The Exile, by Arturo Ruiz Serrano

The 2015 Austin Film Festival (AFF) announced its Jury and Hiscox Audience and Courage Award Winners in Film, as well as the Screenplay & Teleplay Competition winners. The jury awarded The Exile, by Arturo Ruiz Serrano (pictured above) as Best Narrative Feature and Monsterman, directed by Antti Haase as Best Documentary Feature.  The Audience voted Keep In Touch, written by Sam Kretchmar and Michael Covino as winner of the Hiscox Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature, and Mully directed by Scott Haze as winner of Hiscox Audience Award for Best Documentary.

The following Jury award winners were selected by category:

Narrative Feature: The Exile, written by Arturo Ruiz Serrano
Documentary Feature: Monsterman, directed by Antti Haase
Comedy Vanguard Feature: Baby, Baby, Baby, written by Brian Klugman
Dark Matters Feature: Sunny Side Up, written by Willem Bosch
Dark Matters Feature Honorable Mention: The Lion’s Path, written by Sophie-Anne Beaudry
Narrative Short: Vainilla, written by Susana López Rubio
Narrative Student Short: Kimi Kabuki, written by Yoko Okumura
Documentary Short: Chau, Beyond the Lines, directed by Courtney Marsh
Animated Short: The Meek, written by Joe Brumm
Scripted Digital Series: School Nurse, created by Tom Beach, Laura Boersma, and John Stewart Muller

After each Festival screening, audiences voted for the Hiscox Audience Awards, recognizing film favorites among the 2015 slate.

The following Hiscox Audience Award winners were selected by category:

Narrative Feature: Keep In Touch, written by Sam Kretchmar and Michael Covino
Documentary Feature: Mully directed by Scott Haze
Documentary Feature Honorable Mention: Of Dogs and Men directed by Michael Ozias
Dark Matters Feature: Reparation written by Kyle Ham and Steve Timm
Comedy Vanguard Feature: Baby, Baby, Baby written by Brian Klugman
Narrative Short: Best Wishes from Millwood written by Max Baker
Documentary Short: The Trials of Constance Baker Motley directed by Rick Rodgers
Animated Short: The Present written by Fabio Cavalcanti and Jacob Frey
Narrative Student Short: Amateur Dictator written by Zach Carver
Scripted Digital Series: Master Class created by Justin Wright Neufeld
Heart of Film: A Single Frame directed by Brandon Dickerson
Stories From Abroad: El Jeremías written by Ana Sofía Clerici
Texas Independent: Jack’s Apocalypse written by Will Moore
Marquee Feature: Until 20 directed by Jamila Paksima and written by Geraldine Moriba

One film was selected to receive the inaugural Hiscox Courage Award. Voted on by the audience, the Hiscox Courage Award is presented to the film that best embodies the virtue of courage and to the filmmaker who best embraced the risk to share the story. The first ever Courage Award went to Jamila Paksima’s and Geraldine Moriba’s Until 20, the story of Texan James Ragan’s quest to live a full and meaningful life despite his terminal battle with osteosarcoma.

“Hiscox was honored to support Austin Film Festival and all of the inspirational films, filmmakers and subjects that made the week so special,” said Ben Walter, CEO of Hiscox USA. “We’re grateful to give the first Hiscox Courage Award to Until 20 and hope more people will be able to share the courageous life and story of James Ragan depicted in this film.”

In continuation of AFF’s mission to find and support independent filmmakers, three films were already picked up for distribution at this year’s Festival including Comedy Vanguard 3rd Street Blackout, The Teller and the Truth picked up by FilmBuff, and James Franco’s Memoria which was acquired by Monterey Media.

“Austin Film Festival is an exceptional source for a true audience reaction for independent films,” said Jere Rae-Mansfield, CFO & Managing Partner of Monterey Media. “We are so pleased to join them in our acquisition news.”

The following Screenplay Competition winners were selected by category:

Drama Screenplay Award presented by the Writers Guild of America, East: Detroit by Robert Rue
Comedy Screenplay Award: Maxwell 2.0 by Paul Sanford
Enderby Entertainment Award: The Great Debate by David Hoffman
Darkwoods Productions Sci-Fi Award: The Innkeeper by Michael Catinari
Horror Award: 77 Minutes by Shani Grewal
AMC One-Hour Teleplay Pilot Award: Friend of the Devil by Michael Ouellette
Sitcom Teleplay Pilot Award: Newsperson by Michael Drake
Short Screenplay Award: The New World by Brian Rawlins
Scripted Digital Series Award: Creepypasta by Will Zech & Alex Cope
One-Hour Teleplay Spec Award: The Americans: Custody by Larry Caldwell
Sitcom Teleplay Spec Award: Workaholics: Bring Your Kid To Work Day by Greg Brainos