Stone’s Chasing the Moon (pictured) utilizes unseen archival footage to re-contextualizes the social and historical importance of America’s race to the moon 50 years after Neil Armstrong’s first lunar walk. The three-part film will enjoy its television premiere courtesy of long-standing PBS docustrand ‘American Experience’ on July 8.
The audience award for best short went to Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan’s St. Louis Superman. The 25-minute film follows Bruce Franks, Jr., a 33-year-old battle rapper, Ferguson activist and state representative from St. Louis who has overcome unspeakable loss to become one of the most exciting young leaders in America today.
The grand jury prize for short films, meanwhile, was awarded to Yi Seung-Jun’s 29-minute In the Absence. The film documents the search for justice from the victims’ families and survivors of the 2014 MV Sewol passenger ferry in disaster South Korea, in which more than 300 people lost their lives, most of them schoolchildren.
“In the Absence is a sweeping account that stuns. Through an exhaustive sourcing of content, the filmmaker precisely and chillingly weaves together a haunting tapestry that calls into question the trust we place in authority,” the jury said in a statement.
Picking up honorable mentions in the category were Francois Verster and Simon Wood’s Scenes from a Dry City and Sophia Nahli Allison’s A Love Song for Latasha.
The 17th annual AFI Docs festival, which wrapped on Sunday (June 23), saw 72 films screen over a five-day period in Washington, DC, and Silver Spring, Maryland.