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2015 Ann Arbor Film Festival: Award Winners

By Mike Everleth ⋅ April 7, 2015

Abstract black and white image with Ann Arbor Film Festival text logo overlaying it

Held last month on March 24-29, the Ann Arbor Film Festival handed out awards to a gaggle of experimental films and filmmakers.

The big winner of the fest was Sicilian filmmaker Simone Rapisarda Casanova for his fiction/documentary hybrid film The Creation of Meaning, which won the overall Best of the Festival award. The film tells the story of a WWII survivor who lives as a shepherd in the Tuscan Alps.

The Best Narrative Film award went to Lonnie van Brummelen & Siebren de Haan’s Episode of the Sea, a neo-realist drama focused on the struggles of a tiny inland fishing community in the Netherlands. Meanwhile, the Best Documentary Film award went to longtime collaborators Bill Brown and Sabine Gruffat for their Speculation Nation, which examines the current housing crisis in Spain.

Other winners include Alexandre Larose (Most Technically Innovative Film); Jenni Olson (Best LGBT Film); Kevin Jerome Everson (Handcrafted Film Award); Elizabeth Wodzinski (Best Regional Filmmaker); and more.

The full list of winners is below:

Ken Burns Award for Best of the Festival
The Creation of Meaning, dir. Simone Rapisarda Casanova

The Stan Brakhage Film at Wit’s End Award
Things, dir. Ben Rivers

Lawrence Kasdan Award for Best Narrative Film
Episode of the Sea, dir. Lonnie van Brummelen & Siebren de Haan

Michael Moore Award for Best Documentary Film
Speculation Nation, dir. Bill Brown & Sabine Gruffat

Tios Award for Best International Film
Old Jewish Cemetery, dir. Sergei Loznitsa

Peter Wilde Award for Most Technically Innovative Film
Brouillard – Passage #15, dir. Alexandre Larose

\aut\FILM Award for Best LGBT Film
The Royal Road, dir. Jenni Olson

Leon Speakers Award for Best Sound Design
Accent Grave on Ananas, dir. Tamara Henderson

Colorlab/Niagara/ORWO Award for Best Cinematography
Colorlab: Blue Loop, July, dir. Mike Gibisser
Niagara: A Symptom, dir. Ben Balcom
ORWO: vindmøller, dir. Margaret Rorison

The No Violence Award
Babash, dir. Lisa Truttman & Behrouz Rae

Kinetta Handcrafted Film Award
Three Quarters, dir. Kevin Jerome Everson

Gus Van Sant Award for Best Experimental Film
Detour de Force, dir. Rebecca Baron

Chris Frayne Award for Best Animated Film
The Bigger Picture, dir. Daisy Jacobs

Pat O’Neill Perseverance Furthers Award?
Scrapbook, dir. Mike Hoolboom

The Barbara Aronofsky Latham Award for Emerging Experimental Video Artist
All That Is Solid, dir. Louis Henderson

Prix DeVarti for Funniest Film
The Song Remains the Same, dir. Mark Toscano
Seven Signs That Mean Silence, dir. Sara Magenheimer

Tom Berman Award for Most Promising Filmmaker
The Figure Carved Into the Knife by the Sap of the Banana Tree, dir. Joana Pimenta
Many Thousands Gone, dir. Ephraim Asili

George Manupelli Founder’s Spirit Award
Special Features, dir. James N. Kienitz Wilkins

Gil Omenn Art & Science Award
Depositions, dir. Luke Fowler

The Eileen Maitland Award
Sister City, dir. Dani Leventhal

Overture/Wazoo Award for Best Music Video
Cirrus by Bonobo, dir. Cyriak

PROCAM Best Regional Filmmaker Award
VV, dir. Elizabeth Wodzinski

53rd AAFF Jury Awards:

War Prayer, dir. Richard Wiebe
Chapri, dir. Kataryza Plazinska
Peacock, dir. Andrew Kim
Port Noir, dir. Laura Kraning
Iron Ministry, dir. J.P. Sniadecki