The Middleburg Film Festival announced today the Audience Award winners for Best Narrative Film and Best Documentary Film following the conclusion of the 10th anniversary edition of the four-day festival on Sunday, October 16. Best Narrative Film was awarded to Sony Pictures’ DEVOTION from director J.D. Dillard who appeared at the Festival with actress Christina Jackson for a post screening conversation led by Rotten Tomatoes Awards Editor Jacqueline Coley. The award for Best Documentary Film went to Sony Pictures Classics’ TURN EVERY PAGE – THE ADVENTURES OF ROBERT CARO AND ROBERT GOTTLIEB, directed by Lizzie Gottlieb who was also in attendance and joined audiences for a discussion with The Washington Post feature writer Manuel Roig-Franzia.
MFF audiences were given the opportunity to cast ballots for their favorite festival films following each screening. This year’s festival featured 45 films spanning various genres, including Oscar contenders, thought-provoking documentaries and critically acclaimed international features.
“Congratulations to our Audience Award winners DEVOTION and TURN EVERY PAGE,” said MFF Executive Director Susan Koch. “We were honored to have these filmmakers join us at the festival to present their exceptional films to our audiences and engage in thoughtful conversations.”
Based on Adam Makos’ bestselling book of the same name, DEVOTION is a soaring aerial war epic that recounts the inspirational true story of two elite US Navy fighter pilots who helped turn the tide in the most brutal battle in the Korean War. Set in 1950, at the start of what is now known as America’s “forgotten war,” the military had only been recently desegregated when Jesse Brown (Jonathan Majors, “Da 5 Bloods”) became the first Black aviator in Navy history. But Jesse’s impressive achievements are overshadowed by persistent racial prejudice and hostility so he has every reason to be suspicious when he meets his new wingman and fellow fighter pilot, Tom Hudner (Glen Powell, “Hidden Figures,” “Top Gun: Maverick”). It is not only their heroic sacrifices and valor, but their devotion to one another that would ultimately earn them the distinction as the Navy’s most celebrated wingmen.
TURN EVERY PAGE – THE ADVENTURES OF ROBERT CARO AND ROBERT GOTTLIEB explores the remarkable fifty-year relationship between two literary legends, writer Robert Caro and his longtime editor Robert Gottlieb. Now 86, Caro is working to complete the final version of his masterwork, The Years of Lyndon Johnson; Gottlieb, 91, waits to edit it. The task of finishing their life’s work looms before them. With humor and insight, this unique double portrait reveals the work habits, peculiarities, and professional joys of these two ferocious intellects at the culmination of a journey that has consumed both their lives and impacted generations of politicians, activists, writers and readers. The documentary is a presentation of Sony Pictures Classics, which is celebrating 30 years as a distributor of independent films this year.
“A big and heartfelt thank you to everyone who made our 10th anniversary a massive success,” said MFF Founder and Board Chair Sheila Johnson. “We are so grateful to the distributors and filmmakers who shared their films and insights with us – and to our sponsors, filmgoers, staff and volunteers for their continued support in making another year possible. We’re already looking forward to next year’s festival.”
The Coca-Cola Company is the Middleburg Film Festival’s Presenting Sponsor. The Washington Post is MFF’s Founding Media Sponsor.