15th Annual Central Ohio Film Critics Association Awards

This year it was my privilege to join the Central Ohio Film Critics Association and participate in their 15th Annual Awards with fellow critics. It is a great group of writers who are equal parts brilliant, expressive and cinema lovers. While not everything I individually voted for may have won, I am proud of these winners. Stay tuned for my end of the year list, and Oscar predictions later this month. Enjoy!

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The official press release follows…


(Columbus, January 5, 2017) Damien Chazelle’s musical La La Land has been named Best Film in the Central Ohio Film Critics Association’s 15th annual awards, which recognize excellence in the film industry for 2016.  The film also claimed four other awards.  Chazelle was honored as Best Director.  Linus Sandgren won for Best Cinematography. Tom Cross was recognized for Best Film Editing, a COFCA category he also topped in 2014 for Whiplash.  Justin Hurwitz garnered the prize for Best Score.

Columbus-area critics lauded Best Film runner-up Moonlight with four awards: Best Supporting Actor Mahershala Ali; Best Ensemble; and Breakthrough Film Artist and Best Adapted Screenplay for director Barry Jenkins.  Individual performers commended for their achievements include Best Actor Denzel Washington (Fences); Best Actress Rebecca Hall (Christine); Best Supporting Actor Lily Gladstone (Certain Women) and Actor of the Year Michael Shannon (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Complete Unknown, Elvis & Nixon, Frank & Lola, Loving, Midnight Special, and Nocturnal Animals).

Hell or High Water’s Taylor Sheridan won Best Original Screenplay.  Other winners include: Best Documentary O.J.: Made in America; Best Foreign Language Film Toni Erdmann; Best Animated Film Kubo and the Two Strings; and 10 Cloverfield Lane as Best Overlooked Film.

Founded in 2002, the Central Ohio Film Critics Association is comprised of film critics based in Columbus, Ohio and the surrounding areas. Its membership consists of 25 print, radio, television, and internet critics. COFCA’s official website at www.cofca.org contains links to member reviews and past award winners.

Winners were announced at a private party on January 5.

Complete list of awards:

Best Film

  1. La La Land
  2. Moonlight
  3. Hell or High Water
  4. Manchester by the Sea
  5. Sing Street
  6. Arrival
  7. The Lobster
  8. Hacksaw Ridge
  9. The Witch: A New-England Folktale
  10. The Nice Guys

Best Director

-Damien Chazelle, La La Land
-Runner-up: Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Best Actor

-Denzel Washington, Fences
-Runner-up: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

Best Actress

-Rebecca Hall, Christine
-Runner-up: Viola Davis, Fences

Best Supporting Actor

-Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
-Runner-up: Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

Best Supporting Actress

-Lily Gladstone, Certain Women
-Runner-up: Naomie Harris, Moonlight

Best Ensemble

Moonlight
-Runner-up: Hell or High Water

Actor of the Year (for an exemplary body of work)

-Michael Shannon (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Complete Unknown, Elvis & Nixon, Frank & Lola, Loving, Midnight Special, and Nocturnal Animals)
-Runner-up: Ryan Gosling, La La Land and The Nice Guys

Breakthrough Film Artist

-Barry Jenkins, Moonlight (for directing and screenwriting)
-Runner-up: Robert Eggers, The Witch: A New-England Folktale (for directing and screenwriting)

Best Cinematography

-Linus Sandgren, La La Land
-Runner-up: Chung Chung-hoon, The Handmaiden (Ah-ga-ssi)

Best Film Editing

-Tom Cross, La La Land
-Runner-up: Joi McMillon and Nat Sanders, Moonlight

Best Adapted Screenplay

-Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
-Runner-up: Eric Heisserer, Arrival

Best Original Screenplay

-Taylor Sheridan, Hell or High Water
-Runner-up: Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

Best Score

-Justin Hurwitz, La La Land
-Runner-up: Andy Hull and Robert McDowell, Swiss Army Man

Best Documentary

O.J.: Made in America
-Runner-up: 13th

Best Foreign Language Film

Toni Erdmann
-Runner-up: The Handmaiden (Ah-ga-ssi)

Best Animated Film

Kubo and the Two Strings
-Runner-up: Zootopia

Best Overlooked Film

10 Cloverfield Lane
-Runner-up: Christine

COFCA offers its congratulations to the winners.

Previous Best Film winners:

2002:  Punch-Drunk Love
2003:  Lost in Translation
2004:  Million Dollar Baby
2005:  A History of Violence
2006:  Children of Men
2007:  No Country for Old Men
2008:  WALL·E
2009:  Up in the Air
2010:  Inception
2011:  Drive
2012:  Moonrise Kingdom
2013Gravity
2014:  Selma
2015:  Spotlight

For more information about the Central Ohio Film Critics Association, please visit www.cofca.org or e-mail info@cofca.org.

The complete list of members and their affiliations:

Richard Ades (Freelance)
Dwayne Bailey (Bailey’s Buzz)
Logan Burd (Cinema or Cine-meh?)
Kevin Carr (www.7mpictures.com, FilmSchoolRejects.com)
Bill Clark (www.fromthebalcony.com)
Olie Coen (Archer Avenue, DVD Talk)
John DeSando (90.5 WCBE)
Johnny DiLoretto (90.5 WCBE, PencilStorm.com)
Frank Gabrenya (The Columbus Dispatch)
James Hansen (Out 1 Film Journal)
Mark Jackson (MovieManJackson.com)
Brad Keefe (Columbus Alive)
Kristin Dreyer Kramer (NightsAndWeekends.com, 90.5 WCBE)
Adam Kuhn (Corndog Chats)
Joyce Long (Freelance)
Rico Long (Freelance)
Hope Madden (Columbus Underground and MaddWolf.com)
Paul Markoff (WOCC-TV3; Otterbein TV)
David Medsker (Bullz-Eye.com)
Lori Pearson (Kids-in-Mind.com, critics.com)
Mark Pfeiffer (Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema; WOCC-TV3; Otterbein TV)
Melissa Starker (Columbus Alive, The Columbus Dispatch)
George Wolf (Columbus Radio Group and MaddWolf.com)
Jason Zingale (Bullz-Eye.com);
Nathan Zoebl (PictureShowPundits.com).

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