Bringing together features, short films and documentaries from around the world, the festival completed its run at the ArcLight Cinema complex in Hollywood by announcing its Grand Jury Prize Winner for International Feature Competition, the Norwegian film Kissed by Winter.
The festival showcased 127 films from 44 different countries—including 20 world premieres, 21 North American premieres, and 18 U.S. premieres. AFI FEST is the longest-running film festival in Los Angeles and one of the most influential film festivals in North America. During the run of the festival, the screenings, the lounges and other events consumed most of the ArcLight complex, including the entire top floor of the building’s well-traveled parking structure.
The festival spans 10 days each November, featuring international competitions of brand new films from emerging filmmakers, global showcases of the latest work from great film masters, and nightly red-carpet gala premieres.
In 2004, AFI FEST and the American Film Market established a strategic alliance, creating the only festival/market combination in North America. This alliance has successfully resulted in a unique combination of commerce and culture.
AFI FEST 2005 is supported in part by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the Cultural Affairs Department of the City of Los Angeles and the Hollywood Sign Trust. Special support is provided by the Academy Foundation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Presented and sponsored by Audi, the annual event also awarded The Refugee All Stars the Aquafina Pure Vision Award International Documentary Grand Jury Prize of a $10,000 unrestricted grant for filmmakers Zach Niles and Banker White.
The Shorts Jury Prize went to Germany's Delivery, who also received the Audience Award for Best Short.
The Audience Award for Best Feature Film was a tie between Canada's C.R.A.Z.Y. and South Africa/U.K.'s Tsotsi.
Through The Fire won the Netflix Audience Award for Best Documentary-a $5,000 unrestricted grant for directors Jonathan Hock and Alistair Christopher.
"We received a great deal of positive feedback from the jurors and audience about the lineup 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."
The event began with the Johnny Cash biopic Walk The Line, directed by James Mangold and starring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon. Other highlights included the two Centerpiece Galas: The World's Fastest Indian and The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, and the Closing Night Gala, Casanova, directed by Lasse Hallström (which made its North American premiere following the awards ceremony).
For more information, visit http://www.afifest.com.