The Austin Film Festival announced this year’s winners of the Audience Award, presented by Esurance. From the press release:

Thank you to everyone who voted. There was a major growth in attendance this year, resulting in more people voting than ever before. The positive response to the film program was overwhelming.

“There is no greater reward for a filmmaker than an Audience Award, which confirms their ability to tell a good story. Every filmmaker is a storyteller at heart, and you can’t receive better validation than the approval of your audience.”
— AFF Film Programmers Stephen Jannise and Stephen Belyeu

Congratulations to all the filmmakers- your hard work and dedication has been truly inspiring.

This year’s Audience Award was sponsored by Esurance, the direct-to-consumer car insurance company. Esurance has been a longtime supporter of filmmakers and artists who help bring compelling stories to life.

Out of Competition Feature:
THE ARTIST
Writer/Director: Michel Hazanavicius

Narrative Feature Competition:
RESTIVE
Writer/Director: Jeremiah Jones

Documentary Feature Competition:
Tie
ECSTASY OF ORDER: THE TETRIS MASTERS
Director: Adam Cornelius

STORIES FROM AN UNDECLARED WAR
Director: Dennis Rice

Texas Independents:
SIRONIA
Writers: Brandon Dickerson, Thomas Ward, Wes Cunningham
Director: Brandon Dickerson

Comedy Vanguard:
FRED & VINNIE
Writer: Fred Stoller
Director: Steve Skrovan

Narrative Short:
MWANSA THE GREAT
Writers: Rungano Nyoni, Gabriel Gauchet
Director: Rungano Nyoni

Narrative Student Short:
BENNY

Writers: Evan Ho, Huay Bing-Law
Director: Huay Bing-Law

Animated Short:
THE FANTASTIC FLYING BOOKS OF MR. MORRIS LESSMORE
Writer: William Joyce
Directors: William Joyce, Brandon Oldenburg

Documentary Short:
ELLIOTT ERWITT: I BARK AT DOGS
Director: Douglas Sloan

The 2011 Film Competition and Screenplay/Teleplay winners have already been announced, and are available here and here respectively.

The 18th Annual Austin Film Festival ran October 20th – 27th and screened over 180 films in 8 days. AFF has announced its dates for the 19th Annual Austin Film Festival and Conference, October 18-25, 2012.

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