As the AFI Fest prepares to wrap up this year’s edition with the Los Angeles premiere of “Foxcatcher” tonight, the festival’s prize winners were announced this afternoon.
The Israeli film “Self Made,” directed by Shira Geffen, won the New Auteurs jury prize. A special jury award went to the Ukrainian film “The Tribe,” directed by Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy.
Special jury mentions also went to Mexico’s “Gueros” for screenwriting and Belgium’s “Violet” for cinematography.
“What a fantastic way to end the festival. We are thrilled our audiences responded so strongly to our films,” Lane Kneedler, the festival’s associate director of programming, said in a statement on Thursday. “I am also especially thrilled that our jury gravitated towards such bold and visionary filmmakers."
A number of audience awards were also announced. The documentary “Red Army,” directed by Gabe Polsky, won the World Cinema audience award, while “Gueros,” directed by Alonso Ruizpalacios, won the New Auteurs audience prize. “10,000 KM,” directed by Carlos Marques-Marcet, won the American Independents audience award. “Midnight Swim,” directed by Sarah Adina Smith, won the Breakthrough Audience Award, which comes with a $5,000 cash prize.
A handful of short film prizes were announced as well, with Scott Cummings’ “Buffalo Juggalos” winning for live action and Bernardo Britto’s “Yearbook” winning for animation.
This year’s AFI Fest opened Nov. 6 with the world premiere of J.C. Chandor’s “A Most Violent year,” and the festival also featured the world premiere of Rupert Wyatt’s “The Gambler.” On Tuesday night, the festival saw the world premiere screenings of Ava DuVernay’s “Selma” and Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper.”
In all, the festival’s program included 75 features and 45 shorts representing 39 countries. For the sixth consecutive year, AFI Fest offered free tickets to all screenings.