AFI FEST: “James White” and “Mustang” Among Audience Award Winners


The AFI FEST came to a close today and after a week of movie marathoning, the Jury and Audience awards were chosen.

“Land and Shade” took home the New Auteurs grand Jury Award. The film, a debut from writer director Cesar Augusto Acevedo, is a portrait of a family in rural Colombia. The jury, which consisted of Inkoo Kang (TheWrap), Sheri Linden (The Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles Times), and Nigel M. Smith (the guardian), awarded the film for “its visual eloquence, formal rigor and emotional power.”

Also receiving a jury award was “Disorder,” with a Special Jury Mention for Direction. “Desde Alla” received a special mention for Screenplay. “Boys” and “World of Tomorrow” each took home Grand Jury Awards for Shorts, live action and animated, respectively. Many shorts were honored with special mentions: “Rate Me” (Directed by Fyzal Boulifa) for innovative storytelling, “The Reagan Shorts” (Directed by Pacho Velez) for Nonfiction Filmmaking, “Teeth” (Directed by Tom Brown and Daniel Grey) for Screenwriting, and “Manoman” (Directed by Simon Cartwright) for creative vision.

“Landfill Harmonic,” a documentary about a poor community in Paraguay who turn waste into unique instruments or an orchestra, received an audience award for World Cinema. “Mustang,” a story about five sisters locked in their Turkish home after being deemed scandalous, received high praise, winning the New Auteurs Audience Award.

In the American Independents category, James Mond’s “James White” took home the Audience Award. Mond’s directorial debut starring Cynthia Nixon (Sex in the City) and Christopher Abbot (Girls) is a drama about a young self destructive New Yorker who has to deal with his mother’s fight with a serious illness. “Ma,” by director Celia Robison-Hall captivated audiences with her dialogue-free film about a virgin birth, and won the Breakthrough Audience Award.

The festival program featured 130 films – 77 features and 53 shorts- from 45 countries. Categories included: Galas/Tributes (5 films), 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).

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