Alexandria Film Festival announces 2020 award winners

Alexandria Film Festival announces 2020 award winners
The Legacy Sessions. (Photo/Sequoia Pictures)

By Cody Mello-Klein |

In a virtual ceremony streamed via Zoom, members of the Alexandria Film Festival executive board announced the winners of this year’s festival awards.

The awards this year went to a wide variety of films, ranging from documentaries from Academy Award winners to dramas from local directors.

The Best of Fest Award went to “9to5: The Story of a Movement,” a documentary chronicling the women’s labor group, 9to5. Julia Reichert and Steve Bognar’s documentary is a follow-up to their 2019 Academy Award-winning Netflix documentary, “American Factory.”

The Audience Award went to director William David Ashton’s crowdfunded, cross-generational drama, “The Legacy Sessions.” The award for Best Foreign Language Film went to Israeli director Jonni Zicoltz for his film, “Snowland.”

The AFF jury gave the award for Outstanding Performance to Roger Kabler for his powerful performance as the late, great Robin Williams in the local short film, “Saving Robin Williams.” Meanwhile, “Beat the Machine” took home the Best of the Region Award for its depiction of a young Black girl’s interdimensional trip through history. The film is a sneak preview of a film that will be screened in 2021 and set to a live performance by the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra.

The Special Jury Award went to the surreal animated film “Anacronte,” and the Joe Cantwell Award for Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking went to “Trust Me,” the technology-focused documentary for Oscar-nominated director Roko Belic.

AFF also honored Joe Cantwell with the Superstar of the Decade Award for his contributions as a local documentarian and his support for the festival over the past decade.

The Alexandria Film Festival went completely virtual this year, and festival pass holders can still watch the 45 films in the festival through Thanksgiving. Visit for more information.