Katrin Gebbe's Nothing Bad Can Happen.
AFI Fest unveiled its winners Thursday during a brunching the heart of Hollywood. The Los Angeles festival, which screened 84 features opened with the North American premiere of John Lee Hancock's Saving Mr. Banks and is closing tonight with the Coens' Inside Llewyn Davis, which had its U.S. premiere at NYFF. Australia's The Rocket, Selfish Giant (U.K.), We Gotta Get Out of This Place (USA) and Nigeria's B For Boy were among the films picking up Audience Awards Thursday.
Among jury prizes, Katrin Gebbe's Nothing Bad Can Happen (Germany) received the festival's New Auteurs Critics' Award, while Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Groß's In Bloom and Clio Barnard's The Selfish Giant picked up Special Jury Prizes.
"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," said Festival Director Jacqueline Lyanga. "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."
AFI Fest 2013 Prize winners follow with descriptions provided by the festival.
New Auteurs Critics' Award:
New Auteurs Critic’s Award
Nothing Bad Can Happen. "The true story of a homeless Christian teenager adopted by an abusive family who tests his ability to turn the other cheek. Many, many bad things happen. But the blessing is discovering first-time filmmaker Katrin Gebbe and her incredible ensemble who have braved their own tests – boos and walkouts, nothing too bloody – in order to bring us this powerful movie and faith and sacrifice."
New Auteur Special Award for Personal Storytelling
In Bloom. The jury wanted to give a Special Award for Personal Storytelling for In Bloom. This film, in its intimate exploration of the lives of two teenage girls in the former Soviet state of Georgia just after the fall of the USSR, is an exemplar of personal history as political history, or fiction filmmaking infused with and bolstered by the truth.
New Auteur Special Award for Direction
The Selfish Giant. The jury has also selected a Special Award for Direction to Clio Barnard, whose film The Selfish Giant underscores the promise of the New Auteurs category. Drawing stunning performances from her two young leads, Barnard brings the specificity of a Bradford housing estate to a devastating and universally relatable fable.
Audience Awards :
Audience Awards, World Cinema: The Rocket by Kim Mordaunt (Australia)
Audience Award, New Auteurs: The Selfish Giant by Clio Barnard (U.K.)
Audience Award, American Independents: We Gotta Get Outta This Place by Zeke Hawkins and Simon Hawkins (USA)
Audience Award, Breakthrough: B For Boy by Chika Anadu (Nigeria)
Grand Jury Awards, Live Action and Animated Short (The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognizes AFI Fest Grand Jury Award winners in the Live Action and Animated Shorts categories as qualifiers for the annual Academy Awards Short Film category.)
Grand Jury Award, Live Action Short: Butter Lamp by Hu Wei (France, Tibet)
Grand Jury Award, Animated Short: The Places Where We Lived by Bernardo Britto (USA)
Special Jury Award: Balcony by Lendita Zeqiraj (Kosovo)
Special Jury Award for Outstanding Achievement in Direction: Syndromeda by Patrik Eklund (Sweden)
Special Jury Mention: Datamosh by Yung Jake (USA)