The Seattle InternationalFilm Festival closed its 31st annual edition last night with theNorth American premiere of Gus Van Sant's Last Days, a film of local relevance since it was inspired bythe 1994 suicide of rock star Kurt Cobain.

The 25-day festival, thelongest in North America, also announced its award-winners yesterday morning.

The grand jury prize forbest new director went to Ilya Khrzhanovsky from Russia for his film 4, with a special jury prize going to Brad McGann for InMy Father's Den.

The grand jury prize forbest new American film went to Doug Sadler's Swimmers, with Scott Coffey's Ellie Parker taking a special jury prize. Ellie star Naomi Wattsalso won a special mention for her "bold, courageous and hilariousperformance."

The grand jury prize forbest documentary went to Based On A True Story directed by Walter Stokman from The Netherlands. Aspecial jury prize went to Heather Rae's Trudell from the US.

Gary McKendry's UK film EverythingIn This Country Must won the grandjury prize for best live action short whole Keith Bearden's The Raftsman'sRazor won the best animated shortcategory.

The Golden Space NeedleAwards which are given by the audience ballot system went to Luis Mandoki's InnocentVoices for best picture, Henry-AlexRubin and Dana Adam Shapiro's Murderball for best documentary, Gregg Araki for best director for MysteriousSkin, Joan Allen for best actressfor Yes, Joseph Gordon-Leavittfor best actor for Mysterious Skin andThe Raftsman's Razor for bestshort.

The festival, which is runby Helen Loveridge and Carl Spence, recorded a 5% increase in audienceattendance on the 2004 event.