And the award-winners are...



The Ann Arbor Film Festival is proud to announce this year’s award-winning filmmakers selected by jurors Thorsten Fleisch, Lynn Loo, and Sheri Wills.


The 2021 awards competition presents $22,500 to filmmakers through mostly cash and some in-kind awards such as film stock, film processing, and camera equipment.

This year we are excited about the addition of two new awards, the Barbara Hammer Feminist Film Award and the Best Experimental Animation Award! An award from the AAFF confers prestige and financial support; it can also qualify filmmakers for an Oscar® nomination by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the short film category. Qualifying awards are the Ken Burns Award for Best of the Festival, the Chris Frayne Award for Best Animated Film, and the Lawrence Kasdan Award for Best Narrative Film.

Watch two programs of the award winners today.


Awards 1 | 4:30pm | Tickets

Awards 2 | 6:30pm | Tickets

These are the award-winners for the 59th AAFF:

Ken Burns for Best of the Festival

13 - Shinya Isobe


Tom Berman Award for Most Promising Filmmaker

Iwianch, el Diablo Venado - José Cardoso


Lawrence Kasdan Award for Best Narrative Film

Sun Dog - Dorian Jespers


Best Experimental Film

Revolykus - Victor Orozco Ramirez


Kodak Cinematic Vision Award

Mt Albban the attrition of time - Ebrahim Mirmalek


Best Documentary Film

Instructions for Survival - Yana Ugrekhelidze


Chris Frayne Award for Best Animated Film

KKUM - Kang Min Kim


Gil Omenn Art & Science Award

Mad Mieter - M+M (Marc Weis, Martin de Mattia)


Prix DeVarti for Funniest Film (split)

Danni the Champion - Laura Cameron-Lewis AND Stunting Cunts - Gina Kamentsky


The Barbara Aronofsky Latham Award for an Emerging Experimental Video Artist

-force- - Jennie MaryTai Liu, Simon Liu


The Eileen Maitland Award

Cause of Death - Jyoti Mistry


George Manupelli Founder’s Spirit Award

Primavera - Adrian Garcia Gomez


The No Violence Award

Just a Guy - Shoko Hara


Barbara Hammer Feminist Film Award

Silver Femme - Nico Reano, Jimena Lucero


Best Experimental Animation Award

Displacement - Maxime Corbeil-Perron


Leon Speakers Award for Best Sound Design

Piz Regolith - Yannick Mosimann


Martin Contreras and Keith Orr \aut\ FILM Award for Best LGBTQ Film

Breath Control - Carson Parish


Peter Wilde Award for Most Technically Innovative Film

Valpi - Richard Tuohy, Dianna Barrie


Tíos Award for Best International Film

( ( ( ( /*\ ) ) ) ) ) aka echoes of the volcano - Charles Fairbanks, Saúl Kak​


UMCU Audience Award First Light - Amy Lee Ketchum, Ellen Boscov

Best Michigan Filmmaker Award

Dream of Emma and Tony - Natalia Rocafuerte


Jurors’ Awards

BUTTERFLY BIRTH BED - Virginia Lee Montgomery