’Moonlight,’ ‘Blood Stripe’ take home honors at top Midwest festival

St. Louis Park, MN (October 31, 2016) – The Twin Cities Film Fest announced its 2016 award winners over the weekend, recognizing films in nine top categories. The 11-day event, which showcased more than 100 titles, named Barry Jenkins’ critically-acclaimed drama “Moonlight” as this year’s Best Feature Film. “Blood Stripe,” a drama directed by Remy Auberjonois, starring Kate Nowlin and filmed in Minnesota, took home multiple statues, including the 2016 Audience Award and the Indie Vision – Breakthrough Performance Award for Nowlin’s dynamic performance as a military veteran struggling to adapt to civilian life after her tour of duty.

“What is clearly resonating with Twin Cities audiences right now — and what brought a record-breaking crowd to this year’s festival – is this push towards more diverse stories, casts and visions,” said TCFF executive director Jatin Setia. “Performances like Kate’s, screenplays like Barry’s…these diverse perspectives about men and women at a crossroads are why independent cinema is thriving today, in both theaters and on digital platforms. And I have no doubt that our record breaking attendance shows that viewers have been craving more visions like this.”

This year’s award for Best Documentary went to “I Do?,” a film about marriage and relationships filmed by Minnesotan Joe Brandmeier; Best Short Film was bestowed to John and Amy Thompson’s “Lend a Hand For Love;” the festival’s other Indie Vision awards went to the documentary “They Call Us Monsters” and the expressionistic drama “No Light and No Land Anywhere.”

The 2016 North Star Awards were handed to Dominic Rains, who appeared in person with his thriller “Burn Country” — for which he won Best Actor at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival — and Tim Guinee, who returned to Minnesota for a special 10th anniversary screening of his critical smash hit “Sweet Land.”

The full list of 2016 award winners:

Best Feature Film: “Moonlight,” directed by Barry Jenkins. (Runner-Up: “First Girl I Loved,” directed by Kerem Sanga)

Best Documentary: “I Do?” directed by Joe Brandmeier. (Runner-Up: “Denial,” directed by Derek Hallquist)

Best Short Film: “Lend a Hand For Love,” directed by John and Amy Thompson. (Runner-Up: “Twinsburg,” directed by Joe Garrity)

Audience Award, Feature Film: “Blood Stripe,” directed by Remy Auberjonois. (Runner-Up: “Lion,” directed by Garth Davis; Second Runner-Up: “Oxenfree,” directed by Dan Glaser)

Audience Award, Documentary: “Iron Will,” directed by Sergio Valenzuela. (Runner-Up: “Free CeCe!” directed by Jacqueline Gares; Second Runner-Up: “The Eagle Huntress,” directed by Otto Bell)

Audience Award, Short Film: “Waabooz,” directed by Molly Katagiri. (Runner-Up: “The Mermaid Story,” directed by James Snapko; Second Runner-Up: “I,” directed by Ben McDonnell)

The 2016 Indie Vision Awards:

Breakthrough Feature Film: “No Light and No Land Anywhere,” directed by Amber Sealey. (Runner-Up: “June Falling Down,” directed by Rebecca Weaver)

Breakthrough Documentary: “They Call Us Monsters,” directed by Ben Lear. (Runner-Up: “Prison Dogs,” directed by Geeta Gandbhir and Perri Peltz.

Breakthrough Performance: Kate Nowlin, star of “Blood Stripe.” (Runner-Up: Tomas Pais, star of “Hunky Dory”)

Also Awarded This Year:

North Star Awards For Excellence: Dominic Rains (“Burn Country”) and Tim Guinee (“Sweet Land”).

Lifetime Achievement Award: Lea Thompson.

More information about this year’s awards, and breakout hits, at www.twincitiesfilmfest.org.


Twin Cities Film Fest (TCFF) is a Minneapolis-based 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization founded by Executive Director, Jatin Setia. The Twin Cities Film Fest is an annual mainstream film festival hosted at the Shops at West End, catering 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 twincitiesfilmfest.org.


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 Coopers, and retailers including Anthropologie, Lululemon Athletica and Charming Charlie. 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 www.TheShopsAtWestEnd.com.

Media Contact:

Maggie Henjum, Allied Integrated Marketing