Wayne Roberts, who made his directorial debut with “Katie Says Goodbye,” won the Stockholm Film Festival’s Impact Award, a competitive section launched last year to reward “headstrong visionaries who reflect our contemporary world.”

“Katie Says Goodbye,” which world premiered at Toronto in the Discovery section, is a melodrama starring Olivia Cooke as young waitress working at a truck stop diner who dreams of fleeing her tiny Arizona town for San Francisco.

The festival described the feature as “a sensitive, layered and complex, coming of age story of a young American girl.”

“The film displays a clearly female sensitive gaze, without sensationalizing Katie’s heart breaking story. It shows us the complexity of human nature and people and relationships, be they women or men, without judgment,” argued the festival, which also praised the cinematic style and the way in which the film “challenges old stereotypes of women.”

The Impact Award, launched by Stockholm International Film Festival and the City of Stockholm, comes with a 1 million SEK to help winning filmmakers finance their next project.

Indian-born director Leena Yadav won Stockholm’s inaugural Impact prize last year for her movie “Parched,” a bittersweet and contemporary portrayal of four ordinary women in a village of Northwest India.