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Seattle International Film Festival Announces Award-Winners

The nation's largest film festival concludes today with record-breaking box office numbers, the announcement of the Jury and Audience Award Winners, and the Closing Night Gala featuring Get Low.

The 36th Seattle International Film Festival concludes a record-breaking year today, in spite of the downturn in summer movie-going nationwide, with the announcement of juried SIFF 2010 Competition Awards and Golden Space Needle Audience Awards, bringing to a close the largest and most highly attended film festival in the United States. SIFF 2010 broke box office records with a nearly 20% increase in box office, making it SIFF's most triumphant year to date.

From May 20-June 13, SIFF presented 408 films in 25 days, with 73 premieres and more than 600 screenings and special events including The Extra Man (Magnolia Pictures); Get Low (Sony Pictures Classics); Howl (Oscilloscope); Waiting for "Superman" (Paramount Pictures); Grease Sing-along (Paramount Pictures) celebrating the 30thAnniversary of the highest grossing musical of all time; and two Festival "firsts": the first IMAX screening, The Wildest Dream (National Geographic Entertainment); and the first 3D screening, Cane Toads: The Conquest.

SIFF 2010 was a wild success that brought many incredible guests to Seattle including Academy Award®-winners and nominees Edward Norton (SIFF 2010 Tribute Honoree), Robert Pulcini, Bruce Beresford, Laura Poitras, Sam Green, Chuck Workman, Davis Guggenheim, Brigitte Berman, Dana Adam Shapiro, and Aaron Schneider; Emmy Award-winners and nominees including America Ferrera, Jenna Fischer, and Michael Weithorn, and more than 300 directors, actors, and industry professionals including recent major film festival award-winners such as Sebastian Junger and the Topp Twins, and celebrated performers such as Brandon Routh, Adam Goldberg, Missi Pyle, Rob Benedict ("Felicity," "Supernatural"), Paul Dano, Alicia Goranson ("Roseanne"), Lucas Grabeel (High School Musical), Stephin Merritt (The Magnetic Fields), and Daniel Handler (a.k.a. Lemony Snicket).

"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 to 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," states Carl Spence, SIFF Artistic Director. "I've never been more proud to be part of a city that radiates such enthusiasm for film."

SIFF 2010 AWARDS

The Golden Space Needle Award winners were announced at a ceremony earlier today. More than 83,000 ballots were 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. All of the winners will receive a Space Needle inspired glass award by artist James Mongrain in addition to Movie Magic Software.

SIFF 2010 Best 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.

FIPRESCI Award
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

The Golden Space Needle Audience Awards are given in the following categories: Best Film, Best Documentary, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Short Film. Golden Space Needle Award winners receive a hand-made glass creation by artist James Mongrain and Movie Magic Screenwriter software. Additionally, the Golden Space Needle Award winner for Best Short Film receives $1,000 of Color Negative Motion Picture Film from the Eastman Kodak Company Entertainment Imaging Division, and the a fully-loaded MacBook Pro and iPod Touch from Iris Professional Services and The Mac Store.

Best Film Golden Space Needle Award
The Hedgehog, directed by Mona Achache (France, 2009)

First runner up: Mao's Last Dancer, directed by Bruce Beresford (Australia, 2009)
Second runner up: Micmacs, directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet (France, 2009)
Third runner up: Cell 211, directed by Daniel Monzón (Spain, 2009)
Fourth runner up: Hipsters, directed by Valery Todorovsky (Russia, 2009)

Rounding out the top ten: The Concert (Radu Mihaileanu, France, 2009); Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil (Eli Craig, USA, 2010); Winter's Bone (Debra Granik, USA, 2010); Carlitos and the Chance of a Lifetime (Jesús Del Cerro, Spain, 2009); and Loose Cannons (Ferzan Ozpetek, Italy, 2010).

Best Documentary Golden Space Needle Award - TIE
Ginny Ruffner: A Not So Still Life, directed by Karen Stanton (USA 2010)
Waste Land, directed by Lucy Walker (United Kingdom, 2010)

First runner up: The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls, directed by Leanne Pooley (New Zealand, 2009)
Second runner up: Wheedle's Groove, directed by Jennifer Maas (USA, 2009)
Third runner up: Brownstones to Red Dirt, directed by Dave LaMattina and Chad N. Walker (Sierra Leone, 2010)
Fourth runner up: Restrepo, directed by Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington (USA, 2010)

Rounding out the top ten: Marwencol (Jeff Malmberg, USA, 2010); Waiting for "Superman" (Davis Guggenheim, USA, 2010); Chihuly Fire & Light (Peter West, USA, 2010); American: The Bill Hicks Story (Matt Harlock and Paul Thomas, United Kingdom, 2009); and Mugabe and the White African (Lucy Bailey and Andrew Thompson, Namibia, 2009).

Best Director Golden Space Needle Award
Debra Granik for Winter's Bone (USA, 2010)

First runner up: Mona Achache for The Hedgehog (France, 2009)
Second runner up: Ana Kokkinos for Blessed (Australia, 2009)
Third runner up: Valery Todorovsky for Hipsters (Russia, 2009)
Fourth runner up: Daniel Monzón for Cell 211 (Spain, 2009)

Best Actor Golden Space Needle Award
Luis Tosar for Cell 211 (Spain, 2009)

First runner up: Jim Broadbent for Perrier's Bounty (Ireland, 2009)
Second runner up: Aaron Johnson for Nowhere Boy (UK, 2009)
Third runner up: Martin Nissen for Angel at Sea (Belgium/Canada, 2009)
Fourth runner up: Edward Norton for Leaves of Grass (USA, 2009)

Best Actress Golden Space Needle Award
Jennifer Lawrence for Winter's Bone (USA, 2010)

First runner up: Josiane Balasko for The Hedgehog (France, 2009)
Second runner up: Patricia Clarkson for Cairo Time (Canada, 2009)
Third runner up: Sibel Kekilli for When We Leave (Germany/Turkey, 2009)
Fourth runner up: Tilda Swinton for I Am Love (Italy, 2009)

Best Short Film Golden Space Needle Award
Ormie, directed by Rob Silvestri (Canada, 2009)

First runner up: Bedfellows, directed by Pierre Stefanos (USA, 2010)
Second runner up: The Little Dragon, directed by Bruno Collet (France, 2009)
Third runner up: The Crush, directed by Michael Creagh (Ireland, 2009)
Fourth runner up: Whistleless, directed by Siri Melchior (Denmark, 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. The award was selected from 15 finalists by local professional filmmakers Virginia Bogert (Women In Film/Seattle) and Rick Stevenson (TheFilmSchool).

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)
Jury 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."

Daniel Citron also received a scholarship to TheFilmSchool's Prodigy Camp, a week-long immersive overnight film camp for youth aged 12-18 held in late June.

FutureWave Shorts Audience Award
Remember, directed by Scott Calvert

1st Runner Up for FutureWave Shorts Audience Award is Alisha, directed by Daniel Citron; 2nd Runner Up is Omer, directed by Emma Strebel; 3rd Runner Up is Checkpoint Of Humanity, directed by Chloe Clark, Zain Masri, Owen Quanstrom, and Tamir Assouline; and 4th Runner Up is Celina's Story, directed by Celina Chadwick.

FutureWave Online Audience Award powered by IndieFlix
Shawn Harris: Personal Trainer, directed by Tyler Silver and Simon Turkel

1st Runner Up for FutureWave Online Audience Award powered by IndieFlix is I Just Am Who I Am, directed by Megan Baxter, and 2nd Runner Up is Alisha, directed by Daniel Citron.

Please contact the SIFF Communications Office for Festival photographs of Award winners.

SIFF 2010 Festival Highlights

SIFF's 2010 World Premieres of I Kissed A Vampire (with director Chris Sean Nolan, Lucas Grabeel, and additional members of the cast in attendance), Miss Nobody (with Adam Goldberg, Brandon Routh, and Missi Pyle in attendance), REGENERATION (with director Philip Montgomery in attendance), A Little Help (with Jenna Fischer and Rob Benedict in attendance), The Family Tree (with Madeline Zima of "Californication" and "Heroes" and John Patrick Amedori of "Gossip Girl" in attendance), and Senior Prom (with director Nicholas Terry and members of the cast in attendance) debuted to packed houses, huge audience response, and critical praise. Marc Evan's Patagonia dazzled audiences with beautiful cinematography and the World Premieres of local films Chihuly Fire & Light, Amplified Seattle, Ginny Ruffner: A Not So Still Life, Morning, and Perfect 10, highlighted Seattle's talented and passionate filmmaking community, creating fantastic works of film in a variety of genres.

This year, the Festival expanded its footprint to new communities outside Seattle, including Everett, Kirkland, and West Seattle, hosting special Opening Night events and Festival screenings for week-long stays in each area. Everett Opening Night kicked off with Academy Award®-winning director Bruce Beresford's latest film, Mao's Last Dancer, with Beresford and renowned Chinese actress Lisa Lu in attendance. Kirkland Opening Night opened with Belgian audience-hit The Over the Hill Band, directed by Geoffrey Enthoven. SIFF is extremely pleased to bring Festival programming to these communities and continue to broaden the Festival experience to those in and outside Seattle borders.

Award-winning actor Edward Norton received the 2010 Golden Space Needle Award for Outstanding Achievement in Acting, and presented his latest film, Tim Blake Nelson's Leaves of Grass, to a sold-out screening and Tribute Event at the Egyptian Theatre. As a part of the Tribute event, SIFF screened early Norton films including 25th Hour, Fight Club, and American History X.

SIFF 2010 Gala and Special Presentation films were extremely strong this year from Opening Night film, The Extra Man, with Academy Award®-winning Director Robert Pulcini (American Splendor), actors Paul Dano (There Will Be Blood, Little Miss Sunshine) and Alicia Goranson ("Roseanne") in attendance, to Closing Night Gala film, Get Low starring Robert Duvall, with Academy Award®-winning Director Aaron Scheider and Producer Dean Zanuck in attendance. Sold-out SIFF Special Presentations included Allen Ginsberg biopic, Howl; The Grease Sing-along (a 30th Anniversary celebration with original Pink Lady Dinah Manoff in attendance); Cane Toads: The Conquest - in 3D; The Wildest Dream - in IMAX (with subject Conrad Anker in attendance); and the "live documentary" Utopia in Four Movements, presented by Academy Award® nominated documentarian Sam Green and sound artist Dave Cerf. SIFF was also extremely proud to welcome Academy Award®-winning director Davis Guggenheim and his latest Sundance award-winning documentary, Waiting for "Superman" for three special Festival screenings and panel events.

The Festival presented Ambiente: New Spanish Cinema, a special spotlight focus on the films of Spain, with an incredible selection of 18 feature films, nine shorts, and three co-productions from the country, including four North American Premieres and many recent Goya and FIPRESCI award-winning films including Agora; Cell 211; The Damned; Garbo: The Spy, Gordos; Me Too; The Dancer and the Thief; and Three Days With the Family.

SIFF Face the Music presented two phenomenal live music and film events. The Magnetic Fields frontman Stephin Merritt joined forces with Daniel Handler (a.k.a. Lemony Snicket) and renowned organist David Hegarty, to deliver a unique and hugely successful original live score to 1916's gorgeous silent adaptation of Jules Vern's 1869 novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea at the Paramount Theatre. Seattle roots rock band, The Maldives, presented an original live score to action-packed silent Western Riders of the Purple Sage (1925) starring the first cowboy superstar, Tom Mix, at the Triple Door, with Seattle Mayor -- and Maldives fan -- Mike McGinn in attendance to introduce the film.

SIFF's youth programs were astounding this year with new youth juries; the FutureWave shorts program (featuring 15 films from young directors under the age of 18); FutureWave and Films4Families features, the fifth Anniversary of the SuperFly Filmmaking Workshop (with a screenplay by award-winning director Peter Bratt); and more than 35 filmmaker visits and screenings in schools. Additionally, SIFF is extremely proud of its new partnership with Adobe Youth Voices in effort to showcase the talents of youth filmmakers, ages 13-18, from across the globe.

Late additions to the Festival included critical smash hit, Thunder Soul, directed by Mark Landsman; Solitary Man, starring Michael Douglas and directed by Brian Koppleman and David Levien; and moody tour-de-force Vengeance, directed by Johnnie To and starring French pop icon Johnny Hallyday.

About the Seattle International Film Festival
Now in its 36th year, the Seattle International Film Festival is the largest and most highly-attended film festival in the United States, showcasing more than 400 films from over 60 countries to an audience of 150,000 attendees annually. Listed by Variety as one of the world's "50 unmissable film festivals," SIFF continues to be recognized as one of the top festivals in North America. SIFF combines the best aspects of a casual film marketplace with our well-established reputation as a great audience festival filmmakers love to attend. SIFF's mission is to create experiences that bring people together to discover extraordinary films from around the world. In addition to the Festival, SIFF operates SIFF Cinema, its year-round flagship theater at McCaw Hall. In 2011, SIFF will open the SIFF Film Center at Seattle Center's Alki Room, thereby fulfilling its long-standing vision of creating a permanent home where SIFF's successful film, education, and community outreach programs can thrive.

The 36th Seattle International Film Festival is made possible in part by support from Comcast, The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Brotherton Cadillac Buick GMC, Alaska Airlines, Don Q Rums, The Wallace Foundation, Wong Doody, American Airlines, Modern Digital, POP, and City Arts Magazine.

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