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AFI DOCS unveils winners

This year’s festival, which ran June 19-23, hosted more than 19,000 attendees with 53 films screened representing 30 countries.

AFI DOCS presented by Audi (formerly Silverdocs) has unveiled its Audience Award winners for 2013.

Yoruba Richen’s The New Black [pictured] scooped the Audience Award for Best Feature. The film examines how African-American voters have become divided on the issue of gay marriage and focuses on the fight for marriage equality in Maryland.

The Audience Award for Best Short went to Joshua Izenberg’s Slomo which follows John Kitchin, a doctor who traded his medical practice for rollerblades, and explores the neurological and spiritual joys of slow acceleration.

Festival director Sky Sitney commented: “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.

“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.”

This year’s festival, which ran June 19-23, hosted over 19,000 attendees, including 845 filmmakers, film subjects, journalists, industry, panellists and special guests such as Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Attorney General Eric Holder, award-winning filmmaker Errol Morris and Pulitzer Prize winner Jose Antonio Vargas.

53 films were screened over the five-day festival representing 30 countries in iconic DC locations, as well as at the historic AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, MD.

The festival also hosted its inaugural Public Policy Engagement Program, which connected filmmakers with influential policy makers in the halls of Congress at a Film and Politics Boot Camp.

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