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AFI honors ‘Royal Affair’

'Nairobi Half Life' also among fest prizewinners

Nikolaj Arcel’s “A Royal Affair” won the World Cinema Audience Award at AFI Fest.

“Affair,” Denmark’s official foreign-language submission for the coming Academy Awards, was joined in the audience award selections by David Tosh Gitonga’s “Nairobi Half Life,” Kenya’s 2012 foreign-language submission, cited as a breakthrough film.

Other audience awards went to Tobias Lindholm’s “A Hijacking” in New Auteurs and Jason Tippet’s “Only the Young” in Young Americans.

AFI Fest grand jury prizes went to live-action short “Introducing Bobby” from Roger Hayn and animated short “Oh Willy” from Emma De Swaef and Marc Roels.

In addition, special jury awards were given to Julia Pott’s “Belly” in animation and Kristoffer Borgli’s “Whateverist” in documentary.

The fest also handed honorable mention notices to Raul Castillo for his performance in “Narcocorrido” and Guto Parente for the “promising vision” of “Dogs Are Said To See Things.” Parente was praised for pulling together social criticism with a pool party and actually making something fresh and smart.”

In the new auteurs category, the grand jury prize went to Gabriela Pichler’s “Eat Sleep Die,” with special mentions to thesp/screenwriter Mati Diop of “Simon Killer” and to Antonio Mendez Esparza’s “Here and There.”

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