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Master of Light directed by Rosa Ruth Boesten - winners of 65th San Francisco International Film Festival
Master of Light directed by Rosa Ruth Boesten [credit: Jurgen Lisse]

SFFILM announced the winners of the juried Golden Gate Awards competition at the 65th San Francisco International Film Festival. The top awards went to the Iranian film Hit the Road by Panah Panahi for New Directors Award and Master of Light by Rosa Ruth Boesten won the Documentary Feature Award.

In awarding this top prize to Hit the Road, the jury stated: “Our unanimous choice for best debut feature is Panah Panahi’s Hit the Road, a raucous and big-hearted crowd-pleaser that’s also deft at carrying deep emotional and political inflections. As a family wends through the Iranian countryside towards a difficult destination, Panahi and his extraordinary cast capture their dynamic so persuasively that the laughter and heartbreak land with equal force.”

In awarding Master of Light, the jury stated: “For its incredibly moving examination of an individual on the path to redemption, for its thoughtful look at the impact of the cycle of addiction and incarceration that can nonetheless lead to an outcome of hope, and for creating a gorgeously stunning portrait of life captured during a period of healing and grace, the Documentary Jury of the San Francisco International Film Festival awards the McBaine Documentary Feature Award to Master of Light.”

“The Golden Gate Awards have been an important part of the San Francisco International Film Festival’s identity since its inception, and this year for the first time we are devoting the final day of the Festival, Sunday, May 1, to encore screenings of our award-winning films,” said SFFILM Executive Director Anne Lai. “It’s impossible to see all the films you want to at any festival, and we hope audiences take advantage of this special day to see the films our juries recognized. Get your tickets at sffilm.org.”

The winners of the 65th Annual SFFILM Golden Gate Awards Competition are:

GOLDEN GATE CRITICS-NEW DIRECTORS AWARD (FICTION FEATURE)

GGA Critics-New Directors Award winner: Hit the Road, Panah Panahi (Iran)

Honorable Jury Mention, Critics-New Directors: Sublime, Mariano Biasin (Argentina)

MCBAINE DOCUMENTARY FEATURE AWARDS

McBaine Documentary Feature Award Winner: Master of Light, Rosa Ruth Boesten (USA, Netherlands)

McBaine Bay Area Documentary Feature Award: I Didn’t See You There, Reid Davenport (USA)

GOLDEN GATE AWARDS FOR SHORT AND MID-LENGTH FILMS

Narrative Short Winner: Busan, 1999, Thomas Kim (South Korea)

Documentary Short Winner: Long Line of Ladies, Rayka Zehtabchi, Shaandiin Tome (USA)

Animated Short Winner: Sierra, Sander Joon (Estonia)

New Visions Short Winner: Listen to the Beat of Our Images, Audrey Jean-Baptiste, Maxime Jean-Baptiste (France, French Guiana)

Bay Area Short Prize First Place: Half-Day, Morgan Mathews (USA)

Bay Area Short Prize Second Place: Holding Moses, Rivkah Beth Medow (USA, Japan)

Mid-Length Winner: The Time of the Fireflies, Matteo Robert Morales, Mattis Appelqvist Dalton (Mexico, USA, Belgium)

GOLDEN GATE AWARD FOR FAMILY FILM SHORTS

Family Film Prize Winner: Battery Daddy, Seung-bae Jeon (South Korea)

Special Jury Mention: Ocean Duck, Huda Razzak (USA)

GOLDEN GATE AWARD FOR YOUTH WORKS SHORTS

Youth Works Prize: Honeybee, Emilio Vazquez Reyes (USA)

Special Jury Mention: Unzipped, Jenna Miller (USA)

CINE LATINO JURY AWARD

Cine Latino Jury Award: The Employer and the Employee, Manolo Nieto (Uruguay)

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