The 30th Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF)closed on Sunday with its annual Golden Space Needle Awards for audiencefavourites at the event.
Ferzan Ozpetek's Facing Windows was named best film by audiences whileZana Briski and Ross Kauffman's Born Into Brothels was named best documentary.
Meanwhile in the juried awards, Zak Penn's Incident At LochNess and LisaCholodenko's Cavedweller shared the New American Cinema award, the first "for itshilarious genre-bending originality and faultless execution" and the second"for Lisa Cholodenko's subtle and honest direction of an extraordinary actingensemble." Jurors were film-maker John Jeffcoat, Sogepaq's Simon de Santiagoand US writer Anne Thompson.
In the New Director's Showcase section, Wild Side directed by Sebastien Lifshitz won thetop prize, while Thomas de Their's Feathers In My Head won a special mention "for its poeticdepiction of grief and loss." The jury, composed of Newsweek critic DavidAnsen, Rotterdam Film Festival's Ido Abram and Arc Light Films' Peggy Chiao,praised Wild Side as "afilm that redefines family with compassion, honest and exquisite sensitivity,while demonstrating a rare cinematic talent."
In the Refracting Reality documentary section, there were twowinners - Andrew Douglas' Searching For The Wrong-Eyed Jesus from the UK and Daniel Gordon's TheGame Of Their Lives fromSouth Korea. "Our co-winnersembody SIFF's expanse of cinematic expression. Searching for the Wrong-EyedJesus challenges theviewer to open up to experience visual and spiritual beauty where most wouldexpect ugliness. The Game of Their Lives offers a bright, sweeping view of a closed and oftenvilified culture," said the jury statement. Jurors were IFC's Kelly M DeVine,film curator Fidlema McGinn and Vulcan Productions' Bonnie Benjamin-Phariss.
Short film winners were Two Cars, One Night directed by Taika Waititi in the liveaction category, with a special mention to Scott Leberecht's Underdog, and Hello directed by Jonathan Nix in the animatedcategory. Jurors were Mary Metastasio, president of Cinema Seattle, filmcurator Peter Mitchell and Clear Pictures' Gian-Carlo Scandiuzzi.
The festival was held for the first year under director HelenLoveridge and director of programming Carl Spence and scored ticket sales up20% on last year's event.
The audience awards also went to Jason Reitman's Consent as best short film, Luis Tosar as bestactor for Take My Eyes,Catalina Sandino Moreno as best actress for Maria Full Of Grace and Marco Tullio Giordana as best directorfor Best Of Youth.Shona Auerbach's Dear Frankie won the Lena Sharpe Award.