‘American Fiction’, ‘Society Of The Snow’ Win Audience Awards At Middleburg Film Festival

The Middleburg Film Festival wrapped up its 11th year over the weekend, and audiences have chosen their best of the annual event. Cord Jefferson’s literary satire American Fiction won the Audience Award for narrative film. Previously, it was awarded the same honor by the Toronto Film Festival audience. The film stars Jeffrey Wright as a frustrated Black author who creates a fake persona and writes a book full of the Black stereotypes the entertainment industry makes a profit from.

“Congratulations to our remarkable Audience Award winners,” said Susan Koch, executive director for MFF. “We couldn’t be prouder of this year’s lineup and were honored to present so many exceptional films and welcome leading filmmakers to engage in thoughtful conversations.”

The Audience Award for international feature went to J.A. Bayona’s Society of the Snow. The Netflix survival drama recounts the 1972 Uruguayan flight disaster in the Andes and the 16 survivors who endured 72 days of hardship by leaning on one another for support. Composer Michael Giacchino was on hand to receive the Distinguished Composer award and gave a Q&A to the audience following the film’s first screening.

Audiences also selected Invisible Nation, Vanessa Hope’s film about the election of the first female President of Taiwan, as its choice for Best Documentary.

A Special Presentation Audience Award went to Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers’ The Last Repair Shop, about a devoted group of craftspeople who repair Los Angeles public school students’ instruments, as such programs dwindle around the country. Bowers attended the festival to receive the inaugural Sheila Johnson Vanguard Award, named after the festival’s founder.

You can find all of our 2023 Middleburg Film Festival coverage here.

Travis Hopson
Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.