Another stellar year at the Middleburg Film Festival has come to a close. I believe in just four years it has become the most consequential festival in the area, and the huge crowds that converged over the weekend back up that assertion. Those same guests weighed in on the best films the festival had to offer, honoring Garth Davis' stirring drama Lion with the Audience Award for Best Narrative, and The Eagle Huntress for Best Documentary.
Lion, which many are seeing as a potential Best Picture Oscar nominee, stars Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, and Nicole Kidman in the true story of Saroo Brierley. At 5-years-old, the India-born Saroo became separated from his brother and stuck on a train traveling thousands of miles away from home. He ended up in Calcutta, and after enduring a dangerous few months on the streets was adopted by a loving Australian couple, although his quest to find home never ended. The Eagle Huntress is a documentary directed by Otto Bell and narrated by Daisy Ridley, centering on 13-year-old Aisholpan, a Mongolian girl who comes from a long line of Kazakh golden eagle hunters. Through strength and skill she is able to overcome the rigidly male culture to win the Golden Eagle festival.
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