Best Narrative Feature: I Believe in Unicorns
Leah Meyerhoff’s I Believe in Unicorns is a majestic beauty, much like it’s central image of a unicorn; it is mythical, vulnerable, weird, beautiful and deeply human. It's the one narrative from the festival that I can promise will be on my year-end list in December. Read my review here.
Honorable Mention: Obvious Child
Best Documentary Feature: One Cut, One Life
Honorable mentions (in alphabetical order): 9-Man, Freeload, Vessel, Wicker Kittens
Best Performance: Natalia Dyer for I Believe in Unicorns
Dyer is absolutely brilliant in this film, disappearing into the role with grace. Meyerhoff is a brilliant writer and director, but she couldn't have pulled this film off without such a remarkably talented lead to bring out deep layers of humanity.
Honorable Mention: Jenny Slate for Obvious Child
Best Directing for a Narrative Feature: Leah Meyerhoff for I Believe in Unicorns
I wish I could spread the love around more but nothing at the festival was on the level of this film. It's not that the other films weren't brilliant; I Believe in Unicorns is just a special, special film. Meyerhoff has remarkable talent at expressing herself with image, sound and rhythm. Read my interview with Meyerhoff here.
Honorable Mention: Vivian Qu for Trap Street
Best Directing for a Documentary Feature: Lucia Small and Ed Pincus for One Cut, One Life
The vulnerability that Small and Pincus bring to this film is rare and a gift to those willing to experience it. They were brave enough to turn the camera on at all, especially in certain difficult moments. I admire this strength. They also knew where to take the film so that the vulnerable emotions would turn into thoughts and realizations, like their focus on the NYC subway.
Honorable Mention: Ursula Liang for 9-Man and Diana Whitten for Vessel