Slavery/Civil War Set Drama 'The Retrieval' Wins Best Film at Montreal Int'l Black Film Fest

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by Vanessa Martinez
September 30, 2013 1:08 PM
1 Comment
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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 Thingdirected 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 Zinnahdied 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-upChasing ShakespeareAlice Walker – Beauty in TruthThe Forgotten KingdomDenisFanie Fouri’s LobolaRayons d’Espoir (They Shine)Nairobi Half LifeTaste of RainThe RetrievalLes baobabs ne poussent pas en hiverThe SuspectHaiti UntoldLa SourceMimi Barthélémy – la voix de la conteuseTula – the RevoltJournalistes – vos papiersBay of all SaintsFinding HillywoodNoirs et blancs en couleursHomeSomething NecessaryLa 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 (KenyaGermany)

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE:
SMALL SMALL THING, by Jessica Vale (USA)

BEST MID-LENGTH DOCUMENTARY:
FINDING HILLYWOOD, by Leah Warshawski & Chistopher Towey (USARwanda)

BEST NARRATIVE SHORT:
KIRUNA-KIGALI, by Goran Kapetanovic (Sweden)
Honorable mention to:
The Runner, by Parker Ellemran (GermanySouth Africa)

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT:
MY LAST SWIM, by Lesego Lediga (South Africa)

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More: Festival Dispatch

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1 Comment

  • Donella | September 30, 2013 6:37 PMReply

    Saw the Retrieval.

    Definitely well-acted.

    But some disconnects in logic, especially towards the film's conclusion where the audience with whom I viewed this remained skeptical of character motivations. Writing issue.

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