The Indiana Film Journalists Association (which our own Ed Johnson-Ott and Sam Watermeier are members of) released their top picks for 2016 movies. They also selected a winner for the "Hoosier Award," which highlights a film with an Indiana tie. This year it was Night School, a documentary about adults returning to school to finish their degrees.
The following is from a press release sent out by the association:
Moonlight has been named the Best Film of 2016 by the Indiana Film Journalists Association (IFJA). The sensitive portrait of an African-American boy struggling as he grows to manhood in Miami and comes to grips with his sexuality, the drama won a total of three awards, also taking Best Adapted Screenplay by Barry Jenkins and Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali.
Hell or High Water, the runner-up for best film, was also runner-up in two other categories: Best Original Screenplay by Taylor Sheridan and Best Supporting Actor for Jeff Bridges.
Besides the winner and runner-up for Best Film, eight other movies were named Finalists in that category, cumulatively representing Indiana film critics' picks for the 10 best movies of 2016. (See full list below.) This is the eighth year of annual awards given out by the IFJA, a group of writers and broadcasters dedicated to promoting quality film criticism in the Hoosier State.
Damien Chazelle was named Best Director for La La Land, while Kenneth Lonergan won Best Original Screenplay for Manchester by the Sea.
Casey Affleck won Best Actor for Manchester by the Sea. Rebecca Hall earned Best Actress honors for Christine. Viola Davis won the Best Supporting Actress for her work in Fences. Alan Tudyk was honored for Best Vocal/Motion Capture Performance for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Kubo and the Two Strings was named Best Animated Film, while O.J.: Made in America won Best Documentary and The Handmaiden earned honors as the Best Foreign Language Film. The Lobster won the Original Vision prize. Mica Levi won Best Musical Score for Jackie.
In a pair of new categories, Everybody Wants Some!! won for Best Ensemble Acting, and writer/director Robert Eggers was named Breakout of the Year for his work on The Witch.
The Hoosier Award, which recognizes a significant cinematic contribution by a person or persons with roots in Indiana, or a film that depicts Hoosier State locales and stories, went to Andrew Cohn for his documentary, Night School.
IFJA members issued this statement for the Hoosier Award: "Andrew Cohn cements his place as an important filmmaker by becoming the first two-time recipient of the Hoosier Award. (He previously shared the 2013 prize for another documentary set in Indiana, Medora.) His new film perceptively follows the journeys of three Indianapolis adults trying to obtain their high school diploma while at different stages in life, even as they juggle the challenges of poverty, crime and low expectations. Cohn is clearly dedicated to exploring the plight of everyday Hoosiers whose struggles are happening right before our eyes, but somehow out of sight.”