SEFCA Announces Our Award Winners for the 2020 Movie Year

As a proud member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association I’m excited to share our organization’s awards for the 2020 movie year as voted on by the body. Below you’ll find our official press release.

February 22, 2021 – The Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) has named Nomadland as its Best Film of 2020. Chloé Zhao’s intimate, elegiac drama about life in America after the Great Recession also earned the organization’s awards for Best Actress for Frances McDormand, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay for Zhao, and Best Cinematography for Joshua James Richards.

“Nomadland was an overwhelming favorite among our members in this year’s award season,” said SEFCA President Matt Goldberg. “It’s clear that Zhao’s thoughtful, deeply humanistic and heartfelt portrait of life at the fringes of our country connected with our members across the Southeast, and it is our pleasure to name it the Best Film of 2020.”

SEFCA also bestowed its Gene Wyatt Award, which goes to a film that best embodies the spirit of the South, to Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari, the story of a Korean immigrant family that moves to Arkansas so the patriarch can realize his dream of becoming a farmer. Like Nomadland, Minari was a clear favorite among our members, and there’s no question that Chung’s film is a moving and authentic portrait of our part of the country.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and changes made across various guilds and academies, SEFCA stretched its voting period from January 1, 2020 to February 15, 2021. Despite a trying and difficult year, we are proud of the membership for continuing their devotion to film criticism and celebrating the best that cinema has to offer.

Founded in 1992, the Southeastern Film Critics Association brings together a diverse coalition of critics across the Southeast to celebrate the year’s best films and craftsmanship in cinema. Winners from past years can be found at

Top 10 Films

1. Nomadland
2. Minari
3. The Trial of the Chicago 7
4. Promising Young Woman
5. Sound of Metal
6. One Night in Miami…
7. Da 5 Bloods
8. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
9. Soul
10. Mank

Best Actor

Winner: Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Runner-Up: Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal

Best Actress

Winner: Frances McDormand, Nomadland
Runner-Up: Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

Best Supporting Actor

Winner: Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7
Runner-Up: Paul Raci, Sound of Metal

Best Supporting Actress

Winner: Youn Yuh-jung, Minari
Runner-Up: Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Best Ensemble

Winner: The Trial of the Chicago 7
Runner-Up: One Night in Miami…

Best Director

Winner: Chloé Zhao, Nomadland
Runner-Up: Regina King, One Night in Miami…

Best Original Screenplay

Winner: Lee Isaac Chung, Minari
Runner-Up: Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman

Best Adapted Screenplay

Winner: Chloé Zhao, Nomadland
Runner-Up: Kemp Powers, One Night in Miami…

Best Documentary

Winner: Time
Runner-Up: Dick Johnson Is Dead

Best Foreign-Language Film

Winner: Another Round
Runner-Up: Bacurau

Best Animated Film

Winner: Soul
Runner-Up: Wolfwalkers

Best Cinematography

Winner: Joshua James Richards, Nomadland
Runner-Up: Erik Messerschmidt, Mank

The Gene Wyatt Award

Winner: Minari
Runner-Up: One Night in Miami…

7 thoughts on “SEFCA Announces Our Award Winners for the 2020 Movie Year

      • Understandable. Quentin Tarantino wanted to award the Palme d’Or to Oldboy at Cannes back to 2004 but was outvoted by the rest of his jury who chose Fahrenheit 9/11. BOO!!!!!

  1. After finally seeing Nomadland…Frances winning is kind of confusing. I don’t think she was bad by any means, but I’m surprised that performance is so well loved. It’s just very typical for her, I felt.

    • Interesting. She actually got my vote. She blew me away not for anything particularly big or profound, but in how incredibly natural she was in every single scene. I read where a lot of the ‘nomads’ didn’t even know she was an actress when she first arrived. She fit in so seamlessly.

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