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AFI FEST 2005 announces Award Winners

AFI FEST 2005 presented by Audi Announces Award Winners

Capping another successful year, AFI FEST 2005 announced its award winners at a special Awards Presentation hosted by Tom Arnold at The Loft at the Festival's Rooftop Village--Sunday evening, November 13, in advance of its Closing Night Gala Presentation, sponsored by Los Angeles Magazine, of director Lasse Hallström's CASANOVA, starring Heath Ledger, Sienna Miller, Lena Olin and Oliver Platt.

After the showcasing of 127 films from 44 countries--including 20 World Premieres, 21 World Premieres and 18 US Premieres--Norway's KISSED BY WINTER was crowned the Grand Jury Prize winner for the International Feature Competition, while THE REFUGEE ALL STARS received the Aquafina Pure Vision Award International Documentary Grand Jury Prize, which came with a $10,000 unrestricted grant for filmmakers Zach Niles and Banker White. The International Shorts Jury Prize, meanwhile, was awarded to Germany's DELIVERY, which also scored the Audience Award for Best Short.

Meanwhile, the Audience Award for Best Feature Film was a tie between Canada's C.R.A.Z.Y. and the South Africa/UK co-production TSOTSI. THROUGH THE FIRE, chronicling basketball phenom Sebastian Telfair's jump from high school directly to the NBA, won the Netflix Audience Award for Best Documentary, along with its correlative $5,000 unrestricted grant for directors Jonathan Hock and Alistair Christopher.

"We received a great deal of positive feedback from both the jurors and audiences about the line-up this year," said Nancy Collet, AFI FEST's Director of Programming. "We're very pleased with the number of special mentions, as this is indicative of the quality of the films."

Indeed, in addition to the aforementioned prizes, International Shorts Competition jurors Quentin Lee, Patty Jenkins and Amy Vincent bestowed special mentions upon writer/director Avie Luthra's LUCKY (South Africa) and writer/director Warwick Thornton's GREEN BUSH (Australia).

In the International Documentary Competition, filmmaker jurors Fenton Bailey, Penelope Spheeris and Sean Welch lauded Kelly Duda's FACTOR 8: THE ARKANSAS PRISON BLOOD SCANDAL "for its investigative thoroughness, and in particular the tenacity and courage of the filmmaker."

On the feature side, Festival jurors Tamlyn Tomita, Wally Pfister and Jean Oppenheimer also gave a special mention to Audience Award co-winner TSOTSI.

Jury and Audience Award winners at AFI FEST 2005 received film-related prizes from sponsors including Adobe Systems, Amoeba Music, Avid, Eastman Kodak, Entertainment Partners, Final Draft, Hollywood Creative Directory, indieWIRE, Variety and Virgin Megastore.

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