is the homeland of human being.

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Honorable Mention for Narrative Short - THEY WONT LAST (USA)

Director Portlynn Tagavi

After attending their friends' perfect wedding, Christine is forced to consider the future of her own relationship when her hopeless romantic boyfriend Alex proposes. When Christine is unable to say yes, Alex makes it worse by giving her an ultimatum: either get engaged or break up right now.

Honorable Mention for Animated Short - CAGE MATCH (USA)

Director Bryan Lee

A businessman enters the elevator for another day at work...

Jury Award for Best Screenplay - FISH STORY (USA)

Writer Matthew Dixon

A one-legged taxidermist gets her last chance at happiness when her father fishes a dangerous boy out of the sea. 

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