2021 Award Winning Films

Greenwich International Film Festival is proud to support filmmakers with a variety of film awards and cash prizes.  Check out our award-winning films!


Presented by the Ann Bresnan Young


Documentary / 72 minutes

To make ends meet, people in the U.S. are working longer hours across multiple jobs. This modern reality of non-stop work has resulted in an unexpected phenomenon: the flourishing of 24-hour daycare centers. THROUGH THE NIGHT is a verité documentary that explores the personal cost of our modern economy through the stories of two working mothers and a childcare provider—whose lives intersect at a 24-hour daycare center.

The film follows a mother who works the overnight shift at a hospital; another holding down three jobs to support her family; and a woman who for two decades has cared for children of parents with nowhere else to turn. Over the span of two years, across working holidays, seven-day work weeks, and around-the-clock shifts, the film reveals the personal cost of rising wealth inequality in the U.S and the close bonds forged between parents, children, and caregivers.

Director(s): Loira Limbal
Producer(s): Loira Limbal, Jameka Autry, Sally Jo Fifer, Justine Nagan, Chris White
Editor(s): Malika Zouhali-Worrall
Cinematographer: Naiti Gamez
Key Subjects: Deloris “Nunu” Hogan, Patrick “Pop Pop” Hogan, Marisol Valencia, Shanona Tate



Documentary / 90 minutes / USA

From Academy Award®-nominated and Emmy-Nominated filmmaker Matthew Heineman (Cartel Land, City of Ghosts, A Private War) comes an astonishingly intimate portrait of one of the biggest international music superstars of our time. THE BOY FROM MEDELLÍN follows J Balvin as he prepares for the most important concert of his career–a sold-out stadium show in his hometown of Medellín, Colombia. But as the performance draws ever closer, the streets explode with growing political unrest, forcing the Latin Grammy-winning musician to wrestle with his responsibility as an artist to his country and his legions of fans around the globe. As the public pressure of the approaching concert heightens, behind the scenes Balvin also continues to deal with the anxiety and depression that has plagued him for years. Shot entirely in the dramatic week leading up to the concert, THE BOY FROM MEDELLÍN gives us unprecedented access to the “Prince of Reggaeton,” and provides an immersive look into one of the most pivotal and emotionally charged moments of his life.

Director(s): Matthew Heineman
Producer(s): Juan Camilo Cruz, Myles Estey, Matthew Heineman, Joedan Okun
Editor(s): Matthew Heineman, Sebastian Hernandez, Fernando Villegas, Pax Wassermann, David Zieff
Cinematographer: Drew Daniels, Matthew Heineman, Clair Popkin, Max Preiss
Key Cast(s): J Balvin


Drama / 150 minutes / USA, 2020

Working in defiance of a lifelong ban on filmmaking, dissident director Mohammad Rasoulof delivers a piercing drama about a subject he knows well: the costs of living under a repressive, brutal government. Winner of the Golden Bear, the top prize at the Berlin Film Festival, There Is No Evil is a film in four chapters, each telling a different story related to the death penalty in contemporary Iran. The first story concerns a family man who, as we come to see, pays a grave moral price for his comfortable middle-class life. The second and third chapters focus on conscripted soldiers – in Iran, it is often these men who are forced to perform executions – and both segments explore the tension and turmoil that can come with such harsh coercion. The final section involves a family secret, which brings the film to its powerful conclusion. Suspenseful, mysterious, and shot through with a sense of urgency, Rasoulof’s work bears the mark of an artist who sets his own terms – and who knows just how to captivate an audience.

Director(s): Mohammad Rasoulof
Producer(s): Mohammad Rasoulof, Kaveh Farnam, Farzad Pak, Christoph Thoke
Screenwriter(s): Mohammad Rasoulof
Editor(s): Mohammadreza Moueini (as Mohammadreza Muini), Meysam Muini
Cinematographer: Ashkan Ashkani
Key Cast(s): Ehsan Mirhosseini, Baran Rasoulof, Jila Shahi, Mohammad Seddighimehr, Mohammad Valizadegan, Mahtab Servati, Darya Moghbeli, Salar Khamseh, Alireza Zareparast, Kaveh Ahangar, Shaghayegh Shourian

Past Winners

Audience Award

  • 2020 – “A Peloton of One”

Best Social Impact Film

  • 2020 – “Music Got Me Here”
  • 2019 – “Afterward”
  • 2018 – “Crime + Punishment”
  • 2017 – “City of Ghosts”
  • 2016 – “Hooligan Sparrow”
  • 2015 – “3 ½ Minutes, Ten Bullets”

Best CT Short

  • 2020 – “The Other Side”
  • 2019 – “120 Years”
  • 2018 – “The Hammamis”
  • 2017 – “Blind Sushi”

Best Documentary Feature

  • 2019 – Cold Case Hammarskjöld
  • 2018 – “The Dawn Wall”
  • 2017 – “Bending the Arc”
  • 2016 – “Hooligan Sparrow”
  • 2015 – “The Russian Woodpecker”

Best Narrative Feature

  • 2019 – “Sister Aimee”
  • 2018 – “The Peculiar Abilities of Mr. Mahler”
  • 2017 – “The Strange Ones”
  • 2016 – “Little Men”
  • 2015 – “Zurich”

Best Documentary Short

  • 2019 – “Mack Wrestles”
  • 2018 – “Kayayo”
  • 2017 – “The Rabbit Hunt”
  • 2016 – “Another Kind of Girl”
  • 2015 – “Santa Cruz del Islote”

Best Narrative Short

  • 2019 – “The Animal”
  • 2018 – “The Peculiar Abilities of Mr. Mahler”
  • 2017 – “Under Pressure”
  • 2016 – “Before the Bomb”
  • 2015 – “Grounded”
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