‘DIVINES’ wins big at 2016 AFIFEST presented by Audi; winners announced at AFI Cinema Lounge-Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

Photo and text by Oliver Carnay

'DIVINES' is comiing to Netflix ..

Hollywood, CA - It’s a triple-win for the directorial debut of Houda Benyamina’s teen angst movie “DIVINES” (also this year’s Cannes Film Festival ‘Camera d’Or’ prize winner), winning the ‘Breakthrough Audience Award,’ the ‘New Auteurs Audience Award,’ and ‘New Auteurs Special Jury Mention for Acting’ for its lead star Oulaya Amamra for her electrifying portrayal as ‘Dounia,’ a fearless and ferocious teenager who joins a ruthless gang in pursuit of money and power to help her family and best friend in poverty.

Bottom Left: Director Houda Benyamina receiving her awards; Bottom Right: Oulaya Amamra posed with New Auteurs Jury comprised of Michael Nordine (LA Weekly), Claudia Puig (President of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association) and Robert Abele (author and critic).

The French-Moroccan director Benyamina and Paris-based actress Amamra were present to accept the awards. “I am so honored and surprised by this award. I had a wonderful time in this festival and I thank AFIFEST for this very important award in my life,” Amamra quipped in broken English.

(Photo: "LAND OF MINE" Producer Mikael Christian Rieks received the World Cinema Audience Award)

Attendees for the Awards ceremony were treated to a sumptuous brunch before the announcement of winners.

An encore screenings of selected award-winning films was held on the day of winners announced. The 8-day festival which run from November 10 through 17th, held at the TCL Chinese 6 and its main legendary Chinese Mann’s Theatre on Hollywood Blvd. was also AFIFEST’s 30th anniversary edition. For more information regarding the recent AFIFEST presented by Audi, please log on to www.afifest.com

Here is the complete list of winners:

New Auteurs Grand Jury Award: THE FUTURE PERFECT
New Auteurs Special Jury Mention for Acting: Oulaya Amamra for DIVINES
Grand Jury Award – Live Action Short: ICEBOX
Grand Jury Award – Animated Short: PUSSY
Live Action Short Special Mention for Comedic Narrative: HOUNDS
Live Action Short Special Mention for Documentary: THE SEND-OFF
Live Action Short Special Mention for Acting: DREAMING OF BALTIMORE
Live Action Short Special Mention for Cinematography: A THOUSAND MIDNIGHTS
Live Action Short Special Mention: SPEAKING IS DIFFICULT
Animated Short Special Jury Mention: SUMMER CAMP ISLAND
Animated Short Special Jury Mention for Mixed Media: DEER FLOWER
Animated Short Special Jury Mention for Visual Aesthetics: SUPERBIA
World Cinema Audience Award: LAND OF MINE
New Auteurs Audience Award: DIVINES
American Independents Audience Award: DONALD CRIED
Breakthrough Audience Award: DIVINES
Breakthrough Audience Award First Runner-Up: ONE WEEK AND A DAY
Breakthrough Audience Award Second Runner-Up: THE RED TURTLE