AFI FEST 2015 Presented By AUDI Announces Jury and Audience Award Winners

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As AFI FEST 2015 presented by Audi ended its 29th Season, a special Awards brunch was held paying tribute to the countless volunteers and announcing the feature and short films receiving this year’s Jury and Audience Awards.

The New Auteurs Grand Jury Award was presented to LAND AND SHADE, while DISORDER received a Special Jury Mention for Direction, and DESDE ALLÁ received a Special Jury Mention for Screenplay. BOYS received the Grand Jury Award for Live Action Short, and WORLD OF TOMORROW received the Grand Jury Award for Animated Short.

This year’s Audience Award recipients in the New Auteurs, World Cinema and Breakthrough sections included MUSTANG, JAMES WHITE and MA. The full list of winners is below.

The Jury Awards honored works from the New Auteurs section, which highlighted 11 films from first and second-time feature film directors, and the Shorts section, which included 53 films representing diverse international perspectives. The Audience Award winners were selected from among 54 films in these festival sections: American Independents, Breakthrough, New Auteurs and World Cinema.

Select award-winning films will screen again today at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres. Admission is available to AFI FEST 2015 passholders and the general public via rush line, which begins forming one hour before each film’s scheduled screening start time. For screening times visit AFI.com/AFIFEST.

NEW AUTEURS AWARDS

This year’s New Auteurs jury was comprised of Inkoo Kang (TheWrap), Sheri Linden (The Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles Times) and Nigel M. Smith (The Guardian).

New Auteurs Grand Jury Award: LAND AND SHADE (DIR César Augusto Acevedo)

Jury Statement: “For its visual eloquence, formal rigor and emotional power, the New Auteurs Grand Jury Award goes to LAND AND SHADE. Its observations of economic exploitation and environmental degradation are as incisive as its characters are fully realized. Writer/director César Augusto Acevedo’s debut feature is an indelible portrait of a family in rural Colombia, told with unwavering compassion and Bressonian grace.”

Special Jury Mention for Direction: DISORDER (DIR Alice Winocour)

Jury Statement: “For the taut and muscular direction of her viscerally entertaining thriller DISORDER, the jury recognizes writer/director Alice Winocour with a Special Jury Mention. Through precise execution of her material, Winocour subverts expectations commonly associated with genre films to deliver a bracing experience that stuns and surprises.”

Special Jury Mention for Screenplay: DESDE ALLÁ (DIR/SCR Lorenzo Vigas)

Jury Statement: “A tense, sensitive and unpredictable exploration of an improbable but emotionally believable relationship, the screenplay for DESDE ALLÁ merits a Special Jury Mention for its heartbreaking characters and its keen insights into the prejudices, alienation, social divides and desperate need for control that allow love to both bloom and wither.”

GRAND JURY AWARDS, LIVE ACTION AND ANIMATED SHORT

Grand Jury winners in the Shorts categories are eligible for Academy Award® consideration. This year’s Shorts Jury featured filmmaker Janicza Bravo, producer Keith Calder and the British Film Commission’s Tara Halloran.

Grand Jury Award for Live Action Short: BOYS (DIR Isabella Carbonell)

Jury Statement: “This film tackles the abominable with courage, confidence and dignity. It shows us humanity in the places where we would least expect to find it.”

Grand Jury Award for Animated Short: WORLD OF TOMORROW (DIR Don Hertzfeldt)

Jury Statement: “Funny. Scary. Heartbreaking. Original. And beautiful. This film hit us all hard.”

Live Action Short Special Mention for Innovative Storytelling: RATE ME (DIR Fyzal Boulifa)

Jury Statement: “This film pushes the boundaries not only of filmmaking technique but also social convention.”

Live Action Short Special Mention for Nonfiction Filmmaking: The Reagan Shorts — RONALD REAGAN LIGHTS THE LIGHTS, RONALD REAGAN PARDONS A TURKEY, MARYLAND PUBLIC TELEVISION INTERVIEWS THE REAGANS (DIR Pacho Velez)

Jury Statement: “By selecting and editing these gems from years worth of archival footage, these shorts shine a light on the marriage of politics and performance.”

Animated Short Special Jury Mention for Screenwriting: TEETH (DIRS Tom Brown, Daniel Gray)

Jury Statement: “This film has many merits, but we were struck most by its sharp wit, character and spirit.”

Animated Short Special Jury Mention for Creative Vision: MANOMAN (DIR Simon Cartwright)

Jury Statement: “This film creates a world unlike any we've seen before. It was a privilege to have been invited in.”

AUDIENCE AWARDS

World Cinema Audience Award: LANDFILL HARMONIC (DIRS Brad Allgood, Graham Townsley, Juliana Penaranda-Loftus)

New Auteurs Audience Award: MUSTANG (DIR Deniz Gamze Ergüven)

American Independents Audience Award: JAMES WHITE (DIR Josh Mond)

Breakthrough Audience Award: MA (DIR Celia Rowlson-Hall)

FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

The AFI FEST program featured 130 films (77 features, 53 shorts), representing 45 countries. The breakdown by section is: Galas/Tributes (5), Special Screenings (8), American Independents (9), New Auteurs (11), World Cinema (29), Midnight (3), Breakthrough (5), Cinema's Legacy (5), Presentations (2) and Shorts (53), and included 38 films directed/co-directed by women, 17 documentaries, 10 official Best Foreign Language Film Oscar® submissions and 10 animated short films.

The many highlights of the festival included the world premieres of Opening Night film BY THE SEA (DIR Angelina Jolie Pitt), Centerpiece Gala film CONCUSSION (DIR Peter Landesman) and Closing Night Gala film THE BIG SHORT (DIR Adam McKay); a Tribute to 45 YEARS stars Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay; Conversations with director Ridley Scott (THE MARTIAN), actor Benicio Del Toro (SICARIO), director Sarah Gavron and writer Abi Morgan (SUFFRAGETTE).

Actor Michael Caine and director Paolo Sorrentino (YOUTH) and director Scott Cooper and star Johnny Depp (BLACK MASS); and the Indie Contenders Roundtable, which included writer/director Ramin Bahrani (99 HOMES), actress Blythe Danner (I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS), actress Saoirse Ronan (BROOKLYN), actor Jason Segel (THE END OF THE TOUR), actress Sarah Silverman (I SMILE BACK), actress Lily Tomlin (GRANDMA) and actress Olivia Wilde (MEADOWLAND).

Many international film artists attended the festival this year, including CHEVALIER director Athina Rachel Tsangari; CHRONIC director Michel Franco and star Tim Roth; DHEEPAN director Jacques Audiard; OUR LITTLE SISTER director Hirokazu Kore-eda and actress Kiki Kirin; QUEEN OF THE DESERT director Werner Herzog; as well as many artists representing Oscar® entries, including director Pablo Trapero, producer Matias Mosteirin with actors Guillermo Francella and Peter Lanzani (THE CLAN, Argentina); actor Alejandro Goic (THE CLUB, Chile); director Jayro Bustamante with producers Pilar Peredo and Edgard Tenenbaum (IXCANUL, Guatemala).

Director Deniz Gamze Ergüven, producer Charles Gillibert, screenwriter Alice Winocour with cast members Günes Sensoy, Doga Zeynep Doguslu, Elit Iscan, Tugba Sunguroglu and Ilayda Akdogan (MUSTANG, France); director Grímur Hákonarson (RAMS, Iceland); director László Nemes, cinematographer Mátyás Erdély and star Géza Röhrig (SON OF SAUL, Hungary); and director Tobias Lindholm, producer Rene Ezra and star Pilou Asbæk (A WAR, Denmark).

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