We're glad to know that Chris Eska's powerful drama The Retrieval garnered the top honor - the Best Narrative Feature that is - at this year's Montreal International Black Film Festival, during its closing night ceremony at the Imperial Theater last night.
The slavery set drama (read S&A's review HERE), about a 13 year-old boy sent by a gang of bounty hunters along with his cousin to capture a fugitive ex-slave, has won several awards in during its festival run this year. However, well-acted and crafted film is still without distribution; hopefully it will be acquired for release stateside in the coming months.
The Liberia-set documentary Small Small Thing, directed by Jessica Vale, won Best Documentary Feature. The USA production tells the story about a mother and daughter in Liberia, who find themselves caught between tradition and modernity, when it is discovered that the 9-year-old had been brutally raped 2 years prior. Sadly, the young girl, and film's focus, Olivia Zinnah, died late last year as a result of the long-term complications of the brutal rape she suffered at the age of 7.
The Montreal International Black Film Festival, which ran from September 18 through 29, boasted a pretty impressive line-up: Chasing Shakespeare, Alice Walker – Beauty in Truth, The Forgotten Kingdom, Denis, Fanie Fouri’s Lobola, Rayons d’Espoir (They Shine), Nairobi Half Life, Taste of Rain, The Retrieval, Les baobabs ne poussent pas en hiver, The Suspect, Haiti Untold, La Source, Mimi Barthélémy – la voix de la conteuse, Tula – the Revolt, Journalistes – vos papiers, Bay of all Saints, Finding Hillywood, Noirs et blancs en couleurs, Home, Something Necessary, La Playa DC and more.
Congratulations to the filmmakers of The Retrieval and the documentary Small Small Thing.
See all the winners below:
BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE:
THE RETRIEVAL, by Chris Eska (USA)
Honorable Mentions to:
Something Necessary, by Juddy Kibinge (Kenya, Germany)
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE:
SMALL SMALL THING, by Jessica Vale (USA)
BEST MID-LENGTH DOCUMENTARY:
FINDING HILLYWOOD, by Leah Warshawski & Chistopher Towey (USA, Rwanda)
BEST NARRATIVE SHORT:
KIRUNA-KIGALI, by Goran Kapetanovic (Sweden)
Honorable mention to:
The Runner, by Parker Ellemran (Germany, South Africa)
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT:
MY LAST SWIM, by Lesego Lediga (South Africa)