40th Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival - May 13-23, 2021Jury Award Winners

Documentary Feature Competition

This juried competition recognizes national and international non-fiction filmmaking that exemplifies the very best in presentation, diversity, innovation, and powerful storytelling in the documentary form.

Winner: Wuhan Wuhan
Director: Yung Chang | China

JURY STATEMENT

The Winner in the 2021 MSPIFF Documentary Competition is Wuhan Wuhan, directed by Yung Chang. In documenting the impact of a soul-crushing global health crisis through the daily turmoil of a metropolitan hospital in Wuhan, China, Wuhan Wuhan exudes the deepest humanity and empathy. The protagonists, separated from home and family and toiling long hours amidst the ongoing trauma of loss, are committed to not only saving lives but, in one case, bringing one into the world. Wuhan Wuhan is both an elegy to those we lost and an homage to those who persevered.

Special Jury Prize

The 2021 MSPIFF Special Jury Prize has been awarded to The Claw, directed by Phillip Harder. This was a film made with all the verve and bombast of the world it inhabits. A lively and entertaining portrait of professional wrestler Baron von Raschke, aka “The Baron,” The Claw was a welcome opportunity to lose oneself in a story about the passion and pain of pursuing a dream.

MORE INFO ON THIS COMPETITION

Emerging Filmmaker Competition

Winner: Nudo Mixteco
Director: Ángeles Cruz | Mexico

JURY STATEMENT

The Jury members were impressed at the range, diversity, and strengths of the eight films in this competition, and commend the MSPIFF for its selection. The future of world cinema is very bright indeed.

Emerging Filmmaker Award

For its inventive narrative structure and its imaginative, interwoven dramas of three fearless women, the Jury gives the Emerging Filmmaker Award to Nudo Mixteco, Angeles Cruz (Mexico)

Special Jury Prize, Honorable Mentions

For its sensitive direction, impressive ensemble cast, and incisive portrait of a community in crisis, the Jury gives a special citation to Underground, Sophie Dupuis (Canada).

For its original, poetic, and daring exploration of the personal, social, and political complexities of life in modern Africa, the Jury gives a special citation to Air Conditioner, Fradique (Angola).

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Documentary Short Competition

Winner: Ice Ball
Director: Nathaniel Schmidt | USA, Australia

Special Jury Prize, Honorable Mentions

The Truth About Hastings

For pushing the bounds of documentary storytelling.

Big Happiness

For cinematic candor and personal risk taking.


Fiction Short Competition

Winner: Waves
Director: Agazi Desta | USA

Special Jury Prize, Runner Up

Yoruga

Special Jury Prize, Honorable Mention

The Last Station


Nextwave Youth Jury Competition

Nextwave is a program of the MSP Film Society that celebrates and engages the next generation of international films and talent. The Nextwave Youth Film competition is a program of short films by diverse filmmakers from around the globe aged 11 to 18. Nextwave films are selected and reviewed by a Youth Jury, who honor two of the selections with awards.

Excellence in Youth Filmmaking Winner

Music for the End of the World
Director: Emmanuel Li

Jury Award (tie)

Sophie and Jacob
Director: Max Shoham
091319.mov
Director: Kunwoo Kim