AFI FEST: Festival Announces Award Winners; Includes ‘Bullhead,’ ‘Attenberg,’ and ‘Wuss’

By  · Published on November 10th, 2011

As this year’s AFI FEST presented by Audi winds to a close with this evening’s Closing Night Gala of The Adventures of Tintin, it’s time to start celebrating the films and talents that made this year’s festival such a massive success. The festival announced their full listing of award winners and prize recipients at their annual awards brunch, held this morning. There are a number of winners here that have already racked up some wins and notice throughout the festival season, including Michael R. Roskam’s Bullhead, Athina Rachel Tsangari’s Attenberg, and Clay Liford’s Wuss, but the festival also paid special notice to Bullhead star Matthias Schoenaerts, along with their selections of shorts.

The festival ends this evening with that very special Tintin screening, which both Ms. Loring and I will be attending, with animated bells on. Look for Allison’s review of the film tomorrow, one she is excited to write because “this film is about pirates – my people!” Nothing but professionalism here, folks.

Check out the full listing of AFI FEST’s award winners after the break.

Breakthrough Section (award accompanied by a $5,000 cash prize)
WITH EVERY HEARTBEAT by Alexandra-Therese Keining

New Auteurs Section
BULLHEAD by Michaël R. Roskam

World Cinema Section
A tie: JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI by David Gelb and KINYARWANDA by Alrick Brown

Young Americans Section
WUSS by Clay Liford

As in previous years, a jury determines the AFI FEST 2011 Live Action and Animated Short Film Section Awards. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences recognizes each winner as a qualifier for the annual Academy Awards®. The Short Film Jury – comprised of filmmakers Barry Jenkins and Gerardo Naranjo (AFI Conservatory Class of 2001) and festival programmer Kim Yutani – announced the awards with their statements.

Live Action Short Film Section
Grand Jury Prize: FROZEN STORIES from Grzegorz Jaroszuk “for its world of meta-reality suffused with enough context to rend a beautifully nuanced story for the most heightened elements.”
Honorable Mention: BABYLAND by Marc Fratello “for its assured direction, stunning lead performance and the ability to balance humor and pathos all the way up to its shocking conclusion.”

Animated Short Film Section
Grand Jury Prize: THE EAGLEMAN STAG by Michael Please “for its ambitious and elegant storytelling, both narrative and aesthetically, in which the bigness of life and the concept of time are deftly unpacked in a moving nine minutes.”
Honorable Mention: THE VOYAGERS by Penny Lane “for its skillful juxtaposition of archival footage and personal narrative to tell a moving story of exploration, romance and space travel.”

This year AFI FEST debuts its New Auteurs Critic’s Prize selected by an esteemed panel of international critics: Justin Chang (Variety), Mike Goodridge (Screen International), Mark Olsen (The Los Angeles Times) and Jean Oppenheimer (American Cinematographer).

Grand Jury Prize: THE LONELIEST PLANET by Julia Loktev “for its bold exploration of societal structures and gender roles, set against a landscape that conveys both profound beauty and profound alienation.”

Special Jury Prize: ATTENBERG by Athina Rachel Tsangari “for its wit, distinct voice and playful sense of storytelling.”

Acting Award Prize: BULLHEAD’s Matthias Schoenaerts “for his nuanced and intensely physical embodiment of bruised masculinity.”