Yoruba Richen’s doc The New Black (pictured), which looks at the divide among African-American voters on the issue of marriage equality, picked up the Audience Award for Best Feature at AFI Docs.
The doc, which screened at the Washington DC-set festival over the weekend, looks at the fight for marriage equality in Maryland and argues that the issue is a matter of civil rights.
In the short category, meanwhile, the Audience Award for Best Short went to Slomo, directed by Joshua Izenberg. The film asks what would really happen if you quit your lucrative job and just did what you wanted all day, like subject John Kitchin, a doctor who traded his medical practice for roller-blades and sandy beaches.
The win came as the festival hosted more than 19,000 attendees over its five-day run, which saw the screening of 53 films representing 30 countries.
“While this was a transformational year for the festival with an expanded footprint into the heart of Washington DC, at our core remains a commitment to celebrating the best in the documentary form,” said festival director Sky Sitney.
“The tremendous enthusiasm and response to the film program and its related panels surpassed even our highest expectations. Congratulations to our award-winning filmmakers who have set the bar even higher for all future years.”