(TEANECK, NJ) -- The people have voted for the best films in the 15th annual and first-time all virtual Teaneck International Film Festival, and Executive Director Jeremy Lentz has announced the winners of the juried awards – those selected by the TIFF screening committee – and the audience awards.
In the Juried category, the Best Feature is Tu Me Manques, about a Bolivian man’s discovery that his dead son was gay. Originally a play written by the film’s director, Rodrigo Bellott, it changed the country’s attitude about the LGBTQ community and was Bolivia’s entry in the Academy Awards foreign film category.
Best Documentary is Mama Gloria, the story of Chicago’s Black transgender icon Gloria Allen, now in her 70s, whose life and work inspired others to find the courage to be their true selves. Generation Lockdown, named Best Short, was inspired by the short story of a Teaneck sixth grader whose mother became its executive producer. Filmed in the Teaneck Public Schools, it offers a harrowing perspective of the terror of children during an active shooter attack and is a call to action against gun violence.
The Audience Award for Best Feature went to Crescendo, a German film about efforts to bring young Israeli and Palestinian musicians together in an orchestra. Generation Lockdown was named Best Short. Selected for Best Documentary and the audience choice for Best of the Festival was John Lewis: Good Trouble, an intimate account of legendary U.S. Representative John Lewis – his life, legacy, and more than 60 years of extraordinary activism.
According to Jeremy Lentz, “The response to the virtual TIFF has been extraordinary. The films, talkbacks, and the opportunity for people to be together – virtually – to watch and participate in the chat made this, in the spite of dire circumstances, one of our most successful festivals.” Lentz offered thanks to all who made it possible – the Puffin Foundation, filmmakers, volunteers, moderators, guests, and sponsors, and urged all supporters to keep in touch and watch for news of what’s coming up soon: an association with PBS Indie Lens Pop-Up that will allow TIFF to present, and YOU to see, one film a month, January through May.