2021 San Francisco International Film Festival announced the winners of the juried Golden Gate Award (GGA) competitions and the Audience Awards with the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature going to Chase Palmer for the film Naked Singularity. The Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature was a tie between director Roberto Salinas for the film Cuban Dancer and director Jeremy Workman for Lily Topples the World.
The Golden Gate Award New Directors Award with the $3,500 cash prize went to the Nigerian film This Is My Desire, directed by twin brothers Arie Esiri and Chuko Esiri. In awarding this top prize, the jury stated, “For its rich complexity and masterful execution our unanimous choice for best debut is This Is My Desire. Meticulously woven and seamlessly assembled, the film simultaneously circumvented tropes and surfaced complex stories through developed characters grounded in everyday realities whether tragic or mundane.”
The McBaine Documentary Feature Award went to the Indian film Writing With Fire, directed by Sushmit Ghosh and Rintu Thomas (husband and wife). In awarding this film, the jury stated, “For shedding light on the courageous work of Dalit women journalists as they build an independent news outlet from the ground up, for plunging us into the political reality of a nation in upheaval through the people who are its beating heart, for capturing the beautiful complicity between filmmakers and reporters who wield the camera to expose systemic violence and bring untold stories to the fore, the Documentary Jury of the San Francisco International Film Festival awards the McBaine Documentary Feature Award to Writing With Fire.”
“At the end of this singular Festival, we’re thrilled to be able to come together and celebrate this talented and diverse group of artists” said SFFILM Director of Programming Jessie Fairbanks. “This year’s lineup was put together under unique circumstances with a careful eye on expanding the reach and accessibility of films and filmmakers during a very difficult time. We’re honored to be able to extend support to these artists and bring their work into the homes of film lovers across the country.”
Winners of 2021 San Francisco International Film Festival Awards
GOLDEN GATE NEW DIRECTORS AWARD (FICTION FEATURE)
GGA New Directors Award winner: This Is My Desire, Arie Esiri/Chuko Esiri (Nigeria)
Special Jury Mention, New Directors: A Leave, Lee Ran-hee (South Korea)
MCBAINE DOCUMENTARY FEATURE AWARDS
McBaine Documentary Feature Award Winner: Writing With Fire, Rintu Thomas/Sushmit Ghosh (India)
McBaine Bay Area Documentary Feature Award: After Antarctica, Tasha Van Zandt (USA/Canada)
GOLDEN GATE AWARDS FOR MID-LENGTH FILMS
Mid-Length Winner: Don’t Go Tellin’ Your Momma, Topaz Jones, Jason Sondock, Simon Davis (USA/France/Germany/Italy)
GOLDEN GATE AWARDS FOR SHORT FILMS
Narrative Short Winner: Summer Fasting, Abdenoure Ziane (France)
Documentary Short Winner: Dial Home, César Martínez Barba (USA/Mexico)
Animated Short Winner: In the Shadow of the Pines, Anne Koizumi (Canada)
New Visions Short Winner: Here, Here, Joanne Cesario (Philippines)
Bay Area Short First Prize Winner: Since you arrived, my heart stopped belonging to me, Erin Semine Kökdil (USA)
Bay Area Short Second Prize Winner: Wavelengths, Jessie Zinn (USA)
GOLDEN GATE AWARD FOR FAMILY FILM
Family Film Prize Winner: To: Gerard, Taylor Meacham (USA)
Special Jury Mention: A Concerto Is a Conversation, Kris Bowers/Ben Proudfoot (USA)
GOLDEN GATE AWARD FOR YOUTH WORKS
Youth Works Prize: Through Their Eyes, Alisha Heng (USA)
Special Jury Mention: Music for the End of the World, Emmanuel Li (UK)
CRITICS JURY AWARD
Critics Jury Award: Nudo Mixteco, Ángeles Cruz (USA)
The Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature went to Chase Palmer for the film Naked Singularity.
The Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature was a tie between director Roberto Salinas for the film Cuban Dancer and director Jeremy Workman for Lily Topples the World.
The Audience Award for Best Short Film went to Sarah Rattay-Maloney for the film Freezerburn.