AFI DOCS 2021 Award Winners

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Viewers Award for Ideal Element Goes to


Audience Award for Finest Shorter Goes to SHELTER

Shorter Movie Grand Jury Prize Goes to Purple TAXI

Among the the Individuals in 19th Annual Festival of Documentary Film:

Senator Amy Klobuchar, Morgan Neville, Garrett Bradley, Dawn Porter

FOR Speedy Release

JUNE 28, 2021, WASHINGTON, DC — The American Movie Institute (AFI) has declared the AFI DOCS 2021 Award Winners, concluding the six-day pageant, with screenings presented online and in-person at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center. The festival’s Viewers Award for Most effective Feature went to STORM LAKE, directed by Jerry Risius and Beth Levison. The Viewers Award for Very best Limited went toSHELTER, directed by Smriti Mundhra.

This year’s voting jury for the competitive Brief Films slate was comprised of Mike Attie, award-profitable filmmaker and professor of movie at the College of the Arts in Philadelphia Greta Hagen-Richardson, Director of Programming at the Hot Springs Documentary Movie Pageant and Guide Capabilities Programmer at the New Orleans Film Pageant and Yvonne Ashley Kouadjo, Associate Producer for The New York Times’ award-successful brief documentary series Op-Docs.

The Grand Jury Prize for Small Films went to RED TAXI, directed byAnonymous. The jury explained of RED TAXI: “For its inventive and accessible solution to telling a story from the viewpoint of people dwelling and operating in a second of political upheaval, we award the Shorts Grand Jury Prize to Purple TAXI. The braveness of the anonymous filmmaker struck us for their commitment to depicting the nuances of fact on the floor.” The Shorts Grand Jury Prize at AFI DOCS is a qualifying award for Academy Award® eligibility.

The jury also awarded the Exclusive Jury Prize to two movies: THE COMMUNION OF MY COUSIN ANDREA, directed by BrandánCerviño Abeledo, stating,

“For its potential to convey to a reflexive tale with levity and tenderness, we award a Exclusive Jury Prize to THE COMMUNION OF MY COUSIN ANDREA” and S P A C E S (M E Z E R Y), directed by Nora Štrbová, saying, “For its smart use of multi-dimensional media in telling a fraught, emotional story, we award a Distinctive Jury Prize to S P A C E S (M E Z E R Y).”

The 19th edition of AFI DOCS presented a numerous slate of 78 films from 23 countries, shedding mild on forgotten stories from the past, honoring champions of improve and supplying us glimpses into the every day life of subjects near to household and all-around the globe. This calendar year, 52% of AFI DOCS films were directed by women of all ages, 40% by BIPOC directors and 18% by LGBTQ directors.

Between the competition contributors were filmmakers and notables which include Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar Academy Award®winners Morgan Neville, Sean High-quality, Andrea Nix Great and Mark Ronson Academy Award®-nominated filmmakers Julie Cohen, Betsy West and Steve James Pulitzer Prize-profitable journalist Artwork Cullen award-winning filmmaker Dawn Porter Emmy® Award winner Chris Nee CNN political contributor and host Van Jones author and The New Yorker contributor Jelani Cobb filmmaker and actor Sonja Sohn musician and filmmaker Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson Smithsonian National Museum of African American Heritage and Lifestyle Curator Dwandalyn Reece President of the African American Movie Critics Affiliation Gil Robertson Georgetown College Professor Dr. Janet Mann rapper KYLE and son of late comic and activist Dick Gregory Christian Gregory.

The festival’s panels and conversations furnished filmmakers, film topics and audiences the prospect to delve deeper into the films with discussions led by some of the nation’s major journalists, which include: NBC News Correspondent Morgan Radford NBC News’ Meet up with the Push Moderator and NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd NBC News Correspondent Anne Thompson MSNBC Correspondent Trymaine Lee Variety’s Film Awards Editor Clayton Davis Axios Justice and Race Reporter Russell Contreras Senior Segment Producer of WGN Early morning Information and WGN’s Leisure Producer Tyra Martin entertainment journalist & Tv set producer KJ Matthews CQ Roll Call Deputy Editor Jason Dick andHealth Treatment Editor Rebecca Adams and The Washington Post’s Controlling Editor for Diversity and Inclusion Krissah Thompson, Chief Movie Critic Ann Hornaday, Worldwide Thoughts author Jason Rezaian, Nationwide Safety Editor Peter Finn, Religion Reporter Michelle Boorstein, and Host and Editor of Foodstuff Movie Mary Beth Albright.

This year’s inaugural DOCS Talks programming bundled the Planet Premiere of Netflix’s and Greater Ground’s WE THE Individuals, as nicely as “History Is Out of the Closet: Excavating Queer Tales for the Monitor,” a stay stream conversation celebrating LGBTQ+ pleasure. The AFI DOCS Marketplace Discussion board explored building accessibility practices into all ways of the manufacturing approach, demystifying investigative documentaries, the earning of the strike series PHILLY D.A., how documentaries shape conversations on racial violence, a driving-the-scenes glimpse at the Hindsight Challenge films and new collaborations amongst general public media and indie filmmakers. This year’s Market Forum programming also provided closed captioning and American Indication Language (ASL) interpretation. The AFI DOCS Marketplace Discussion board is supported by the Company for Public Broadcasting and the Nationwide Endowment for the Arts.


DIR: Anonymous. As protests in Hong Kong escalate, taxi motorists encounter a city in upheaval driving the streets day and evening. Anonymously filmed by locals.

Quick Movie Exclusive JURY PRIZE


DIR: Brandán Cerviño Abeledo. Andrea’s To start with Communion ceremony lacks glamour. For Andrea, issues without having sparkles are meaningless.

Short Movie Exclusive JURY PRIZE

S P A C E S (M E Z E R Y)

DIR: Nora Štrbová. A multi-textured animated exploration of memory as a container of identification, based mostly on the personal tale of the filmmaker and her brother who was identified with a brain tumor.

This year’s High quality Sponsor is Apple Primary Movies. The Company for Community Broadcasting (CPB) returns as Formal Sponsor of the pageant. NBC News’ Meet up with the Press with Chuck Todd and The Washington Article return this year as Major Media Companions. Wide range and The Hollywood Reporter are this year’s Official Media Companions. The Wrap is an Affiliate Media Companion.Monitor Sponsors consist of SHOWTIME® Documentary Films, Netflix, WarnerMedia and HBO Documentary Films. Participant, Nationwide Geographic, and Eventive serve as Main Sponsors. This year’s Contributing Sponsors are ESPN, the National Endowment for the Arts and the DC Workplace of Cable Tv, Movie, Tunes, and Enjoyment (OCTFME). Supporting Sponsors involve the Maryland Movie Workplace, Larger Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce and Rev. The Embassy of Denmark in Washington, DC, and the Farhang Foundation are this year’s Cultural Sponsors. Generous individual aid arrives from Stephanie and Hunter Hunt.



AFI DOCS is the American Film Institute’s once-a-year documentary festival traditionally held in Washington, DC.  Presenting the year’s best documentaries, AFI DOCS is the only festival in the U.S. focused to screenings and events that connect audiences, filmmakers and plan leaders in the heart of our nation’s government. The AFI DOCS advisory board consists of Ken Burns, Davis Guggenheim, Chris Hegedus, Werner Herzog, Rory Kennedy, Barbara Kopple, Spike Lee, Errol Morris, Stanley Nelson and Frederick Wiseman. Now in its 19th 12 months, the festival will be held June 22-27, 2021. Visit and connect,,


About the American Movie Institute (AFI)
Established in 1967, the American Film Institute is the nation’s nonprofit organization devoted to educating and inspiring artists and audiences through initiatives that winner the past, current and long term of the going picture. AFI’s pioneering courses involve filmmaker education at the AFI Conservatory 12 months-round exhibition at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Middle and at AFI Festivals across the nation workshops aimed at escalating variety in the storytelling community honoring today’s masters by means of the AFI Existence Accomplishment Award and AFI AWARDS and scholarly initiatives these types of as the AFI Catalog of Element Movies that uphold movie historical past for foreseeable future generations. Browse about all of these courses and extra at and stick to us on social media at,,


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The Company for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit company made by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment decision in community broadcasting. It will help assistance the functions of more than 1,500 regionally managed and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the biggest one supply of funding for analysis, technological innovation and application advancement for community radio, television and related on the web providers. For a lot more details, check out and comply with us on Twitter @CPBmedia, Fb and LinkedIn, and subscribefor electronic mail updates.

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Fulfill the Press with Chuck Todd is where newsmakers arrive to make news — location the political agenda and spotlighting the impact Washington conclusion-creating has on Americans across the region. It is the #1 most-watched Sunday community affairs display for the 2019-2020 period, reaching much more than a few million viewers each and every Sunday and hundreds of thousands much more as a result of social, digital and on-need platforms. Meet the Press provides its authority and influencer interviews to MSNBC with MTP Everyday weekdays at 1 p.m. ET, to the ongoing weekly podcast, The Chuck ToddCast, and to Meet the Push Reviews, a 30-minute method on NBC News NOW and Peacock, focusing on a single subject matter explored by means of the Meet up with the Press lens. It is the longest-jogging display in television history, just lately growing its model to also consist of a political short-documentary film festival in collaboration with the American Film Institute. Chuck Todd is the political director of NBC Information and the moderator of Satisfy the Push John Reiss is the government producer.

Speak to:

Elizabeth Ward, AFI DOCS PR,

American Movie Institute: Stacy Adamski, 323.856.7759,

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