Film Fest 919 Audience Award Goes To ‘Parasite’

Yesterday, the second annual Film Fest 919 announced its Audience Award, capping a week of movies and celebration of cinema down in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Our coverage of the festival is ongoing, already featuring a review of David Michod’s “The King,” with plenty more to come. As Film Fest 919 wrapped up with the Closing Night screening of Taika Waititi‘s “Jojo Rabbit,” the announcement of the Audience Award was made, letting festival goers in on what Chapel Hill cinephiles loved most this year.

Taking the Audience Award was Bong Joon Ho‘s “Parasite,” adding another win to its ever growing mantle. In a close vote, the first runner-up citation went to Destin Daniel Cretton‘s “Just Mercy,” while second runner-up was bestowed upon Fernando Meirelles‘ “The Two Popes.” Those three feted titles, along with the aforementioned Closing Night film, joining Opening Night selection “Marriage Story” from Noah Baumbach as some of the most discussed of the festival.

The press release follows:

Film Fest 919, founded by industry veterans Randi Emerman and Carol Marshall, along with Program Director Claudia Puig, was enthusiastically received and well attended, showcasing 5 days of extraordinary and compelling independent film. The community fully embraced the opportunity to see 38 of the most talked about films of the season, setting the stage for the festival to return for its third year. Festival founders announced the dates for the 2020 Film Fest 919, which will be October 14 – 18.

The festival offered a roster of incredible films representing 18 countries and drew attendees from across the U.S.  FF919 also featured the award season’s top contenders and critical and audience favorites from Cannes, Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals.

Before the final film rolled, the festival announced the Audience Award Winner, which went to PARASITE, directed by Bong Joon Ho.  First Runner up went to Destin Daniel Cretton’s JUST MERCY and second runner up went to Fernando Meirelles’ THE TWO POPES.  

PARASITE is a magic trick of cinema by the visionary director Bong Joon Ho,” commented Tom Quinn, founder of Neon.  “We at NEON couldn’t be more thrilled and honored to have been invited to participate in this year’s “nothing finer than” 919 Film Festival.  So thank you Chapel Hill for awarding PARASITE with the Audience Award.  Your good taste is one hell of a treat.”

PARASITE joins award winner ANTHONY McCARTEN, who received the festival’s first Distinguished Screenwriter Award.  

Film Fest 919 is a fast growing festival, one poised to continue to showcase all manner of Oscar fare in the years to come. This year, in addition to the movies mentioned above, the slate included Scott Z Burns‘ “The Report,” James Mangold‘s “Ford v Ferrari,” Trey Edward Shults‘ “Waves,” and plenty else. Look for much more of our coverage in the next few days!

What do you think of “Parasite” winning the Audience Award at Film Fest 919? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!