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Seattle Film Fest: ‘Me and Earl,’ ‘Phoenix,’ Studio Ghibli Among 2015 Winners

Seattle Film Fest: 'Me and Earl,' 'Phoenix,' Studio Ghibli Among 2015 Winners

The awards were presented at a ceremony and breakfast held at the Space Needle. The 25-day festival, which began May 14, featured 450 films representing 92 countries, including 49 World Premieres (23 features, 26 shorts), 51 North American Premieres (33 features, 18 shorts), 18 US Premieres (7 features, 11 shorts), and 720 Festival screenings and events.

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SIFF 2015 GOLDEN SPACE NEEDLE AUDIENCE AWARDS

SIFF celebrates its films and filmmakers with the Golden Space Needle Audience Awards. Selected by Festival audiences, awards are given in five categories: Best Film, Best Documentary, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Short Film. This year, nearly 90,000 ballots were submitted.

GOLDEN SPACE NEEDLE AWARD – BEST FILM
The Dark Horse, directed by James Napier Robertson (New Zealand 2014)

First runner-up: Inside Out, directed by Pete Docter (USA 2015)
Second runner-up: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (USA 2015)
Third runner-up: Shaun the Sheep, directed by Richard Starzak, Mark Burton (UK 2015)
Fourth runner-up: Good Ol’ Boy, directed by Frank Lotito (USA 2015)

GOLDEN SPACE NEEDLE AWARD – BEST DOCUMENTARY
Romeo is Bleeding, directed by Jason Zeldes (USA 2015)

First runner-up: Paper Tigers, directed by James Redford (USA 2015)
Second runner-up: The Glamour & The Squalor, directed by Marq Evans (USA 2015)
Third runner-up: The Great Alone, directed by Greg Kohs (USA 2015)
Fourth runner-up: Frame by Frame, directed by Mo Scarpelli, Alexandria Bombach (Afghanistan 2014)

GOLDEN SPACE NEEDLE AWARD – BEST DIRECTOR
Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (USA 2015)

First runner-up: George Ovashvili, Corn Island (Georgia 2014)
Second runner-up: Peter Greenaway, Eisenstein in Guanajuato (Netherlands 2015)
Third runner-up: Susanne Bier, A Second Chance (Denmark 2014)
Fourth runner-up: Ross Partridge, Lamb (USA 2015)

GOLDEN SPACE NEEDLE AWARD – BEST ACTOR
Cliff Curtis, The Dark Horse (New Zealand 2014)

First runner-up: Ian McKellen, Mr. Holmes (UK 2015)
Second runner-up: Jason Segel, End of the Tour (USA 2014)
Third runner-up: Victor Andrés Trelles Turgeon, Henri Henri (Canada (Québec) 2014)
Fourth runner-up: Jacir Eid, Theeb (Jordan 2014)

GOLDEN SPACE NEEDLE AWARD – BEST ACTRESS
Nina Hoss, Phoenix (Germany 2014)

First runner-up: Kalki Koechlin, Margarita, with a Straw (India 2014)
Second runner-up: Rebecka Josephson, My Skinny Sister (Sweden 2015)
Third runner-up: Regina Case, The Second Mother (Brazil 2015)
Fourth runner-up: Ghita Nørby, Key House Mirror (Denmark 2015)

GOLDEN SPACE NEEDLE AWARD – BEST SHORT FILM
Even the Walls, directed by Sarah Kuck, Saman Maydáni (USA 2015)

First runner-up: Submarine Sandwich, directed by PES (USA 2014)
Second runner-up: Stealth, directed by Bennett Lasseter (USA 2014)
Third runner-up: Personal Development, directed by Tom Sullivan (Ireland 2015)
Fourth runner-up: Bihttoš, directed by Elie-Máijá Tailfeathers (Canada 2014)

LENA SHARPE AWARD FOR PERSISTENCE OF VISION
Frame by Frame, directed by Mo Scarpelli, Alexandria Bombach (Afghanistan 2014)

SIFF 2015 COMPETITION AWARDS

SIFF announced three Competition Awards for Best New Director, Best Documentary, and Best New American Film (FIPRESCI). Winners in each juried competition received $2,500 in cash, while the New American Cinema competition winner was also awarded the FIPRESCI prize.

SIFF 2015 BEST NEW DIRECTOR
GRAND JURY PRIZE
Liza, the Fox-Fairy (Hungary 2015), directed by Károly Ujj-Mészáros
JURY STATEMENT: For its lively, inventive visual wit and offbeat look at romantic delusion involving a haunted Hungarian nurse, a long-suffering police sergeant, and the ghost of a ’50s Japanese pop singer, we have given this year’s New Directors Prize to Károly Ujj-Mészáros.

SPECIAL JURY MENTION
Corrections Class (Russia/Germany 2014), directed by Ivan I. Tverdovsky
JURY STATEMENT: For the director’s brave and unflinching handling of a young ensemble.

Festival programmers select 12 films remarkable for their original concept, striking style, and overall excellence. To be eligible, films must be a director’s first or second feature and without U.S. distribution at the time of their selection. The New Directors Jury is comprised of Brandon Harris (Filmmaker Magazine), Amy Nicholson (L.A. Weekly), and Alison Willmore (Buzzfeed).

SIFF 2015 BEST DOCUMENTARY
GRAND JURY PRIZE
The Great Alone (USA 2015), directed by Greg Kohs
JURY STATEMENT: Our Grand Jury Prize goes to a film that stopped all of us in our tracks. One of the joys of the film festival experience is discovering a film that works so well on every level. This is an inspiring film about one man’s story that is both intimate and epic – we were knocked out by the filmmaker’s achievement in crafting a visually stunning, completely engrossing narrative about one extraordinary human being.

SPECIAL JURY PRIZES
Romeo is Bleeding (USA 2015), directed by Jason Zeldes
JURY STATEMENT: For its strength in demonstrating the power of art to change lives.

Sergio Herman: F**king Perfect (Netherlands 2015), directed by Willemiek Kluijfhout
JURY STATEMENT: Which we found to be an exquisitely made film about a FUCKING PERFECT artist.

Unscripted and uncut, the world is a resource of unexpected, informative, and altogether exciting storytelling. Documentary filmmakers have, for years, brought these untold stories to life and introduced us to a vast number of fascinating topics we may have never known existed—let alone known were so fascinating. The Documentary Jury is comprised of Jannat Gargi (Vulcan Productions), Janet Pierson (SXSW), and Anne Rosellini (producer, Stray Dog, Winter’s Bone).

SIFF 2015 BEST NEW AMERICAN CINEMA

GRAND JURY PRIZE
Chatty Catties (USA 2015), directed by Pablo Valencia
JURY STATEMENT: The FIPRESCI jury at the 41st edition of the Seattle International Film Festival bestows its International Critics’ Prize to a film that – with an enormous amount of risk-taking – innovatively expands stylistic and narrative boundaries. With a fresh view on intimate relationships, director Pablo Valencia creates an unexpected and utterly original emotional landscape in Chatty Catties.

Festival programmers select 9 films without U.S. distribution that are sure to delight audiences looking to explore the exciting vanguard of New American Cinema and compete for the FIPRESCI Award for Best New American Film. The New American Cinema Jury is comprised of members of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI): Pamela Cohn, André Roy, and Dennis West.

SIFF 2015 FUTUREWAVE AND YOUTH JURY AWARDS

YOUTH JURY AWARD FOR BEST FUTUREWAVE FEATURE
Seoul Searching (USA/South Korea 2015), directed by Benson Lee
JURY STATEMENT: For its diverse and relatable characters, quality mix of emotion and comedy, and accurate and respectful representation of teens, the 2015 FutureWave Youth Jury Prize goes to Seoul Searching.

YOUTH JURY AWARD FOR BEST FILMS4FAMILIES FEATURE
When Marnie Was There (Japan 2014), directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi
JURY STATEMENT: For its beautiful and detailed animation, realistic sound design, and original, bittersweet tale of mystery the Films4Families Jury awards When Marnie Was There.

WAVEMAKER AWARD (GRAND PRIZE)
In recognition of superior artistic and technical achievement.
Audio Input (USA), directed by Sho Schrock-Manabe
JURY STATEMENT: For its insightful and engaging portrait of podcasting, an audio art form, through a collage of interviews and images.

FUTUREWAVE AUDIENCE AWARD
Minimum Max (USA), directed by Josh Ovalle

PRODIGY CAMP SCHOLARSHIPS
Each winner will be awarded a $1000 scholarship to the Prodigy Camp.
I’m Not Here (South Africa), directed by Jack Markovitz
Minimum Max (USA), directed by Josh Ovalle

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