By Peter Knegt | Indiewire June 14, 2010 at 2:17AM
The 36th Seattle International Film Festival - the largest film festival in the United States - concluded Sunday with record-breaking box office numbers (a near 20% increase from last year), and the announcement of the Jury and Audience Award Winners.
"This was a monumental year for SIFF--record-shattering box office numbers, more than 300 special guests from around the world; more than 125 sold-out events; an incredible presentation of live events--including three musical presentations and a live documentary; fantastic filmmaker visits in schools (reaching more than 8,000 students); an expanded footprint that took us beyond Seattle borders; and some very cool first time happenings, including the first high school directed feature film (Nicholas Terry, age 17), the first Ugandan director to attend (Caroline Kamya, Imani), and the first 3D and IMAX films. Seattle definitely proved, once again, why it•s one of the best film cities in the world," said Carl Spence, SIFF Artistic Director, in a statement. "I've never been more proud to be part of a city that radiates such enthusiasm for film."
From May 20-June 13, the fest had presented 408 films over 25 days. Their multitude of awards include the Golden Space Needle Awards, which came from more than 83,000 ballots cast by SIFF audiences to determine the winner in six categories: Best Film, Best Documentary, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Short Film. Also presented were five juried Competition Awards: Best New Director, Best Documentary, Best Narrative Short, Best Documentary Short, and Best Animated Short; as well as the FIPRESCI Award for Best American Film. Winners in the juried Documentary and New Director competition will receive $2,500, the winner of Best Short in each of three categories will receive $1,000, and the winner of the FIPRESCI Award receives a Circle of Trust subscription courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories.
The complete list of winners:
SIFF 2010 Best New Director
Grand Jury Prize
The Reverse, directed by Borys Lankosz (Poland, 2009)
Jury Statement: "Borys Lankosz's The Reverse succeeds its substantial ambition to tell the story of love, family, and loyalty in a brutal post war Warsaw. Uniquely, first time director Lankosz manages to deliver a highly stylized vision without sacrificing character, story, or performance. We are happy and honored to give the New Director Award to this touching, thrilling, and deeply human film."
Special Jury Mentions
Turistas, directed by Alicia Scherson (Chile, 2009)
Jury Statement: "In addition we would like to give two special jury mentions. For her wry and surprising screenplay and her terrific casting, we want to note the achievement of Alicia Scherson for her film Turistas."
Gravity, directed by Maximilian Erlenwein (Germany, 2009)
Jury Statement: "We also want to recognize the stylistic and storytelling promise evidenced by Maximilian Erlenwein in his film Gravity."
The New Directors Competition jury was comprised of: Marcus Hu, Strand Releasing; Michael Kananack, NeoClassics Films; and Christian Vesper, IFC and The Sundance Channel.
SIFF 2010 Best Documentary
Grand Jury Prize
Marwencol, directed by Jeff Malmberg (USA, 2010)
Jury Statement: "For its ingenious, organic storytelling and respect for its subject, the documentary jury recognizes a complex and multi-layered portrait of a survivor and artist which comes to life thanks to an amazing level of trust between filmmaker and subject that allows director Jeff Malmberg to bring his audience deep into the fascinating and very private world that is Marwencol."
The Documentary jury was comprised of: Patrick Baroch, ITVS; Michael Lumpkin, International Documentary Association; and MJ Peckos, Dada Films / Mitropoulus Films.
SIFF 2010 Short Film Jury Awards
Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Short
Little Accidents, directed by Sara Colangelo (USA, 2009)
Jury Statement: "For its compelling sense of voyeurism, outstanding performances, and brilliant storytelling - the total package."
Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary Short
White Lines And The Fever: The Death Of DJ Junebug, directed by Travis Senger (USA, 2010)
Jury Statement: "For the way the story seamlessly reveals itself through the compassion of people who knew and loved DJ Junebug and the way the era of the birth of hip-hop was beautifully evoked."
Grand Jury Prize for Best Animated Short
The Wonder Hospital, directed by Beomsik Shim (USA, 2010)
Jury Statement: "Who knew that this would be the hardest category? We choose The Wonder Hospital for its experimental, adult-based animation style and it being about the way you twist the mirror, the story's depth."
Special Jury Mention for Short Animation
Cherry On The Cake, directed by Hyebin Lee (United Kingdom, 2009)
Jury Statement: "In support of excellence in family animation."
As a qualifying festival of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, short films that receive the Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative short film and Best Animation short film awards at SIFF may qualify to enter the Short Films category of the Academy Awards for the concurrent season without the standard theatrical run, provided the film otherwise complies with the Academy rules. The Short Film jury was comprised of: SJ Chiro, Seattle based filmmaker; Chris Swenson, Seattle Office of Film + Music; and Karen Toering, Program Director, Langston Hughes African American Film Festival.
SIFF 2010 FIPRESCI Award for Best American Film
SIFF is very pleased to announce its continued partnership with FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics. FIPRESCI, in existence for more than 65 years, with members in over 60 countries, supports cinema as an art and as an outstanding and autonomous means of expression. SIFF is one of three festivals in the United States to host a FIPRESCI jury, and this year, FIPRESCI gave an award to Best American Film.
Night Catches Us, directed by Tanya Hamilton (USA, 2010)
Jury Statement: "For its profound exploration of a chapter of American history that is woefully under-explored, for its deft interaction between the personal and the political, for its exceptional acting, and for its masterful cinematography, the FIPRESCI Award goes to Tanya Hamilton's Night Catches Us."
Special Jury Mention
The jury would like to give a special mention for her excellent combination of comedic timing and emotional sincerity to Jenna Fischer in "A Little Help."
The FIPRESCI jury was comprised of members of the International Federation of Film Critics: Melissa Anderson, US; Luc Chaput, Canada; and Barbara Lorey, France.
SIFF 2010 Golden Space Needle Audience Awards
Best Film Golden Space Needle Award
The Hedgehog, directed by Mona Achache (France, 2009)
Runners-up (in order):
Mao's Last Dancer, directed by Bruce Beresford (Australia, 2009)
Micmacs, directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet (France, 2009)
Cell 211, directed by Daniel Monzon (Spain, 2009)
Hipsters, directed by Valery Todorovsky (Russia, 2009)
Best Documentary Golden Space Needle Award
Ginny Ruffner: A Not So Still Life, directed by Karen Stanton (USA 2010) and Waste Land, directed by Lucy Walker (United Kingdom, 2010) (tie)
Runners-up (In order):
The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls, directed by Leanne Pooley (New Zealand, 2009)
Wheedle's Groove, directed by Jennifer Maas (USA, 2009)
Brownstones to Red Dirt, directed by Dave LaMattina and Chad N. Walker (Sierra Leone, 2010)
Restrepo, directed by Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington (USA, 2010)
Best Director Golden Space Needle Award
Debra Granik for Winter's Bone (USA, 2010)
Best Actor Golden Space Needle Award
Luis Tosar, for Cell 211 (Spain, 2009)
Best Actress Golden Space Needle Award
Jennifer Lawrence for Winter's Bone (USA, 2010)
Best Short Film Golden Space Needle Award
Ormie, directed by Rob Silvestri (Canada, 2009)
Lena Sharpe Award for Persistence of Vision, Presented by Women in Film/Seattle
The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls, directed by Leanne Pooley (New Zealand, 2009)
SIFF 2010 FutureWave and Youth Jury Awards
The SIFF FutureWave jury was comprised of five high-school students that viewed nine FutureWave features to award to the prize to Best FutureWave feature. The Films4Families jury was comprised of five elementary and middle school students that viewed six Films4Families films to award the prize for Best Films4Families Feature. SIFF's WaveMaker Award for Excellence in Youth Filmmaking was awarded at the FutureWave Shorts program on June 5 at the Egyptian Theatre. More than 100 short films were submitted from young filmmakers aged 13-18, from Canada, USA, and the United Kingdom.
Youth Jury Award for Best FutureWave Feature
REGENERATION, directed by Philip Montgomery (USA, 2010)
Jury Statement: "For it's ability to stimulate thought for a variety of audiences, provide a sense of awareness, and inspire action in today's apathetic society."
Youth Jury Award for Best Films4Families Feature
From Time To Time, directed by Julian Fellowes (United Kingdom, 2009)
Jury Statement: "For it amazing story involving flashbacks, a great cast of characters, and authentic costumes and set design which made the film feel true to history."
WaveMaker Award for Excellence in Youth Filmmaking (Grand Jury Prize)
Remember, directed by Scott Calvert (Anacortes, WA)
Jury Statement: "If you want evidence that filmmaking is a collaborative process, this certainly is it. The judges chose Remember for the near flawless choreography of events (and interesting events at that), the uniqueness and imaginative visual statements made by the players, the galvanizing of the participants by a director with a vision and a plan, and the sheer joy of the film. Although not a traditional story, it told us a lot about the young people involved...and their school."
WaveMaker Special Jury Prizes
Celina's Story, directed by Celina Chadwick (Seattle, WA)
Jury Statement: "For an honest and convincing account of one girl•s life experience, we are awarding a new documentary filmmaker with a distinctive voice who we believe has a strong future."
Alisha, directed by Daniel Citron (Ruxton, MD) J
ury Statement: "For telling a gripping story, creating compelling images, knowing how to cast his lead, directing her to captivate the audience, and, for his tenacity and dedication to becoming a filmmaker."
FutureWave Shorts Audience Award
Remember, directed by Scott Calvert
FutureWave Online Audience Award powered by IndieFlix
Shawn Harris: Personal Trainer, directed by Tyler Silver and Simon Turkel