Nov. 15--The 27th annual AFI Fest came to an end Thursday with the presentation of audience and jury awards to mostly new filmmakers whose works played the eight-day movie celebration in Hollywood.
In the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel's Blossom Room -- where the first Academy Awards ceremony was hosted in the 1920s -- German director Katrin Gebbe's "Nothing Bad Can Happen" was named Grand Jury Prize winner for the New Auteurs section.
Other feature films recognized by the New Auteurs jury were "The Selfish Giant" for its British director Clio Barnard and the Georgian coming-of-age drama "In Bloom."
Short Films, the only other juried section of AFI Fest, saw prizes go to the French/Tibetan "Butter Lamp," the animated "The Places Where We Lived," "Balcony" from Kosovo, the Swedish "Syndromeda" and Yung Jake's data-mosh called, well, "Datamosh."
The Audience Award for American Independent Feature went to the Texas teen noir "We Gotta Get Out of This Place." World Cinema Audience Award-winner was "The Rocket," an Australian film directed by Kim Mordaunt focusing on a 10-year-old Laotian boy.
"Selfish Giant" won again when audiences voted in the New Auteur section. Breakthrough, a section comprised of films that got into the AFI Fest via blind submissions, gave its audience award to the Nigerian drama "B for Boy."
"This year, some extraordinary new artists have burst onto the scene, and we hope that these awards from the audience and the jury will enable their films to reach a wider audience," Festival Director Jacqueline Lyanga said in a press release. "We hope that the enthusiasm and excitement that our audiences have had for all of the films that we've shown this past week -- foreign, American, independent, experimental, short and documentary -- continues and spreads."
Between gala premieres of such awards season heavy hitters like the Walt Disney movie "Saving Mr. Banks" and Joel and Ethan Coen's folk singing sensation "Inside Llewyn Davis," a wide array of works made by some of the world's most respected filmmakers, movies that have earned buzz at major international festivals and new discoveries like its awards recipients brought the universe of cinema to the heart of the world's movie capital -- and did it free to the public.
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