Our esteemed film juries were on hand at our closing night party to announce the AAAFF 2015 awards.  See the list of awards and jury comments below.  Congratulations to all the AAAFF 2015 award winners!

Documentary Jury Awards


NIGHT SHIFT (Alison Boland, USA) – Best Documentary Short

“NIGHT SHIFT provides a poignant look at a community many of us are unaware of. We see the results of their hard work and dedication to their jobs, but at the most we might have caught only a glimpse of them far down a hallway. Through her excellent short film, Alison Boland introduces us to a University of Texas janitorial team who eat and exercise together, do their jobs with pride, and tell us about their lives before coming to the US.”


PLACEBO (Abhay Kumar, India) – Special Mention

“PLACEBO is a remarkable film that uses humor and takes us into very dark places as well. The subject matter is universal and has deep significance for all of us — suicide among the young and promising. We will never forget the strength of the characters and the honesty of the filmmaker. The experimental techniques of animation and abstraction only add to its emotional intensity. The editing is extraordinarily powerful.”


THE CHINESE MAYOR (Hao Zhou, China) – Best Documentary Feature

“An in depth, intimate and revealing portrait, THE CHINESE MAYOR is a remarkable documentary that captures one politician’s compelling, albeit unrelenting, attempt to restore ‘greatness’ to his city despite the high costs and consequences. With extraordinary access, filmmaker Hao Zhou presents a fascinating behind the scenes look at the complex world of contemporary China and the crippling effects of one man’s drive towards massive urbanization.”

Narrative Jury Awards


AUTUMN LEAVES (Saman Hosseinpuor, Iran) – Best Narrative Short

“AUTUMN LEAVES takes a moment of seemingly simple daily life and transforms it into a delightful, abstract, beautiful presentation which transcends reality into animation and art… all in a setting with a difficult and dark history reminding us that innocence and beauty is beyond words, and can still be found everywhere.”


RUINED HEART (Khavn De La Cruz, Phillipines/Germany) – Best Narrative Feature

“This film chose us! This film dispossessed us of all our previous loves in cinema, abducting us into its delirium in which we can barely keep up with depths of color and movements of speed. This film has ruined us for the better, carving a time for pure cinema in the alleyways of digital. Heady and still reeling, we the jury chooses RUINED HEART: ANOTHER LOVE STORY BETWEEN A CRIMINAL AND A WHORE directed by Khavn as the Best Narrative Feature Film.”

Audience Awards

AAAFF festival goers also got a chance to participate in the 2015 awards by rating the feature films they watched, and through this democratic process, the AAAFF 2015 Audience Awards go to:


TOP SPIN (Mina T. Son & Sara Newens, USA) – Best Documentary Feature

Entertaining and insightful, TOP SPIN highlights the dedication, passion, and sacrifice of top U.S. players Ariel Hsing, Lily Zhang, and Michael Landers as they compete to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics.


SEOUL SEARCHING (Benson Lee, USA/S. Korea) – Best Narrative Feature

Benson Lee’s tribute to ‘80’s John Hughes romantic comedies combines the coming-of-age storytelling of The Breakfast Club with an earnest portrayal of the Korean diasporic experience, all set to a rockin’ 80’s soundtrack.