‘MOONLIGHT’ WAXES FULL, WINS BIG AT 23rd CHLOTRUDIS AWARDS

Logan MillerThis past Sunday, the Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film bestowed its Trudy awards among a dozen films at its annual awards ceremony, held at Harvard Square’s Brattle Theater. However, of those 12 films only one was a multiple winner, Barry Jenkins’ MOONLIGHT, which came away with four Trudies: Best Movie, Best Director, Best Ensemble Cast and Best Supporting Actor, for Mehershala Ali’s memorable performance. 

The rest of the night's awards included surprises, first-timers and local favorites. In the acting categories, France’s Isabelle Huppert won Best Actress for a riveting take-no-prisoners performance in ELLE, while Joel Edgerton was a surprise Best Actor winner for his moving portrayal of quiet civil rights pioneer in LOVING. Newcomer Lily Gladstone won her Best Supporting Actress Trudy for her taciturn, open faced Rancher in Kelly Reichardt’s CERTAIN WOMEN.

After a strong showing among the list of nominees, a trio of Asian films cleaned up on the technical awards, with China’s MOUNTAINS MAY DEPART taking Best Editing; THE HANDMAIDEN, Park Chan-wook’s sumptuous film earning Best Production Design; and Best Cinematography going to CEMETERY OF SPLENDOR, the latest from Thailand’s Apichatpong Weerasethakul. 

Rising actor Logan Miller (pictured left, photo by Gelnn C. Silva) was the year's special honoree, winning the society's Breakout Award for his burgeoning filmography, including work with acclaimed directors Kelly Reichardt and Sofia Coppola. Logan made an auspicious debut carrying a film as lead in TAKE ME TO THE RIVER, as a gay teen unwittingly thrust into the middle of old family conflicts and tentions. The film was also a Chlotrudis Awards nominee this year, in the Buried Treasure category. A natural charmer, Mr. Miller had the audience laughing as he riffed on some of his funnier early roles, including one opposite a zombified Cloris Leachman!

This year the society also bestowed its Cat’s Meow award to local film producer Mike Bowes, to honor his decades long work within and beyond Boston’s film community as line producer, film non-profit head and board member and producer of successful independent films. RUBBERNECK and RED FLAG, his films with Alex Karpovsky (‘Girls) garnered much criticial acclaim, and his most recent film, FREE IN DEED, won many accolades including four Film Independent Award nominations. The Cat’s Meow is only awarded occasionally, and in secret. The winner does not know until the moment it is announced, and it was a sight to see a usually unflappable Mr. Bowes at a loss for words at the honor.

Also a nominee for the night’s most prestigious award, the Buried Treasure, FREE IN DEED wound up winning the Trudy. A heart-wrenching look at faith healing, poverty and desperate choices, the film was a stunner, and in the night’s highlight Mike Bowes returned to the stage, to accept on behalf of his film.

In order to be eligible, Buried Treasure nominees must have earned less than $250,000 in US box office. Chlotrudis created the category in order to shine a spotlight on those films the group feels deserve wider attention and a second look. Clips from all nominated Buried Treasure films were shown throughout the evening. 

Presenters and guests included many members and friends of the Boston film community, among them indie filmmakers and critics, programmers from the Independent Film Festival of Boston, the Boston Jewish Film Festival, Wicked Queer Boston’s LGBTQ Film Festival, the Brattle Theater and consulate staff of the French Cultural Center.

FULL LIST OF TRUDY WINNERS:

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ENSEMBLE CAST
Moonlight

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Seong-hie Ryu for THE HANDMAIDEN

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Diego Garcia for CEMETERY OF SPLENDOR

BEST EDITING
Matthieu Laclau for MOUNTAINS MAY DEPART

BEST USE OF MUSIC IN A FILM
Becky Bentham for SING STREET

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
THE SAVER screenplay by Wiebke von Carolsfeld, based on the novel by Edeet Ravel

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
THE LOBSTER, screenplay by Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthymis Filippou

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Mehershala Ali for MOONLIGHT

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Lily Gladstone for CERTAIN WOMEN

BEST ACTOR
Joel Edgerton for LOVING

BEST ACTRESS
Isabelle Huppert for ELLE

BEST DIRECTOR
Barry Jenkins for MOONLIGHT

BEST DOCUMENTARY
13Th

BEST MOVIE
MOONLIGHT

BURIED TREASURE
FREE IN DEED

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