“Origin” And “American Symphony” Win Top Awards At Virginia Film Festival – Deadline

Ava Duvernay‘s Origin and Matthew Heineman‘s American Symphony were among the top winners at the Virginia Film Festival, the four-day Charlottesville event that ran from Oct. 25-29.

Origin, based on Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, was the festival Audience Award for narrative feature. Heineman’s American Symphony, about musician Jon Batiste, was recognized for documentary feature.

Other Audience Award winners included Dreams of Home for narrative short and Black Godfather of Scuba for documentary short.

The winners of the Programmers’ Awards were American Fiction in the narrative category and No Ordinary Campaign in the documentary category. For the Moon was recognized in the narrative short category and 1-15-41 in the documentary short.

Ava DuVernay

Eze Amos/Getty Images

DuVernay also was recognized with the festival’s Visionary Award as she sat down for a post-screening Q&A with The Washington Post’s Ann Hornaday.

Other individual honors went to Heineman with the Directorial Achievement Award, and he accepted at a final night screening and Q&A, as well as a performance from Batiste. Other honors went to Cord Jefferson (American Fiction) with the Breakthrough Director Award; Nikki Giovanni (Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project) with the Changemaker Award; Nicole Newnham (The Disappearance of Shere Hite) with the Chronicler Award, Kazu Miro (Maestro) with the Craft Award; and Richardo Preve (Sometime, Somewhere) with the Governor Gerald L. Baliles Founder’s Award.

The festival included the world premieres of Dylan Narang’s Tapawingo, Danny Wagner’s For the Taking and Preve’s Sometime, Somewhere. Jefferon, Giovanni and Hiro also appeared at the festival, along with festival advisory board chair Mark Johnson, who presented Alexander Payne’s The Holdovers.

The festival saw 19,698 attendances at paid and free events. The event is a program of the University of Virginia and the office of the provost and vice provost for the arts. The festival director is vice provost for the arts Jody Kielbasa.

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