AFI Fest Sets Audience & Jury Award Winners; ‘Jockey’ Receives Top Honor

AFI Fest
AFI Fest

AFI Fest on Monday announced the films that received this year’s awards, with Clint Bentley’s Jockey from Sony Pictures Classics and the Tommy Oliver-directed Juice Wrld taking the narrative and documentary Audience Awards, respectively.

The Grand Jury Award winners for Live Action and Animated Short will be eligible for the Best Live Action Short and Best Animated Short Oscars.

“Bringing filmmakers and movie fans together to celebrate the moving image is at the heart of AFI Fest,” said Sarah Harris, Director of Programming for AFI Festivals. “The excitement of all festival goers to be together in the theaters once again was electric. This year’s festival has truly shown everyone the power of the art form to lift our spirits when it’s needed the most.”

The AFI Fest jury was composed of film curator and writer Kiva Reardon; Amanda Salazar, head of programming and acquisitions at Argo; and writer-director Angel Kristi Williams.

The complete AFI Fest program included 118 titles — 51 features, one episodic, 49 shorts, including 19 Meet the Press Film Festival at AFI Fest shorts and 17 AFI Conservatory Showcase shorts — of which 51% were directed by women, 39% were directed by BIPOC and 13% were directed by LGBTQ+. This year’s program represented 53 countries and included seven world premieres.

Here is the full list of winners:

Audience Award – Narrative Feature

Jockey  (DIR. Clint Bentley)

Audience Award – Documentary Feature

JUICE WRLD (DIR. Tommy Oliver)

Audience Award – Short Film

Only The Moon Stands Still (明月依旧) (DIR. Johnson Cheng)

Grand Jury Prize – Animation

Love, Dad (Mily TatiI) (DIR. Diana Cam Van Nguyen)

Jury Statement: “For its melding of form and content that makes for a deeply vulnerable and personal viewing experience, the Jury would like to award LOVE, DAD as Best Animated Short.”

Grand Jury Prize – Live Action

Al-Sit (DIR. Suzannah Mirghani)

Jury Statement: “For going beyond its central story to make a densely layered and truly cinematic experience, the Jury would like to honor AL-SIT the Best Narrative Short.”

Special Mention

BabyBangz (DIR. Juliana Kasumu)

Jury Statement: “The Jury would like to award BABYBANGZ with an Honorable Mention for Best Documentary Storytelling for its combination of stunning imagery, important conversations and compelling subjects.”

Special Mention

Play It Safe (DIR Mitch Kalisa)

Jury Statement: “For the bold formal choices made throughout the film, specifically in the final scene, the Jury would like to give an Honorable Mention for Direction to Mitch Kalisa, the director of PLAY IT SAFE.”

Special Mention

Her Dance (Rikud Hassidi) (DIR Bar Cohen)

Jury Statement: “For a commanding performance that anchors the film, the Jury would like to give an Honorable Mention for Acting to Leeoz Levy for HER DANCE.”

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