AFI DOCS has announced the winners of their audience awards, with Yoruba Richen’s LGBT rights take “The New Black” winning best feature and Joshua Izenberg’s “Slomo” winning best short.
Read our take on “The New Black” here, as well as our picks for the 5 best new films from the festival. Full press release and winners below.
Washington, DC, June 25, 2013 – AFI DOCS presented by Audi (formerly Silverdocs) announced
today its distinguished Audience Award winners, culminating a five day festival
including the screening of 53 films representing 30 countries in iconic
DC locations on the National Mall and Penn Quarter area as well as at the
historic AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, MD.
The Festival hosted over 19,000
attendees, including 845 filmmakers, film subjects, journalists, industry,
esteemed panelists and special guests, including Supreme Court Justice Stephen
Breyer, LETTERS TO JACKIE director Bill Couturié, AFI Trustee Emerita Ina Ginsburg, Bipartisan Policy Center President Jason Grumet, Attorney
General Eric Holder, White House Staffer Frances Anne Holuba, Academy® Award-winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple, Senator
Robert Menendez, Academy® Award-winning filmmaker Errol Morris, former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, HERBLOCK producer George Stevens Jr. and Pulitzer
Prize Winner Jose Antonio Vargas.
The Festival encompassed a full
day of “Catalyst Sessions” exploring Immigration, Education, Intellectual
Property and the Role of Humor in Politics.
The Festival also hosted an inaugural Public Policy Engagement Program,
which connected over 52 filmmakers with influential policy makers in the halls
of Congress, at a Film and Politics Boot Camp, as well as in conversations with
Administration officials about ways to collaborate for positive social change
around shared issue areas.
This year’s Audience Award for Best Feature went to THE NEW BLACK directed by Yoruba
Richen. The film examines how African-American
voters have become bitterly divided on the issue of gay marriage because of
homophobia rampant in one of the pillars of the African-American community –
the church. Focusing on the fight for
marriage equality in Maryland, it argues that this hot-button issue is a matter
of civil rights.
This year’s Audience Award for Best Short went to SLOMO directed by Joshua
Izenberg. The film asks what would really happen if you quit
your lucrative job and just did what you wanted all day, like subject John
Kitchin, a doctor who traded his medical practice for rollerblades and sandy
beaches, and explores the neurological and spiritual joys of slow acceleration.
“While this was a
transformational year for the Festival with an expanded footprint into the
heart of Washington, DC, at our core remains a commitment to celebrating the
best in the documentary form,” said Sky Sitney, Festival Director. “The tremendous enthusiasm and response to
the film program and its related panels surpassed even our highest
expectations. Congratulations to our award winning filmmakers who have set the
bar even higher for all future years.”
The 2013 edition of AFI DOCS
marks the historic return of the American Film Institute to Washington, DC,
where its creation was announced in the White House Rose Garden in 1965.
Best of Fest screenings were held on Monday at the AFI
Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, including AFTER TILLER, AMERICAN
REVOLUTIONARY, BEST KEPT SECRET, THE CRASH REEL, GIDEON’S ARMY, GOD LOVES
UGANDA, LET THE FIRE BURN, LIFE ACCORDING TO SAM, OUR NIXON, MCCULLIN, MISTAKEN
FOR STRANGERS, THE NEW BLACK and RUNNING FROM CRAZY.