in ,

Film Fest 919 to Give Rian Johnson the Distinguished Screenwriter Award

The 5th installment of Film Fest 919, a festival editor Joey Magidson is quite fond of, is currently going on in North Carolina. To that end, they’ve recently announced that the latest recipient of their Distinguished Screenwriter Award will be Rian Johnson, for Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. Last year, they bestowed the honor on Sean Baker and Chris Bergoch for Red Rocket, with Joey actually moderating a conversation with Bergoch. You can see what the fest has to say below, as well as an image of the conversation after the prize was given last year.

Here is the Film Fest 919 press release:

The 5th edition of Film Fest 919 got off to a grand start Wednesday night with JD Dillard’s film DEVOTION, starring Jonathan Majors and Glen Powell, with Dillard and producer – and UNC alum – Rachel Smith in attendance.  Following the presentation to JD Dillard of Film Fest 919’s first HORIZON AWARD, the film received an enthusiastic response from the audience and were treated to a Conversation afterwards with the filmmakers moderated by Vanity Fair’s Katey Rich. It was the perfect launch to a weekend of outstanding feature films!

Film Fest 919 has chosen to honor GLASS ONION: A KNIVES OUT MYSTERY Academy Award®-nominated writer and director Rian Johnson with the DISTINGUISHED SCREENWRITER AWARD during the closing night festivities on Sunday, October 23.  While Johnson is currently traveling abroad with the film and not able to be in Chapel Hill, the festival will play a special recorded message accepting this esteemed award.  

Says Film Fest 919 founders Randi Emerman and Carol Marshall, “When deciding who to honor this year with this award, we both felt that Rian Johnson’s script stood out in such a significant way that we just couldn’t let his not being able to attend affect that decision.”  Johnson is in good company, with previous recipients being Anthony McCarten (Two Popes), Chloe Zhao (Nomadland) and Sean Baker & Chris Bergoch (Red Rocket).

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, starring Daniel Craig alongside Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Jessica Henwick, Madelyn Cline, with Kate Hudson and Dave Bautista, marks a return to the franchise Johnson began.  Benoit Blanc (Craig) returns to peel back the layers in this new whodunit. This fresh adventure finds the intrepid detective at a lavish private estate on a Greek island, but how and why he comes to be there is only the first of many puzzles. Blanc soon meets a distinctly disparate group of friends gathering at the invitation of billionaire Miles Bron for their yearly reunion. As in all the best murder mysteries, each character harbors their own secrets, lies and motivations. When someone turns up dead, everyone is a suspect.  

Film Fest 919 continues through Sunday, October 23 with a specially curated selection of the season’s most anticipated films. Films are presented here before their theatrical release, giving film lovers the privilege of telling their friends that they saw some of the best new films before anyone else in the state. Films are presented at two venues: Silverspot Cinema and The Lumina Theater. Tickets are still available at or on the theaters’ website. Come Catch the Films Before They Catch On!!

Source: Press Release


Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments



Written by Steven Prusakowski

Steven Prusakowski has been a cinephile as far back as he can remember, literally. At the age of ten, while other kids his age were sleeping, he was up into the late hours of the night watching the Oscars. Since then, his passion for film, television, and awards has only grown. For over a decade he has reviewed and written about entertainment through publications including Awards Circuit and Screen Radar. He has conducted interviews with some of the best in the business - learning more about them, their projects and their crafts. He is a graduate of the RIT film program. You can find him on Twitter and Letterboxd as @FilmSnork – we don’t know why the name, but he seems to be sticking to it.

Angelina Jolie to Play Maria Callas in Pablo Larraín’s Next Film

Film Review: ‘Terrifier 2’ is the Epic Slasher Sequel (Some Of) You Have Been Asking For