And the winner is ASAD, described by the filmmakers as a "coming-of-age fable" about a Somali boy, shot with a cast of Somali refugees, and directed by Bryan Buckley, best known as the award-winning director of Superbowl commercial, and now helming the screen adaptation of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, starring Reese Witherspoon.
I happened to be one of the 2012 finalist judges, and I rated it best of the 10 films I judged -- and most were very good. But even in this honored group, ASAD stood out. I watched it on the big screen Opening Night at Vets Theater and was blown away. The Grand Prize means ASAD is now entered into Oscar contention. May the Academy be similarly impressed... More about ASAD and other winners -- congrats to all -- at the festival site.