AFI DOCS Announces 2020 Award Winners
Congratulations to all the films and filmmakers that screened at AFI DOCS 2020! The five-day online festival ran June 17-21 and included live Q&A’s with filmmakers and DOCS Forum events with industry leaders and activist.
The festival’s Audience Award for Best Feature went to TRANSHOOD, directed by Sharon Liese. The Audience Award for Best Short went to BLACKFEET BOXING: NOT INVISIBLE, directed by Kristen Lappas and Tom Rinaldi.
This year’s voting jury for the competitive Short Films slate was comprised of Opal H. Bennett, festival Programmer for DOC NYC and Athena Festival and Shorts Producer for POV; filmmaker and curator Cameron Yates; and Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Smriti Mundhra. The Grand Jury Prize for Short Films went to ABORTION HELPLINE, THIS IS LISA directed by Barbara Attie, Janet Goldwater and Mike Attie. The jury said of the ABORTION HELPLINE, THIS IS LISA: “For its simple yet profound approach to a polarizing issue, we have selected a film which puts humanity ahead of an agenda.” This year, AFI DOCS is proud to announce the Shorts Grand Jury Prize is a qualifying award for Academy Award® eligibility.
The jury also awarded the Special Jury Prize to DO NOT SPLIT, directed by Anders Hammer, saying, “From the opening sequence to the final frame, we were riveted by this film’s urgent and incendiary storytelling capturing a seminal moment in history.”
MORE ABOUT THE AWARD-WINNING FILMS:
AUDIENCE AWARD: FEATURE
DIR: Sharon Liese. We all remember the trials and tribulations of being a kid: fitting in at school, getting along with siblings, finishing homework. These alone are enough to handle. Now, add in discovering who you are and growing up as a trans youth in Kansas City. TRANSHOOD is director Sharon Liese’s in-depth five-year journey following the lives of four kids (ages beginning at 4, 9, 12, and 15) discovering their specific trans experiences alongside their families. Each of the kids and their parents navigate the day-to-day challenges of their home lives and their lives out in the world. Finding normalcy isn’t easy while tackling issues of body dysphoria, transphobia and bullying, and many other big topics that their cis-gender classmates can’t understand. What truly ties these stories together is the unbelievable empathy and humanity exemplified by each family, not just with the heavy moments, but often also during those typical of any childhood.
AUDIENCE AWARD: SHORT
BLACKFEET BOXING: NOT INVISIBLE
DIRS: Kristen Lappas and Tom Rinaldi. As the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women epidemic affects tribal communities, a group of Blackfeet women tackle the threat head-on by practicing and training in self-defense.
SHORT FILM GRAND JURY PRIZE
ABORTION HELPLINE, THIS IS LISA
DIRS: Barbara Attie, Janet Goldwater and Mike Attie. At an abortion fund in Philadelphia, counselors arrive each morning to the nonstop ring of calls from women and teens who seek to end a pregnancy but can’t afford to.
SHORT FILM SPECIAL JURY PRIZE
DO NOT SPLIT
DIR: Anders Hammer. During the 2019 protests in Hong Kong, a series of evening demonstrations escalate into conflict when heavily armed police appear on the scene.