AFI Fest 2023 Celebrates Award-Winning Films and Shorts, Setting the Stage for an Exciting Awards Season

Los Angeles, California – AFI Fest 2023 concluded on Sunday, showcasing a lineup of exceptional films and shorts that are expected to gain further recognition during this awards season. Among the winners was “Closing Dynasty,” directed by Lloyd Lee Choi, which took home the Live Action Grand Jury Prize. The film offers a captivating portrayal of New York City through the eyes of a wide-eyed, 7-year-old. In the Documentary Short category, Sean Wang’s “Năi Nai & Wài Pó” emerged as the winner, telling a heartwarming story about the filmmaker’s two beloved grandmothers. Notably, this film also claimed the Audience Award at TheWrap’s ShortList Film Festival.

In the realm of animation, Kenzie Sutton’s “Chutes” was awarded the Grand Jury Prize for Animated Short. The film presents an investigative exploration of capitalism and society by using toys as a lens. These Grand Jury Prize winners in the Live Action Short, Documentary Short, and Animated Short categories will be eligible for consideration in the Best Live Action Short, Best Documentary Short, and Best Animated Short categories at the 2023 Academy Awards.

The esteemed jury responsible for selecting the winners included director and writer Sindha Agha, who has previously won a BAFTA and received Emmy nominations. Film critic Ryan Swen and writer, producer, and film programmer Imani Davis also served on the jury. Their collective expertise ensured a fair assessment of the submitted films.

Bob Gazzale, the president and CEO of AFI, expressed his pride in the record-breaking attendance at this year’s AFI Fest. He emphasized the ability of cinema to bring people together, even during challenging times. Gazzale announced that AFI looks forward to welcoming an even larger audience to the movies in the coming year.

In summary, AFI Fest 2023 delivered a diverse range of exceptional films and shorts. The winners, including “Closing Dynasty,” “Năi Nai & Wài Pó,” and “Chutes,” captivated audiences with their unique perspectives and storytelling. These films have now become contenders in the upcoming Academy Awards, solidifying their place among the best in the industry. AFI Fest continues to be a platform for celebrating the very best of world cinema in the heart of Hollywood.