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Seattle International Film Festival awards

The 31st Annual Seattle International Film Festival

The 31st Annual Seattle International Film Festival announces award winners and concludes its 25-day run on Sunday June 12 with the North American premiere of award winning director Gus Van Sant’s film Last Days. Van Sant will be in attendance for the screening, which will be followed by the Closing Night Gala.

SIFF 2005 was a great year and brought many eminent Seattleites together—from Microsoft’s Bill Gates to Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam and Ann Wilson of Heart, to the students of John Stanford International School, Asa Mercer Middle School and Roosevelt High School--to check out the newest in international and national cinema and face to face with over 150 directors, actors, screenwriters, and producers from around the world.

With the presentation of 348 films (182 narrative films, a record 55 documentaries and 111 shorts), culled from more than 59 countries worldwide—including 10 World, 18 North American and 10 U.S. Premieres—SIFF 2005 can be considered an unqualified success.

Opening night film, Miranda July’s Me and You and Everyone We Know was awarded the Cannes Film Festival’s Camera d’Or Prize just two days after kicking off SIFF 2005. The festival also recognized Peter Sarsgaard, in attendance for Craig Lucas’ film The Dying Gaul, for Outstanding Achievement in Acting and honored Joan Allen, in attendance presenting her new filmYes, with a special award created by internationally renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly. SIFF 2005 proudly presented three new highly successful festival spotlights--Face the Music, an incredible selection of 12 music documentaries; ¡Viva Argentina!, a showcase of 12 films from one of cinema’s hottest regions; and New Pioneers, featuring films that redefine the concept of cinema.

After a banner year in 2004, a year that saw a 23% increase in box office under the new festival leadership of Helen Loveridge and Carl Spence, SIFF 2005 continued to grow the audience for world class films with a 5% increase projected for this year’s edition.

“SIFF 2005 was a fantastic year and we are ecstatic to see the success of the festival continue to grow and to again have such wonderful support city-wide. We truly live in a world class film city and are extremely proud to host this festival and bring the best and newest in cinema annually to Seattle,” says Carl Spence, SIFF Director of Programming.

In a ceremony held earlier today, the Golden Space Needle Award winners were announced. Over 67,000 ballots were cast by SIFF audiences to determine the winner in six different categories—Best Film, Best Documentary, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Short Film.

Also presented were the 31st Annual Seattle International Film Festival’s juried awards: Best American Film, Best New Director, Best Documentary Award, Best Live Action Short and Best Animated Short.


- Grand Jury Prize, Best New Director: Ilya Khrzhanovsky, 4 (Russia)

"Ilya Khrzhanovsky is a director of singular vision who crafted an endless parade of haunting images, a wide range of stylistic ideas, and a demanding socio-political subtext. This may be the most challenging film of the festival and is certainly the most audacious debut by a new director in many years." --Jury Statement

-Special Jury Prize, Best New Director: Brad McGann, In My Father’s Den (New Zealand)

"Brad McGann has crafted a provocative, evocative mystery about family and forgiveness that suggest we will be seeing his work for a long time to come with In My Father's
Den." --Jury Statement

The Jury for Best New Director was comprised of David Poland (, Fred Tsui (Media Asia) and Bill Murray (Northwest Screenwriter’s Guild).

-Grand Jury Prize, Best New American Film: Swimmers, directed by Doug Sadler

“We have decided to award this year’s New American Cinema prize to Doug Sadler’s Swimmers, in recognition of its intelligent, emotional perspective on American family. With a screenplay that sidesteps convention (while honoring a certain classicism of storytelling), and performances that do justice to their characters’ often-surprising patterns of behavior, Swimmers shows us a working class family from the American South that transcends discussions of Red States and Blue States, focusing instead on the infinitely more complex, beautiful, and rewarding inner life of real human beings, proving that ordinary people are always the most compelling characters.” --Jury Statement

-Special Jury Prize, Best New American Film: Ellie Parker, directed by Scott Coffey

“We’d also like to award a special mention to the bold, courageous, and hilarious performance of Naomi Watts in Ellie Parker, a film that showcases her unique talents in a fresh, innovative style.” --Jury Statement

The Jury for Best New American Film was comprised of Fridrik Thor Fridriksson (Director/Producer, Iceland), Michael Weber (Sales Agent, Bavaria Film International),
and Sean Nelson (Seattle-based writer and musician).

- Grand Jury Prize, Best Documentary: Based on a True Story, directed by Walter Stokman (Netherlands)

“Based on a True Story stood out as the most fully accomplished film in the competition, explaining the interplay of truth and fiction, and of who ultimately owns the story of a documentary film, the maker or the subject.” --Jury Statement

-Special Jury Prize, Best Documentary: Trudell, directed by Heather Rae (US)

“As well the jury would like to award a special prize to Heather Rae’s Trudell, a deeply felt portrait of a Native American activist poet and performer John Trudell.” --Jury Statement

The Jury for Best Documentary is comprised of Ida Martins (Media Luna Entertainment, Germany), Mark Olsen (Los Angeles Times/Sight and Sound/Film Comment), Angela Pressburger (Programming Consultant, Vancouver International Film Festival).

-Grand Jury Prize, Best Live Action Short: Everything In This Country Must, directed by Gary McKendry (UK)

-Grand Jury Prize, Best Animated Short: The Raftman’s Razor, directed by Keith Bearden (US)

-Special Jury Prizes for Best Short:
Can’t Stop Breathing, directed by Amy Neil (Scotland)
Phantom Limb, directed by Jay Rosenblatt (US)
La Vie D’Un Chien, directed by John Harden (US)

The Jury for Short Films is comprised of Michael Seiwerath (Executive Director of Northwest Film Forum), Keith Simanton (Managing Director,, Shannon Gee (Writer/Producer).


- Golden Space Needle Award for Best Picture: Innocent Voices (Mexico)
Directed by Luis Mandoki and written and produced by Oscar Torres based on his own childhood experience during the El Salvador civil war.

1st Runner Up for Golden Space Needle Award for Best Picture is Howl’s Moving Castle (Japan) directed by Hayao Miyazaki; 2nd Runner Up is As it is in Heaven (Sweden) directed by Kay Pollak; 3rd Runner Up is Banlieue 13 (France) directed by Pierre Morel; 4th Runner Up is Yesterday (South Africa) directed by Darrell James Roodt.

- Golden Space Needle Award for Best Documentary: Murderball (USA) Directed by Henry-Alex Rubin, Dana Adam Shapiro

1st Runner Up for Golden Space Needle Award for Best Documentary is The March of the Penguins (France) directed by Luc Jacquet; 2nd Runner-up is After Innocence (USA) directed by Jessica Sanders; 3rd Runner-up is Mad Hot Ballroom (USA) directed by Marilyn Agrelo; and Fishermen’s Terminal (USA) directed by B.J. Bullert was 4th Runner Up.

- Golden Space Needle Award for Best Director: Gregg Araki, Mysterious Skin (USA)

1st Runner Up for Golden Space Needle Award for Best Director is Sally Potter for Yes (USA); 2nd Runner Up Susanne Bier for Brothers (Denmark); 3rd Runner Up is a three way tie--Wong Kar-wai for 2046 (Hong Kong), Kim Ki-duk for 3-Iron (South Korea) and Alice Wu for Saving Face (USA); and Drew Emery for Inlaws and Outlaws is 4th Runner Up.

- Golden Space Needle Award for Best Actress: Joan Allen, Yes (USA)

1st Runner Up for Golden Space Needle Award for Best Actress is Maggie Cheung for Clean (France); 2nd Runner Up is Glenn Close for Heights (USA); 3rd Runner Up is Shirley Henderson for Frozen (United Kingdom); and 4th Runner Up is Amy Adams for Junebug (USA).

-Golden Space Needle Award for Best Actor: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Mysterious Skin (USA)

1st Runner Up for Golden Space Needle Award for Best Actor is Peter Sarsgaard for The Dying Gaul (USA); 2nd Runner Up is Mathieu Amalric for King and Queens (France); 3rd Runner Up is Romain Duris for The Beat That My Heart Skipped (France); and the 4th Runner Up is Parviz Parastui for The Lizard (Iran).

-Golden Space Needle Award for Best Short: The Raftman’s Razor (USA) directed by Keith Bearden (winner receives fabulous Power Mac G5 courtesy of IrisInk and Seattle Mac Store).

1st Runner Up for Golden Space Needle Award for Best Short is While the Widow is Away (USA) directed by Adam Reid; 2nd Runner Up is La Vie d'un Chien (USA) directed by John Harden; 3rd Runner Up is Cashback (United Kingdom) directed by Sean Ellis; and The Mantis Parable (USA) directed by Joshua Staub is 4th Runner Up.
Women in Cinema Lena Sharpe Award: After Innocence, directed by Jessica Sanders Inaugural Seattle Filmmakers Award: Sean Kirby, Cinematographer: The Gits and Police Beat The Seattle Filmmakers award was designed by nationally acclaimed, master glassblower James Mongrain. Mongrain's work is inspired by the Venetian tradition of goblet making and currently, he works for internationally renowned artists including Dale Chihuly, Kiki Smith and Jim Dine.
The Seattle International Film Festival is the largest festival in the US and has been cited by the New York Times, Variety, Film Comment and USA Today as one of the top five festivals in North America. It is also one of only seven film festivals in North America chosen to qualify films for consideration in the Independent Spirit Awards, the Indie film world’s equivalent of the Oscars.

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