Mark Fishkin founded the Mill Valley Film Festival in 1977. Through his efforts and the contributions of others, this small festival has grown into an eleven-day event filled with films both local and international, as well as a strong community focus on the Bay area. A hybrid event in October of 2021, the MVFF offered film venues in San Rafael, Mill Valley and Berkeley along with virtual showings.
Fishkin has said films were already a part of his DNA when he happened to attend the first Telluride Film Festival in Colorado, which planted the seed for his development of a film festival in California.
Celebrating its 44th year, the MVFF gave festival goers an early look at Academy Award contenders and highlighted the talents of local film makers.
Among the standout international movies was a riveting Australian film, The Drovers Wife, featuring Leah Purcell. Originally a short story by Henry Lawson, casting Aboriginal people as less than human, Purcell adapted the story into a play (2016) and then a novel (2019). Purcell also directed this acclaimed film. The Drovers Wife was selected for opening night of the Melbourne International Film Festival and is being released in the U.S.