The Montclair Film Festival (MFF) announced the winners of the festival’s 2021 film competitions. This year’s festival featured four competitive categories: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Future/Now, and New Jersey Filmmaking.

Additionally, the Fiction and Documentary juries awarded films for the festival’s Short Film competitions. The MFF also announced the festival’s 2021 Audience Awards and Junior Jury prizes.


Feature Film Jury Awards

THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD directed by Joachim Trier, was awarded the festival’s Fiction Feature Prize with Sebastian Meise receiving a Special Jury Prize for Directing for his film GREAT FREEDOM.

FLEE, directed by Jonas Poher Rasmussen, took home the festival’s top Non-Fiction Competition prize, the Bruce Sinofsky Award, in the festival’s Non-Fiction Feature competition. This award was established in memory of filmmaker and longtime Montclair resident Bruce Sinofsky.

WHAT DO WE SEE WHEN WE LOOK AT THE SKY?, directed by Aleksandre Koberidze, was awarded the Mark Urman Award For Fiction Filmmaking in the festival’s Future/Now competition, featuring a $5,000 cash prize, honoring early career filmmakers. This award was established in 2019 in memory of the film distribution executive Mark Urman, a longtime Montclair resident, and funded through Montclair Film’s Mark Urman Award Fund.

The Special Jury Prize for Visionary Filmmaking was awarded to Jane Schoenbrun for WE’RE ALL GOING TO THE WORLD’S FAIR.

KILI BIG, directed by Ida Joglar, took home the New Jersey Films Competition prize. A Special New Jersey Local Hero Humanitarian Award was given to Mayor Mohamed Khairullah, subject of MAYOR MOHAMED, directed by Jeffrey Togman.

Audience Awards

The festival’s Audience Award for Fiction Feature went to BELFAST, directed by Kenneth Branagh.

The Audience Award for Non-Fiction Feature went to DIONNE WARWICK: DON’T MAKE ME OVER directed by Dave Wooley.

Dionne Warwick – Don’t Make Me Over

The Audience Award for World Cinema went to FLEE, directed by Jonas Poher Rasmussen.

The Audience Award for Short Film went to LARRY & ME, directed by Lisa Melmed.

David Carr Award

THE FIRST WAVE, directed by Matthew Heineman, took home the 7th Annual David Carr Award for Truth in Non-Fiction Filmmaking, which honors a filmmaker, selected by the festival, who utilizes exemplary journalistic techniques to explore important contemporary subjects and is presented in honor of Mr. Carr’s commitment to truth telling in reporting.


Junior Jury Award

Each year, The Montclair Film Festival welcomes our Junior Jury, made up of 13 area High School students representing 12 area schools. The Junior Jury awarded their top prize to two films. THE SOUVENIR PART II, directed by Joanna Hogg, and THE INNOCENTS, directed by Eskil Vogt.

Short Film Jury Awards

LILI ALONE, directed by Zou Jing, won the festival’s Fiction Short Film Competition, with a Special Jury Prize for Direction awarded to Nesaru Tchaas for SOME STILL SEARCH.

HAPPINESS IS A JOURNEY, directed by Ivete Lucas and Patrick Bresnan won the festival’s Non-Fiction Short Film Competition. A Special Jury Prize for Awareness and Advocacy was awarded to R.I.P. T-SHIRTS, directed by David Heilbroner and Kate Davis.

SAFE, directed by Ian Barling, won the festival’s New Jersey Shorts competition, with a New Jersey Short Film Special Jury Prize of the Montclair Storyteller Award presented to Topaz Jones and rubberband, directors of DON’T GO TELLIN’ YOUR MOMMA. The Competition featured films in the fiction and non-fiction categories from New Jersey.

“It has been incredibly moving to welcome audiences back to the movies and to feature the work of so many gifted artists who brought the world to us,” said Montclair Film Executive Director Tom Hall. “We thank and congratulate every single filmmaker in the festival, each of whom overcame the profound difficulties of our recent times to share their films with our community. We look forward with hope to the continued impact their films will make in the year ahead.”