Kelly Reichardt to receive the Robby Müller Award

22 December 2020

Filmmaker Kelly Reichardt

Kelly Reichardt will receive the second annual Robby Müller Award. In 2006, with her second feature film Old Joy, she became only the first US filmmaker to take home a Tiger Award. 15 years and five features later, we are celebrating her oeuvre and what the jury of the award sees as “a liberating independence and clarity of aesthetic vision”.

Introduced last festival edition when it was awarded to cinematographer Diego Garcia, the Robby Müller Award honours an ‘image maker’ (director of photography, filmmaker or visual artist) who, in the spirit of the late Robby Müller has developed an authentic, credible and emotionally striking visual language throughout their work.

IFFR 2021’s recipient, Kelly Reichardt, has been celebrated for her beautiful minimalism, with an emphasis on mood and atmosphere, often following drifting characters through rural environments. Since her debut feature River of Grass (1994), Reichardt has earned critical acclaim for her work. Her work, using the backdrop of Oregon and occasionally Montana, comprises Tiger Award-winner Old Joy (2006), Wendy and Lucy (2008), Meek’s Cutoff (2010), Night Moves (2013), Certain Women (2016) and First Cow (2020). 

During IFFR 2021, Reichardt will discuss her work and visual ideas in a Big Talk that can be accessed online worldwide. As part of the award, she will also receive a gallery print of one of Robby Müller’s Polaroids. Her latest film First Cow, a story about the first bovine on the frontier, can be seen as part of IFFR 2021’s Limelight programme.

The jury was made up of art historian and Robby Müller’s wife Andrea Müller-Schirmer, editor Jay Rabinowitz, ACE, cinematographers Josje van Erkel, NSC and Richard van 

Oosterhout, NSC, and IFFR programmers Evgeny Gusyatinskiy and Gerwin Tamsma.

Some words from the jury: “We see in Kelly Reichardt, not just a liberating independence and clarity of aesthetic vision, but also someone who, in a self-evident way, carries on Robby Müller’s legacy. They share a talent for depicting the American landscape in all its variety as much more than a supporting character, and for portraying humans in the most subtle and sensitive way. Both are able to visualise what can’t be expressed in words by creating pristine, unforced images in which the narrative can unfold and evolve, and the viewer's gaze can wander.”

The Robby Müller Award is a collaboration between IFFR, the Netherlands Society of Cinematographers (NSC) and Andrea Müller-Schirmer. Mexican cinematographer Diego García, was the first to be awarded at IFFR 2020. Watch his Masterclass here.

Watch Old Joy, Meek’s Cutoff and Wendy and Lucy now on IFFR Unleashed


Robby Müller Award

A collaboration between IFFR, the Netherlands Society of Cinematographers (NSC) and Andrea Müller-Schirmer, Robby Müller’s wife

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