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  • Jared Huizenga

Twin Cities Film Fest Announces 2022 Award Finalists

The Twin Cities Film Fest unveiled more than 20 finalists for its top awards Thursday, many of which are still set to stream during the event’s final weekend. Among the contenders for the 2022 Best Feature Film Award are the acclaimed new Martin McDonagh drama The Banshees of Inisherin; Sarah Polley’s screen adaptation of Miriam Toews's acclaimed novel, Women Talking;Empire of Light, Sam Mendes’s poignant tribute to human connection and the power of cinema; and Chinonye Chukwu’s Till, which captures the story of Mamie Till Mobley and her pursuit of justice for her 14-year-old son Emmett Till, who was lynched in 1955 while visiting his cousins in Mississippi.

TCFF honored Deborah and Teri Watts of The Emmett Till Legacy Foundation with its inaugural Empower Award at the Oct. 20 opening night celebration. Empire of Light is set to debut at the 2022 Closing Night Gala Saturday evening.

Other notable finalists this year include Maria Schrader’s She Said (screening Thursday), Nickolaus Swedlund’s Sanctified (screening Friday), and Trevor Frost and Melissa Lesh’s Wildcat (screening Saturday).

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 third “hybrid” catalog of 140 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 2022 awards finalists below; for more information on the films and to purchase tickets for the final streams and screenings, visit


Best Feature Film Award: The Banshees of Inisherin, directed by Martin McDonagh; Empire of Light, directed by Sam Mendes; Sanctified, directed by Nickolaus Swedlund; She Said, directed by Maria Schrader; Till, directed by Chinonye Chukwu; and Women Talking, directed by Sarah Polley.

The Robert Byrd Best Documentary Film Award: Freshwater, directed by Ian Planchon and Lynn Melling; Gabi: Between the Ages of 8 and 13, directed by Engeli Broberg; Jack Has a Plan, directed by Bradley Berman; Liquor Store Dreams, directed by So Yun Um; Origami in the Garden, directed by Barbara Bentree; and Wildcat, directed by Trevor Frost and Melissa Lesh.

Best Short Film Award: The Cosmopolitan West, directed by Molly Ratermann; Hope Breakfast Bar, directed by Joe Kessler; Labor of Love, directed by Hannah Rosalie Wright; Reuben the Roller Roo, directed by Will Prescott; and V.I.P., directed by Marisa Coughlan.

TCFF’s Indie Vision Award — Breakthrough Performance: Noah Anderson in Bitcon; Libe Barer in Disfluency; Esmeralda Camargo in Marisol; Lena Góra in Roving Woman; Jessie Scarborough-Ghent in B & E; and Dallas Dupree Young in 1-800-Hot-Nite.

TCFF’s Indie Vision Award — Breakthrough Achievement: Peter Callahan for the screenplay Out and About; Team of J.D. O’Brien, Brett Schnacky and Steven Hauge for post-production in After the Gunflint; Allison Otto for direction in The Thief Collector; David St-Amant for animation direction in Eternal Spring; Jamie Wede for music supervision in Valentine Crush; and Fletcher Wolfe for cinematography in Esme, My Love.

Fun Is Good Bill Murray Comedy Shorts Award: Cruise, directed by Sam Rudykoff; Spoons, directed by Matthew Berger; and V.I.P., directed by Marisa Coughlan.

TCFF Lifetime Achievement Award: Chris Mulkey.

2022 North Star Awards: Beau Bridges and Tom Cavanagh.

TCFF ‘Empower’ Award for Justice: Deborah Watts and Teri Watts.

TCFF Changemaker Award (Climate Action: Food & Fashion): Maggie Baird and Stephanie Dillon.


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