The 31st AFI FEST closed last night with a tribute to Aaron Sorkin and the closing night screening of his incredible directorial debut Molly’s Game. AFI Fest opened on November 9 with a gala screening of Dee Rees’ Mudbound with cast and crew in attendance. The festival screened 137 films (93 features, 44 shorts) representing 53 countries and included major Oscar contenders such as I, Tonya, Call Me By Your Name, The Disaster Artist, Hostiles and featured conversations and panels featuring Patty Jenkins, Angelina Jolie, and Sofia Coppola.
AFI Fest’s director Jacqueline Lyanga said, “The awards celebrate the talents of exciting filmmakers at the top of their craft, whether at the beginning or in midst of their careers.”
The full list of winners are below:
Audience Award – World Cinema
THE INSULT (DIR Ziad Doueiri)
Lebanon’s official Best Foreign Language Film Oscar® submission, this engrossing and unforgettable tale of modern life in the Middle East is a razor-sharp look at a country’s long-simmering resentments toward Palestinian refugees, and its traumatized civil war wounds.
Audience Award – New Auteurs
WHAT WILL PEOPLE SAY (DIR Iram Haq)
Iram Haq’s sophomore feature is a powerful story of a young woman growing up between two cultures, with no control over her life choices, who must carve out her own path despite a significant culture clash.
Audience Award – American Independents
BODIED (DIR Joseph Kahn)
Whether it’s sci-fi, satire, or race relations, Joseph Kahn’s auteur style defies anticipations. In BODIED, a white boy explores rap battle vernacular, immersed in a subculture that’s simply spectacular.
Grand Jury Award for Live Action Short
GAZE (DIR Farnoosh Samadi)
Jury Statement: “No good deed goes unpunished” is the phrase that stays with the viewer as you watch the film that captured the top honor this year. The filmmaker lures you in and then, like any classic thriller, hooks you until the final gasp — the low hum of a motorbike replacing John Williams’ iconic notes in JAWS. Underneath, the film is a subtle examination of class and gender in Iranian society.
Grand Jury Award for Animated Short
THE BURDEN (DIR Niki Lindroth von Bahr)
Jury Statement: A film whose stranded, unremarkable inhabitants convey the weight of the world through song and dance and reveal the anguish we all feel about life.
Special Jury Mention
SILICA (DIR Pia Borg)
Jury Statement: We would like to recognize Borg’s beautifully composed, lush 35mm cinematography. Her blend of vivid landscape photography with microscopic and CG elements elevates this exploration of territorial constructs.
The Shorts Jury was comprised of Jeffrey Bowers (Senior Curator, Vimeo), Moira Griffin (Executive Director of Production, Creative Labs, 21st Century Fox) and Nathan Silver (director, ACTOR MARTINEZ, THIRST STREET). The Grand Jury Award winners for Live-Action and Animated Short, as decided by the Shorts Jury, will be automatically eligible for the Academy Award® shortlists in the Best Live Action Short and Best Animated Short categories.
Audi was the exclusive presenting sponsor of AFI FEST. An enduring champion of the motion picture arts, Audi nurtures new and established voices through its support of AFI FEST and beyond, including the Audi Fellowship for Women at the AFI Conservatory, a new full-tuition scholarship investing in the future of female directors in film and television.