Competitions and Awards

Documentary Competition

Unscripted and uncut, the world around us is a perennial resource of unexpected, informative, and altogether absorbing storytelling. For years, documentary filmmakers have brought these untold stories to life and introduced us to a vast array of fascinating topics we may have never known existed.   Films in Competition

Films4Families Competition

Join SIFF each weekend morning throughout the Festival for extraordinary matinee experiences of both international and new American films created for children and the young at heart. 

FutureWave Competition

The WaveMaker Award is given to the winner of the juried competition in the FutureWave Film category. All accepted FutureWave films are eligible for this award.

Golden Space Needle Awards

For the past 28 years, we have celebrated our most popular films and filmmakers with the Golden Space Needle Audience Award. Created to recognize SIFF audiences' favorite films, awards are given to the Festival's Best Feature Film, Documentary Film, Director, Actor, Actress, and Short Film. Meet the GSN Award artist, Piper O'Neill.

New American Cinema Competition

With each passing year, the output from American filmmakers continues to surprise, confound, and inspire us. From lyrical science fiction to stark realism, we have assembled this set of 12 films that we are sure will delight audiences looking to explore the exciting vanguard of New American Cinema.   Films in Competition

New Directors Competition

This year, 12 new international voices have been selected for our New Directors Competition, which presents the freshest and most exciting perspectives in global cinema.   Films in Competition

Reel NW Award

SIFF again welcomes KCTS 9 as proud sponsor of the Reel NW Award, which is presented to a feature-length film in the Northwest Connections section. In 2012, the inaugural Reel NW Award went to Eden, directed by Megan Griffiths.

Selection as a Reel NW Award winner indicates excellence in storytelling as reflected in writing, character development and story structure, story-enhancing production values, and a creative spirit emblematic of independent filmmaking.

The winning film will receive a $2,500 cash prize from KCTS 9 and an offer to be broadcast on KCTS 9's Reel NW independent film series, contingent on meeting broadcast requirements. To be eligible for consideration, a film must not have a distribution deal in place when reviewed by the Reel NW Award jury. The jury is comprised of Randy Brinson, Executive Director of Programming for KCTS 9; Lyall Bush, Executive Director of Northwest Film Forum; and Chris Swenson, Film and Special Events Program Manager at Seattle Office of Film + Music.

ShortsFest Competition

Join us over Memorial Day Weekend at SIFF Cinema Uptown for ShortsFest Weekend, our annual celebration of the short form.