Mammoth Lakes Film Festival 2020: The Winners and Fest Wrap Up

DESIRE PATH wins the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at MLFF 2020

This year, the Mammoth Lakes Film Festival was viral, original in its film selections, and definitely worthwhile. In an exclusive chat with Brave New Hollywood, festival founder, Shira Dubrovner, and programmer, Paul Sbrizzi promised a great festival with a carefully picked variety of American, and international feature films, documentaries, and shorts with Q&A sessions and engaging panels. Watch the entire interview at the bottom of this post.

The fest did not disappoint with a blast-from-the-past conversation bringing together legendary filmmakers, David Zucker and Jim Abrahams as they shared amazing and hilarious stories from their time arriving in Hollywood, finding an agent, and ultimately making their 1980 runaway, comedy, hit, AIRPLANE which celebrates its 40th anniversary, this year.

L-R, Director David Zucker, the movie poster of 1980 comedy film, AIRPLANE, director Jim Abrahams
Iconic filmmakers, David Zucker and Jim Abrahams shared behind-the-scene stories about their careers in Hollywood and making the 1980 hit, comedy movie AIRPLANE

RESIDUE and DESIRE PATH win at Mammoth Lakes Film Festival 2020

DESIRE PATH (USA) by director Marjorie Conrad won the Jury Prize in the Best Narrative Feature category and it also made its west coast premiere at MLFF while RESIDUE (USA) by Merawi Gerima won the Audience Award in the same category.

The Jury award for the Best Documentary Feature went to FEATHER and PINE, directed by  Star Rosencrans and Michael James Beck)while the Audience Award in that category was given to THE WIND: A DOCUMENTARY THRILLER, directed by Michał Bielawski.

Below, see the complete list of all winners of MLFF 2020 and watch Henrick Vartanian’s conversation with festival founder Shira Dubrovner and programmer, Paul Sbrizzi about this year’s cinematic event.

The Wind, A Documentary Thriller (L) and Residue (R) win awards at Mammoth Lakes Film Festival 2020

Screenplay Competition (in its inaugural year)

Fish Story by Matthew Dixon

Short Films

Jury Honorable Mention for Animation Short / Maverick Storytelling Award

“Cage Match” (dir. Bryan Lee)

Jury Award for Best Animation Short

“The Fourfold” (dir. Alisi Telengut)

Jury Award for Best Documentary Short

“Huntsville Station” (dir. Bryan Lee)

Jury Honorable Mention for Narrative Short

“They Won’t Last” (dir. Portlynn Tagavi)

Best Narrative Short

“Follow Me” (dir. Elinor Nechemya)

While accepting the award, Nechemya noted how excited she was when programmer Paul Sbrizzi personally called her with the programming news, describing it as “such a nice gesture.”


Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature

The Wind. A Documentary Thriller (dir. Michał Bielawski)

Jury Honorable Mention for Documentary Feature

Democracy on the Road of Saveh (dir. Turaj Kalantari)

Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature

Feather and Pine (dir. Star Rosencrans and Michael James Beck)

Bravery Award for Documentary Feature

Pier Kids (dir. Elegance Bratton)

Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature

Desire Path (dir. Marjorie Conrad)

Jury Honorable Mention for Narrative Feature

Marlene (dir. Andreas Resch)

Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature

Residue (dir. Merawi Gerima)

Winners and festival participants were online for a virtual Zoom dance party featuring hand puppets, costumes and a fun and lively end to this year’s Mammoth Lakes Film Festival.

Released by Ava Duvernay’s ARRAY Releasing, RESIDUE is now streaming on Netflix.

Mammoth Lakes Film Festival website.

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