Alfre Woodard delivers a searing performance as Bernadine Williams, a prison warden who dutifully carries out executions in a maximum-security prison. After a botched procedure, cracks begin to surface in her stoic demeanor, and her growing bond with a doomed inmate pushes Bernadine toward a powerful personal reckoning. In only her second feature and winner of the Sundance Grand Jury Prize, director Chinonye Chukwu crafts an astute character study of a strong-willed woman trying to salvage what remains of her soul.

“A mature star-driven vehicle elevated by a brilliant performance that deserves all the awards it can get.”

Black Perspectives Tribute

October 19 @ 7:45pm with Clemency screening

Headshot: Randy CrumptonHeadshot: Cinonye Chukwu

The Festival’s Black Perspectives Tribute celebrates the leading lights and emerging stars of Black film. At this year’s 23rd edition of the program, the Festival honors the late Randy Crumpton, who was a tireless supporter of Black filmmakers from around the world, and chaired the Black Perspectives committee for 20 years, and presents a special Artistic Achievement Award to Clemency director Chinonye Chukwu.


No screenings currently scheduled




International Competition Program Patron

John and Jacolyn Bucksbaum Family Foundation