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2012 Ann Arbor Film Festival: Award Winners

By Mike Everleth ⋅ April 2, 2012

Ann Arbor Film Festival logo

The historic 50th annual Ann Arbor Film Festival wrapped up on April 1 with a whole gaggle of awards going to numerous filmmakers, celebrating the best in experimental, animation, documentary, LGBT, international, music video and more categories.

The big winner of the event was Hayoun Kwon for her animated short film Lack of Evidence (Manque de Preuves), about a Nigerian child who survives a ritualistic murder by his own father. The Seoul-born, Paris-based filmmaker took home the Ken Burns Award for Best of the Festival.

On the experimental film front, Betzy Bromberg won the Stan Brakhage Film at Wit’s End award for her feature-length experimental film Voluptuous Sleep; while Sylvia Schedelbauer won the Gus Van Sant Award for Best Experimental Film for her short film Sounding Glass; and Robert Todd won the Kodak/Colorlab Award for Best Cinematography for two films, Undergrowth and Within.

Renown animator Don Hertzfeldt shared the Chris Frayne Award for Best Animated Film for his epic It’s such a beautiful day.

There were also several awards to celebrate special technical achievements, such as Telcosystems taking home the Peter Wilde Award for Most Technically Innovative Film for their rapidly fluctuating digital piece Vexed; while Semiconductor won the Art & Science Award for their analysis of a geo-magnetic storm, 20 Hz.

There are also lots more fun awards, all of which are listed below. Not included in the official award lineup, however, is filmmaker Brian Lonano, who won this year’s Mobile Shorts Contest for his trailer for the fest.

All the winners are below:

Ken Burns Award for Best of the Festival
Lack of Evidence (Manque de Preuves), dir. Hayoun Kwon

The Stan Brakhage Film at Wit’s End Award
Voluptuous Sleep, dir. Betzy Bromberg

Lawrence Kasdan Award for Best Narrative Film
Palaces of Pity, dir. Daniel Schmidt, Gabriel Adams

Michael Moore Award for Best Documentary Film
Guañape Sur, dir. János Richter

Award for Best International Film
Untitled, dir. Neil Beloufa

Peter Wilde Award for Most Technically Innovative Film
Vexed, dir. Telcosystems

autFILM Award for Best LGBT Film
The Evil Eyes, dir. Bobby Abate

Award for Best Sound Design
Remote, dir. Jesse McLean

Kodak/Colorlab Award for Best Cinematography
Undergrowth, dir. Robert Todd
Within, dir. Robert Todd

The No Violence Award
If the War Continues, dir. Jonathan Schwartz

Gus Van Sant Award for Best Experimental Film
Sounding Glass, dir. Sylvia Schedelbauer

Chris Frayne Award for Best Animated Film
It’s such a beautiful day, dir. Don Hertzfeldt
Traces, dir. Scott Stark

The Barbara Aronofsky Latham Award for Emerging Experimental Video Artist
Ceibas: The Epilogue – The Well of Representation, dir. Evan Meaney

Prix DeVarti for Funniest Film
Walt Disney’s Taxi Driver, dir. Bryan Boyce (Watch online)
Shadow Cuts, dir. Martin Arnold
Pluto Declaration, dir. Travis Wilkerson

Tom Berman Award for Most Promising Filmmaker
The Strawberry Tree, dir. Simone Rapisarda Casanova

George Manupelli Founder’s Spirit Award
By Foot-Candle Light, dir. Mary Helena Clark

Art & Science Award
20 Hz, dir. Semiconductor

The Eileen Maitland Award
Irma, dir. Charles Fairbanks

Award for Best Music Video
Go Outside by Cults, dir. Isaiah Seret


As Above, So Below, dir. Sarah J. Christman

Tin Pressed, dir. Dani Leventhal

Curious Light, dir. Charlotte Pryce

Landfill 16, dir. Jennifer Reeves

August Song, dir. Jodie Mack, Emily Kuehn

A Lax Riddle Unit, dir. Laida Lertxundi

Quest (Cautare), dir. Ionuţ Piturescu

The House (Das Haus), dir. David Buob

Envelop by Julianna Barwick, dir. Cam Archer