AFI FEST 2022 Names Short Film Award Winners

The American Film Institute’s AFI FEST wraps on November 7, which means it’s time to hand out the juried prize winners in the short films section. These honorees are eligible to compete at next year’s Academy Awards in the Best Live Action Short, Best Documentary Short, and Best Animated Short categories.

This year’s AFI FEST, which included 125 films overall, opened with the world premiere of the documentary “Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me” and closed with Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans,” already a top pick in this year’s Oscar race. Also screening at the festival were awards contenders “Bardo” from Alejandro G. Iñárritu, “Pinocchio” from Guillermo del Toro, “Living” from Oliver Hermanus, and “She Said” from Maria Schrader. Ava DuVernay served as this year’s Guest Artistic Director.

Here are all the juried AFI FEST award winners.

Grand Jury Prize – Live Action Short
“Birds” (dir. Katherine Propper)
Jury Statement: “For masterfully weaving together a deeply authentic vérité ensemble film, immersing us in the lives of youth on a sizzling Texas summer. BIRDS is magical, tense, romantic and timeless.”

Grand Jury Prize – Documentary Short
“Haulout” (dirs. Evgenia Arbugaeva and Maxim Arbugaev)
Jury Statement: “It’s a revelatory documentary about the devastating effects of climate change — told with stunning images like never seen before.”

Grand Jury Prize – Animation Short
“Sierra” (dir. Sander Joon)
Jury Statement: “Simple in subject but deep in content, SIERRA is playful and poignant and sticks with you long after viewing.”

Special Jury Mention for Ensemble Acting – Live Action Short
“Yokelan, 66” (dir Yi Tang)
Jury Statement: “All the cast was delightful and so full of charm.”

Special Jury Mention for Screenwriting – Live Action Short
“How to Be a Person: How to Get an Abortion” (dir. Sindha Agha)
Jury Statement: “It’s not easy to take a hot button topic and make it funny and endearing and searingly truthful.”

Special Jury Mention for Lead Acting – Live Action Short
“An Avocado Pit” (dir. Ary Zara)
Jury Statement: “With her debut performance, Gaya de Medeiros brought so much of herself to this role, and all of it comes through on the screen.”

Special Jury Mention for Cinematography – Documentary Short
“Kylie” (dir. Sterling Hampton)
Jury Statement: “With sumptuous cinematography, the director captures the subject Kylie with grace and magic.”

Special Jury Mention for Historical Relevance – Documentary Short
“Not Even for a Moment Do Things Stand Still” (dir. Jamie Meltzer)
Jury Statement: “This film is a time capsule that painfully captures the deep historical relevance of a group moment we all lived through.”

Special Jury Mention for Sound Design – Animated Short
“The Spiral” (dir. María Silvia Esteve)
Jury Statement: “The exquisite sounds and layers take you into a tunnel of anxiety and pain in the most effective, beautiful way.”

Special Jury Mention for Editing – Animated Short
“It’s Raining Frogs Outside” (dir. Maria Estela Paiso)
Jury Statement: “The attention to detail and the skilled editing puts us right in the heart of Maya and her childhood memories.”

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