Filmmaker Kelly Reichardt, who's based in New York but seems to set all her movies in Oregon, has won the grand prize at the Deauville American Film Festival, in France, for her new Oregon-filmed eco-terrorism thriller Night Moves. It’s a big award for Reichardt, whose previous Oregon films—which include the lauded Wendy and Lucy, a quietly absorbing tale about a stranded young woman, and the pioneer drama Meek’s Cutoff—have been smaller-scale projects.

Night Moves—co-written by Portland author Jonathan Raymond, Reichardt’s usual collaborator—centers on environmental extremists plotting to blow up a hydroelectric dam. Starring Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning, the film has been praised as an “intimate, coolly insinuating portrait of conspiracy in action," even if critics generally agree it fizzles out by the end. The Hollywood Reporter described the verdant, rugged Oregon landscape as the film’s “fourth protagonist.”

This is Reichardt's fourth film set in Oregon, each of which has been filmed in a different part of the state. Night Moves' filming locations included Medford and the Galesville Dam near Roseburg, while Wendy and Lucy was shot in North Portland, Meek's Cutoff in the desert town of Burns, and Old Joy at Bagby Hot Springs.

Night Moves had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and screened earlier this week at the Toronto International Film Festival. In recent interviews, Reichardt has noted Night Moves’ unsettling parallels with Chelsea Manning and the WikiLeaks scandal. Raymond agrees, but says he and Reichardt strive for political resonance that is more “perennial and evergreen” than topical.

“The movie deals with environmental terrorism, but as I was writing it I was thinking more of our country’s right-wing extremism, which continues to rear its head all the time,” Raymond tells WW. “The movie is keyed not totally to politics but to the characters and to their sense of anger and paranoia. It’s a movie about political people, but it’s not necessarily a political movie.”

Night Moves has no American release date, but Raymond says it’s unlikely to be out before 2014.