2021 AFI FEST – Audience and Award Winners Announced

The 2021 AFI Film Festival has come to a close and awards were handed out for the best of the best from the festival. Check out the complete list of winners below.

Grand Jury Prize – Animation

LOVE, DAD (DIR Diana Cam Van Nguyen)

Jury Statement: “For its melding of form and content that makes for a deeply vulnerable and personal viewing experience, the Jury would like to award LOVE, DAD as Best Animated Short.”

Grand Jury Prize – Live Action

AL-SIT (DIR Suzannah Mirghani)

Jury Statement: “For going beyond its central story to make a densely layered and truly cinematic experience, the Jury would like to honor AL-SIT the Best Narrative Short.” 

The following films received a Special Mention from the Jury: BABYBANGZ (DIR Juliana Kasumi), PLAY IT SAFE (DIR Mitch Kalisa) and HER DANCE (DIR Bar Cohen).

The Grand Jury Award winners for Live Action and Animated Short are eligible for the 2021 Best Live Action Short and Best Animated Short Academy Awards®. The Jury was comprised of film curator and writer Kiva Reardon; Amanda Salazar, head of programming and acquisitions at Argo; and writer/director Angel Kristi Williams.


Audience Award – Narrative Feature
JOCKEY (DIR Clint Bentley)

An aging jockey hopes to win one last title for his longtime trainer who has acquired what appears to be a championship horse. But the years – and injuries – have taken a toll on his body, throwing into question his ability to continue his lifelong passion.

Audience Award – Documentary Feature
JUICE WRLD (DIR Tommy Oliver)

This intimate documentary explores the life and death of the young hip hop star Juice WRLD. 

Audience Award – Short Film

Three generations of Chinese women say goodbye to their family ballroom dance studio.

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