AFI FEST 2020 Presented by Audi Announces Award Winners – American Film Institute


AFI FEST 2020 Presented by Audi Announces Award Winners

Thank you to everyone who joined us at this year’s AFI FEST presented by Audi. With attendees from all 50 states and filmmakers and panelists from around the world, this was truly a global gathering of movie lovers.

As the festival has wrapped and the votes are in, we are pleased to announce this year’s Audience and Jury Award winners! Selected by our esteemed Shorts jury – film critic Carlos Aguilar, filmmaker Sophia Nahli Allison and Film Festival Alliance Executive Director Lela Meadow-Conner – the Grand Jury Award winners for Live Action and Animated Short will be eligible for the 2021 Best Live Action Short and Best Animated Short Academy Awards®.

Here are the FEST 2020 winners:

Audience Award – Narrative Feature
WOLFWALKERS (DIR Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart)
Robyn befriends wild girl Mebh while exploring the magical forest outside an Irish town’s walls and undergoes a transformation in this adventurous animated film from THE SECRET OF KELLS creators, Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart.


Audience Award – Documentary Feature
76 DAYS (DIR Hao Wu, Weixi Chen, Anonymous)
January 23, 2020: Wuhan, China, a city of 11 million, goes on complete lockdown to combat COVID-19. Filming inside Wuhan’s hospitals, 76 DAYS provides an unforgettable look at a city’s fight for survival.


Audience Award – Short Film
The consequences of a mother’s decision to leave her daughter in the care of an American homestay family are unearthed when they reunite for dinner one lonely blue night.


Grand Jury Prize – Live Action
PILLARS (DIR Haley Elizabeth Anderson)
Jury Statement:  “The filmmaker navigates the coming-of-age terrain with a mesmerizing point of view anchored in stunning performances by its young cast. The nuanced showcased in explored Black girlhood in today’s America resonated strongly with us.”

One Sunday at church, 12-year-old Amber experiences her first kiss, a moment of innocence that triggers a series of awakenings: sexual, emotional and religious.


Grand Jury Prize – Animation
TIGER AND OX (호랑이와 소) (DIR Seunghee Kim)
Jury Statement:  “With its economical, yet powerful use of the animated medium, this film tells a tender intergenerational story of the layered relationship between a mother and a daughter and invites us to engage in necessary conversations around gender and trauma.”

What does divorce mean to women in Korean patriarchal society? Is a fatherless family a failure? In order to find the answer to these questions, a single mother and her daughter start a conversation.

Special Mention


Jury Statement:  “Gifted with an original cinematic voice, the filmmaker reclaims the often-taboo transformation of a young girl’s body in a singular context. Harnessing magical realism to enhance this journey from shame to acceptance, this film both enchants and empowers.”

Pasang is the new girl at the monastery. When she has her first period after hearing a late-night ghost story, she tries to keep it hidden, believing she has been cursed and must sacrifice a black goat to avoid further misfortune.


Special Mention

MAALBEEK (DIR Ismaël Joffroy Chandoutis)

Jury Statement:  “Departing from a tragic event, the director created a hybrid piece that is as immersive as it is moving and haunting. The reconstruction of a traumatic memory, both the personal and the collective, come to life in vibrant form.”

Sabine is looking for a missing image: an incident that has left its mark forever and that everyone remembers but her. But maybe this absence is what allows her to move on with her life?


Special Mention


Jury Statement: “Poignant and eye-popping, this animated vision speaks to the importance of understanding one’s family history and the inextricable connection between a mother and a daughter. Through beautifully abstract animation, the filmmaker expresses these complex themes in an affecting manner.”

An animated documentary exploring how the filmmaker’s mother’s abusive relationship with her father shaped her own experiences in a boarding school in China.


Watch FEST Q&As with these award-winning filmmakers HERE.

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