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2021 TCFF Award Finalists


Belfast, Waikiki, Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America lead this year’s class of honorees; The annual celebration of visual arts
continues to screen and stream through Saturday

St. Louis Park, MN (October 27, 2021) – The Twin Cities Film Fest unveiled more than 20 finalists for its top awards Thursday, many of which can still be screened during the event’s final weekend. Among the contenders for the 2021 Best Feature Film Award are the acclaimed new Wes Anderson comedy The French Dispatch, Christopher Kahunahana’s searing social commentary and film festival hit Waikiki and Kenneth Branagh’s lauded Belfast, a semi-autobiographical portrait of childhood and working class family life in Northern Ireland during the tumultuous period of the late 1960s. Starring Jamie Dornan and Caitriona Balfe, Belfast recently won the coveted people’s choice award at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Belfast will screen Saturday evening as the festival’s official closing night film.   

Other notable finalists this year include Mike Mills’ family drama C’mon C’mon starring Joaquin Phoenix, Will Sharpe’s The Electrical Life of Louis Wain starring Benedict Cumberbatch and the new documentary Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America from directors Emily and Sarah Kunstler, which documents former ACLU Deputy Legal Director Jeffery Robinson’s groundbreaking talk on the history of anti-Black racism, interweaving his stage presentation with archival footage, interviews and Robinson’s own stirring backstory.

Actor Bill Murray is again serving as a special guest judge for this year’s Comedy Shorts Award. Murray will be choosing his favorite comedic short from the three finalists listed below.

This year’s TCFF slate, which marks the second “hybrid” catalog of 90+ films in response to the ongoing pandemic, continues to both stream online at and screen in person at St. Louis Park’s Showplace ICON Theatres at The Shops at West End through Saturday evening. Streaming passes can be used 24/7 and remain available for the festival’s final days.  

See the complete list of 2021 awards finalists below; for more information on the films and to purchase tickets for the final streams and screenings, visit


Best Feature Film Award: Belfast, directed by Kenneth Branagh; C’mon C’mon, directed by Mike Mills; The Electrical Life of Louis Wain, directed by Will Sharpe; The French Dispatch, directed by Wes Anderson; and Waikiki, directed by Christopher Kahunahana.

The Robert Byrd Best Documentary Film Award: A Fire Within, directed by Christopher Chambers; Mayor Pete, directed by Jesse Moss; That’s Wild, directed by Michiel Thomas; Trusted Messenger, directed by Chris Newberry; and Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America, directed by Emily and Sarah Kunstler.

Best Short Film Award: Gorilla Wants Banana, directed by Andrew Juncker; Lemon Shark, directed by Kate Nowlin; Frankie, directed by James Kautz: and No Dogs, directed by Randal Kamradt.

TCFF’s Indie Vision Award — Breakthrough Performance: Sam Bardwell in Sold Out; Juliana Destefano in Acid Test; Leonard Searcy in 39 Seconds; Mary Cate Williams in Her Name Was Jo; and Danielle Zalopany in Waikiki.

TCFF’s Indie Vision Award — Breakthrough Achievement: Aizzah Fatima and Iman K. Zawahry for their screenplay Americanish; Nathaniel Eras, Jimmy Stoefer and Alan Wilkis for their music in Drunk Bus; Nick Brandestini for his cinematography in Sapelo; Filmmaker C.J. Renner for his use of immersive VR techniques in Soldier; and Christopher Kahunahana for his direction in Waikiki.

Fun Is Good Bill Murray Comedy Shorts Award: Gorilla Wants Banana, directed by Andrew Juncker; The Homework Fairy, directed by David Mair; and Shots, directed by Joshua Carlon


Twin Cities Film Fest (TCFF) is a Minneapolis-based non-profit arts organization founded by Executive Director, Jatin Setia. The Twin Cities Film Fest is an annual mainstream film festival that caters to the general public with one simple goal: To offer audiences access to the best films the global industry has to offer, to stimulate economic activity in the Twin Cities and to offer filmmakers a premiere venue at which to premiere their work. TCFF welcomes donations throughout the year from members, individual donors, volunteers, or corporations. To learn more about TCFF, events, film submissions or to donate, visit


Founded in 1909 with a single storefront nickelodeon, Chicago-based Kerasotes Showplace Theatres introduced a “new era of moviegoing” with its Showplace ICON Theatres. Owned and operated by third generation family, Tony and Dean Kerasotes, the Company plans to debut Showplace ICON Theatres in additional major U.S. markets, including Boston, Mass.; Washington D.C. and surrounding suburbs; and Laguna Hills and the Silicon Valley in Cal.  For more information, please visit us online at


The Shops at West End is an exciting mixed-use development located in the highly affluent suburb of St. Louis Park, just minutes from downtown Minneapolis. Located at the intersection of I-394 & 100, The Shops at West End features restaurants such as CRAVE and THE LOCAL, and various retailers. It is a joint-venture development of Duke Realty, Inc. and Jeffrey R. Anderson Real Estate, Inc. For a complete list of West End tenants, please visit

Media Contact:                                                                                                        

Jatin Setia, Twin Cities Film Fest