The 2015 edition of AFI Fest wraps up tonight with the gala premiere of The Big Short. But before things get swept up at Hollywood & Highland, the festival has announced its Jury and Audience Awards for this year's fest.
The features jury is charged with giving prizes to films in the "New Auteurs" section. The panel gave their top Grand Jury Award to César Augusto Acevedo's Colombian tale Land and Shade. They also gave a special mention for directing to Alice Wincour's Disorder and special mention for screenplay to writer/director Lorenzo Vigas's Desde Allá.
Feature Audience Awards were given for four programs. Deniz Gamze Ergüven's Mustang took the prize for New Auteurs, Josh Mond's James White in American Independents, Celia Rowlson-Hall's Ma in Breakthrough, and Landfill Harmonic in World Cinema by the directing team of rad Allgood, Graham Townsley, and Juliana Penaranda-Loftus.
All the awards including the prizes for shorts are 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 Auteur and World Cinema.
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."
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)