AFI FEST 2016 Presented By Audi Announces Jury And Audience Award Winners

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AFI FEST 2016 presented by Audi announced wrapped with the annual Winners Brunch highlighting the features and short films receiving this year's Jury and Audience Awards concluding the eight-day festival showcasing 188 Films from 46 Countries.

"As the 30th edition of AFI FEST comes to a close, the awards ceremony gives us a chance to recognize the international films that have resonated with audiences and critics," said Jacqueline Lyanga, Director, AFI FEST. "New this year, the Breakthrough Audience Award for first and second time filmmakers now spans the program, enabling us to highlight three talented new filmmakers who've made films that our audiences love."

NEW AUTEURS AWARDS

New Auteurs Grand Jury Award: THE FUTURE PERFECT (DIR Nele Wohlatz)

Jury Statement: In her first solo directorial effort, Nele Wohlatz shows us a world we haven't seen before, one in which cultures blend rather than clash. Her playful dramatization of language as a means of constructing reality, whether actual or imagined, evokes tension, whimsy and mystery in equal measure. With a title that suggests both rules and hopefulness, Wohlatz rearranges the fish-out-of-water story and transcends the conventions of the genre.

Special Jury Mention for Acting: Oulaya Amamra for DIVINES (DIR Houda Benyamina)

Jury Statement: Amamra's young, wannabe gangster recalls the memorable crime-drama protagonists of yore. We expect this to be a star-making turn for the actress, whose deceptively expansive performance is marked by grit, joy, magnetism and ferocity.

This year's New Auteurs jury was comprised of Robert Abele (author and critic), Michael Nordine (LA Weekly) and Claudia Puig (President of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association).

GRAND JURY AWARDS, LIVE ACTION AND ANIMATED SHORT

Grand Jury winners in the Shorts categories are eligible for Academy Award® consideration. This year's Grand Jury Award – Live Action Short went to the AFI thesis film ICEBOX.

Grand Jury Award – Live Action Short: ICEBOX (DIR Daniel Sawka, AFI Class of 2015)
An AFI thesis film

Jury Statement: For its humanizing depiction of a predicament facing many detainees, and for spinning a small personal take on a complex issue, hung on an incredible performance by its young star, the Grand Jury Award for Live Action Short goes to ICEBOX.

Grand Jury Award – Animated Short: PUSSY (DIR Renata Gasiorowska)

Jury Statement: The world has not known, until now, how best to represent an animated, anthropomorphized vagina, but now, thanks to this fun, imaginative and quietly revolutionary short film, we do.

Live Action Short Special Mention for Comedic Narrative: HOUNDS (DIR Omer Tobi)

Jury Statement: For telling a human story with high stakes in a very small, very specific world, and for its unique and witty use of sound as a story device, this Special Jury Mention goes to HOUNDS.

Live Action Short Special Mention for Documentary: THE SEND-OFF (DIR Ivete Lucas, Patrick Bresnan)

Jury Statement: For observing an important occasion without feeling the need to add or subtract, for giving a fly-on the wall glance into a special day for a small community sending off the next generation, this Special Jury Mention goes to THE SEND-OFF.

Live Action Short Special Mention for Acting: Clark Genet and Owen Kanga for DREAMING OF BALTIMORE (DIR Lola Quivoron)

Jury Statement: These two gifted young actors made us believe that the bond of brotherhood between them was real. This Special Jury Mention goes to Clark Genet and Owen Kanga for their roles in DREAMING OF BALTIMORE.

Live Action Short Special Mention for Cinematography: A THOUSAND MIDNIGHTS (DIR Carlos Javier Ortiz)

Jury Statement: For its gorgeous use of black-and-white photography, this Special Jury Mention goes to A THOUSAND MIDNIGHTS, shot by its director Carlos Javier Ortiz.

Live Action Short Special Mention: SPEAKING IS DIFFICULT (DIR AJ Schnack)

Jury Statement: For its presentation of an important subject in a piece that is both very timely and is, at the same time, open-ended, this Special Jury Mention goes to SPEAKING IS DIFFICULT.

Animated Short Special Jury Mention: SUMMER CAMP ISLAND (DIR Julia Pott)

Jury Statement: This film tells the tale of two characters planning a sleepover to reassure themselves that everything is normal, but in this world, nothing is. For giving us a sweet tale in a world of talking marshmallows and bananas who play truth or dare, this Special Jury Mention goes to SUMMER CAMP ISLAND.

Animated Short Special Jury Mention for Mixed Media: DEER FLOWER (DIR Kangmin Kim)

Jury Statement: For its incredible use of both 3D and 2D media to create a world both handmade and utterly transporting, this Special Jury Mention goes to DEER FLOWER.

Animated Short Special Jury Mention for Visual Aesthetics: SUPERBIA (DIR Luca Tóth)

Jury Statement: Of all the wonderful films in this year's festival, this is the one we wanted to look at, and look at and look at. This Special Jury Mention goes to SUPERBIA.

This year's Shorts Jury featured filmmakers Emily Carmichael and Andre Hyland and actress/filmmaker Yolonda Ross.

AUDIENCE AWARDS

World Cinema Audience Award: LAND OF MINE (DIR Martin Zandvliet)

New Auteurs Audience Award: DIVINES (DIR Houda Benyamina)

American Independents Audience Award: DONALD CRIED (DIR Kris Avedisian)

Breakthrough Audience Award: DIVINES (DIR Houda Benyamina)

Breakthrough Audience Award First Runner-Up: ONE WEEK AND A DAY (DIR Asaph Polonsky, AFI Class of 2012)

Breakthrough Audience Award Second Runner-Up: THE RED TURTLE (DIR Michaël Dudok de Wit)

FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

For the 13th consecutive year, Audi is the exclusive presenting sponsor of AFI FEST 2016, once again championing innovative filmmakers from around the globe through its steadfast support of the festival and AFI's mission.

The complete AFI FEST program included 118 films (79 features, 39 shorts) representing 46 countries, including 33 films directed/co-directed by women, 11 documentaries and 12 animated short films. The breakdown by section is: Galas/Tributes (6), Special Screenings (8), American Independents (8), New Auteurs (10), World Cinema (33), World Cinema Masters in Conversation (2), Midnight (3), Cinema's Legacy (9) and Shorts (39). This year's program included nine official Best Foreign Language Film Oscar® submissions, and 20 films featuring 88 AFI alumni.

The many highlights of the festival included the world premieres of the Opening Night film RULES DON'T APPLY (DIR Warren Beatty) and Special Screenings THE COMEDIAN (DIR Taylor Hackford), MISS SLOANE (DIR John Madden) and MOANA (DIR Ron Clements and John Musker).

Tributes to Annette Bening and Isabelle Huppert; conversations with director Barry Jenkins and the cast of MOONLIGHT, David O. Russell and Lily Tomlin celebrating the 20th anniversary of Miramax's FLIRTING WITH DISASTER, plus Peter Bogdanovich and Beatrice Welles discussing CITIZEN KANE; the Indie Contenders Roundtable with panelists Kate Beckinsale (LOVE & FRIENDSHIP), Adam Driver (PATERSON), Sally Field (HELLO, MY NAME IS DORIS), Rebecca Hall (CHRISTINE), Margo Martindale (THE HOLLARS), Viggo Mortensen (CAPTAIN FANTASTIC), Ruth Negga (LOVING), Chris Pine (HELL OR HIGH WATER) and Miles Teller (BLEED FOR THIS); the inaugural Docs Roundtable with Otto Bell (THE EAGLE HUNTRESS), Alex Gibney (ZERO DAYS), Werner Herzog (INTO THE INFERNO), Kirsten Johnson (CAMERAPERSON), Barbara Kopple (MISS SHARON JONES!), Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg (WEINER), Brian Oakes (JIM: THE JAMES FOLEY STORY), Clay Tweel (GLEASON) and Roger Ross Williams (LIFE, ANIMATED); and the inaugural World Cinema Masters in Conversations section, with documentarian Gianfranco Rosi (FIRE AT SEA) in a talk with Venice Film Festival Artistic Director Alberto Barbera, Raoul Peck (I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO) with Toronto International Film Festival Artistic Director Cameron Bailey and a discussion of the work of Lav Diaz (THE WOMAN WHO LEFT) with AFI FEST programmers.

Additional guests and artists who attended the festival this year included Pedro Almodóvar, Judd Apatow, Rosanna Arquette, Warren Beatty, Annette Bening, Haley Bennett, Saroo Brierley, Jacqueline Bisset, Peter Bogdanovich, Matthew Broderick, Jessica Chastain, Damien Chazelle, Ron Clements, Dabney Coleman, Lily Collins, Billy Crudup, Robert De Niro, Caleb Deschanel (AFI Class of 1969), Danny DeVito, Xavier Dolan, Alden Ehrenreich, Greta Gerwig, Taylor Hackford, Anjelica Huston, Isabelle Huppert, Nicole Kidman, Pablo Larraín, Cloris Leachman, Courtney Love, Baz Luhrmann, John Madden, Leslie Mann, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, James McAvoy, Mike Mills, Helen Mirren, John Musker, Edward James Olmos, Sarah Jessica Parker, Dev Patel, Alison Pill, Oliver Platt, Natalie Portman, M. Night Shyamalan, Emma Stone, Michael Stuhlbarg, Lily Tomlin, Gaspard Ulliel, Paul Verhoeven and Beatrice Welles.

Sponsored by Dolby, Google Spotlight Stories and VIZIO, this year's State of the Art Technology Showcase: Innovation and Immersive Storytelling included an opening keynote by Anthony Batt, co-founder of virtual reality production company WEVR, and a program that included discussions with leading artists, interactive installations and VR display stations.

Audi is the exclusive presenting sponsor of AFI FEST. Additional top sponsors include AT&T; American Airlines, the official airline of AFI; and VIZIO, the official home theater sponsor of AFI. 

About the American Film Institute
AFI is America's promise to preserve the heritage of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers. AFI programs include the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and the AFI Archive, which preserve film heritage for future generations; the AFI Life Achievement Award, the highest honor for a career in film; AFI AWARDS, honoring the most outstanding movies and TV series of the year; AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies television events and movie reference lists, which have introduced and reintroduced classic American movies to millions of film lovers; year-round and special event exhibition through AFI FEST presented by Audi, AFI DOCS and the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center; and educating the next generation of storytellers at the world-renowned AFI Conservatory.

For more information about AFI, visit AFI.com or connect with AFI at twitter.com/AmericanFilmfacebook.com/AmericanFilmInstitute,and youtube.com/AFI.

About AFI FEST presented by Audi
A program of the American Film Institute, AFI FEST presented by Audi is a celebration of global cinema and today's Hollywood — a showcase for the best festival films of the year and an opportunity for master filmmakers and emerging artists to come together with audiences in the movie capital of the world. Celebrating its 30th edition, AFI FEST is the only festival of its stature that is free to the public. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognizes AFI FEST as a qualifying festival for both Short Film categories for the annual Academy Awards®. This year's edition takes place November 10–17, 2016. Additional information about AFI FEST is available at AFI.com/AFIFEST. Connect with AFI FEST at facebook.com/AFIFESTtwitter.com/AFIFEST and youtube.com/AFI.

About Audi
Audi of America, Inc., and its U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. AUDI AG is among the most successful luxury automotive brands globally. The Audi Group delivered over 1,800,000 vehicles to customers globally in 2015, and broke all-time company sales records for the 6th straight year in the U.S. Through 2019, AUDI AG plans to invest about 24 billion euros — 70 percent of the investment will flow into the development of new models and technologies. Visit http://www.audiusa.com or http://www.audiusa.com/newsroom for more information regarding Audi vehicles and business topics.

 

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