6/9/2013 | Seattle International Film Festival
By: Jessica Marx | 206.315.0683 |

Harmony Lessons, Our Nixon and C.O.G. Receive Competition Awards
Fanie Fourie's Lobola and Twenty Feet from Stardom Receive Golden Space Needle Audience Awards
James Cromwell (Still Mine) and Samantha Morton (Decoding Annie Parker) Receive Golden Space Needle Acting Awards

SEATTLE (JUNE 9, 2013) - The 39th Seattle International Film Festival, the largest and most highly attended festival in the United States announced the winners of the SIFF 2013 Competition and Golden Space Needle Audience Awards; the awards were presented at a ceremony held at the Seattle Space Needle. The 25-day festival, which began May 16, featured over 447 films representing 85 countries, including 49 World (18 Features, 31 Shorts), 48 North American (38 Features, 10 Shorts), 17 US Premieres (6 Features, 11 Shorts), and over 700 screenings. Additionally, SIFF brought in more than 400 filmmakers, actors and industry professionals.


"Our most successful festival in the history of SIFF is ending on a high note and setting an exciting precedent for the future with Fanie Fourie's Lobola from our inaugural African Pictures programming taking home the top audience prize for best film with a Golden Space Needle Award," said SIFF Artistic and Co-Director Carl Spence. "With once-in-a-lifetime experiences including country western rock band The Maldives performing a haunting score to Victor Sjöström's 1928 classic film The Wind and the opportunity for audiences to meet more than 200 directors with their films across 25 days with massive attendance illustrated once again that Seattle has the most engaged, lively and active audiences of any city in the US."


"I'm thrilled that my first festival as Managing Director was such a record-breaking one," said SIFF Managing and Co-Director Mary Bacarella. "We had higher attendance and more visiting filmmakers than ever before. I look forward to continue to work with SIFF on our year-round programs and events." 



SIFF 2013 Competition Awards


SIFF announced three Competition Awards for Best New Director, Best Documentary, and Best New American Film. Winners in the juried New Director and Documentary competition each received $2,500 in cash, while the New American Cinema competition winner was awarded a copy of Adobe Creative Suite 6: Production Premium edition in addition to the FIPRESCI prize.  


SIFF 2013 Best New Director


Harmony Lessons, directed by Emir Baigazin (2013, Kazakhstan)

JURY STATEMENT: Emir Baigazin's astounding debut feature Harmony Lessons set the bar for all the films that the Narrative Jury watched before and after. On one level, it's the simple tale of a bullied Muslim boy in rural Kazakhstan. But as no single child's life is ever as simple as adults believe, from the moment we meet the dark-eyed, pimply hero chasing down a family sheep to slaughter with his aging babushka, to his ultimate act of vengeance in his struggle for survival, his confrontation with bullies at his local school spirals into a larger tale of societal dominance and submission. Power relations based on intimidation and violence flow from boy to sheep, alpha boy to beta, local police to accused criminals, and ultimately an entire society defined by a hierarchy of male bullying male. Visually exact, transparently acted by a mostly juvenile cast, and quietly terrifying, this Kazakhstan/Germany/France co-production is a hard-won lesson in how brutal life can be that is told with spellbinding assurance by a visionary young talent.

The New Directors Competition jury comprised of Thelma Adams (Yahoo! Movies), David Poland (Movie City News), and Ryan Werner.


SIFF 2013 Best Documentary


Our Nixon, directed by Penny Lane (2013, USA)

JURY STATEMENT: For Best Documentary the prize goes to Penny Lane for Our Nixon. For this original telling of the unraveling of the Nixon presidency, Lane poured over a mountain of archival Super 8 home movie footage and audio to take a story that we think we already know and give it a fresh and human perspective.



The Crash Reel, directed by Lucy Walker (2013, USA)

JURY STATEMENT: We're giving a Special Jury Prize to Lucy Walker for The Crash Reel, a deeply emotional and nuanced look at snowboarder and Olympic hopeful Kevin Pearce, his inspiring journey back from traumatic brain injury, and the healing power of family.


The Documentary Jury comprised of Laura Kim (Inside Job), David Laub (Oscilloscope Laboratories), and Margy Rochlin (Journalist).


SIFF 2013 Best New American CINEMA


C.O.G., directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez (USA, 2013)

JURY STATEMENT: We, the members of FIPRESCI, are very pleased to award the International Critics Prize for Best New American Film to C.O.G., written and directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez. Unsentimental yet openhearted, Alvarez's adaptation of David Sedaris' essay tells a compelling story of youthful self-actualization, of defining encounters with class, sex and religion, that refuses to succumb to the dictates of fashionable identity politics. Its narrative trajectory is fundamentally wayward, yet its clipped, idiosyncratic pacing, its evocative visualization of the fecund landscapes and overcast light of the Pacific Northwest, and its use of the percussive music of Steve Reich converge to immerse us in a very particular world, and to create a film of unlikely momentum, unnerving humour and subtle emotional resonance.


The New American Cinema Jury comprised of members of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI): Andres E Larsson, Andrés Nazarala, and José Teodoro.   


SIFF 2013 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. Over 100,00 ballots were cast by SIFF audiences to determine the winners. Each Golden Space Needle Award winner received a handcrafted, original design by Seattle-based artist Piper O'Neill.


Best Film Golden Space Needle Award

Fanie Fourie's Lobola, directed by Henk Pretorius (South Africa, 2013)


First runner-up: The Rocket, directed by Kim Mordaunt (Australia, 2013)

Second runner-up: Monsters University, directed by Dan Scanlon (USA, 2013)

Third runner-up: Decoding Annie Parker, directed by Steven Bernstein (USA, 2013)

Fourth runner-up: Still Mine, directed by Michael McGowan (Canada, 2013)


Rounding out the top ten: Short Term 12, directed by Destin Daniel Cretton (USA, 2013); Horses of God, directed by Nabil Ayouch (Morocco, 2013); Circles, directed by Srdan Golubovic (Serbia, 2013); The Forgotten Kingdom, directed by Andrew Mudge (USA, 2013); Unfinished Song, directed by Paul Andrew Williams (United Kingdom, 2012); Populaire, directed by Régis Roinsard (France, 2012).


Best Documentary Golden Space Needle Award

Twenty Feet from Stardom, directed by Morgan Neville (USA, 2013)


First runner-up: The Punk Singer, directed by Sini Anderson (USA, 2013)

Second runner-up: Harana, directed by Benito Bautista (Philippines, 2012)

Third runner-up: Alive and Well, directed by Josh Taft (USA, 2013)

Fourth runner-up: Blackfish, directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite (USA, 2013)


Rounding out the top ten: Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth, directed by Pratibha Parmar (USA, 2013); Finding Hillywood, directed by Leah Warshawski, Chris Towey (USA, 2013); Evergreen: The Road to Legalization in Washington, directed by Riley Morton (USA, 2013); SOMM, directed by Jason Wise (USA, 2012); The Otherside, directed by Daniel Torok (USA, 2013); Inequality for All, directed by Jacob Kornbluth (USA, 2013).


Best Director Golden Space Needle Award

Nabil Ayouch, Horses of God, (Morocco, 2012)


First runner-up: David Ondříček, In the Shadow, (Czech Republic, 2012)

Second runner-up: Joss Whedon, Much Ado About Nothing, (USA, 2012)

Third runner-up: Thomas Vinterberg, The Hunt, (Denmark, 2012)

Fourth runner-up: Andrew Mudge, The Forgotten Kingdom, (USA, 2013)


Rounding out the top ten: Sarah Polley, Stories We Tell, (Canada, 2012); Brady Hall, Scrapper, (USA, 2013);Juan Carlos Maneglia, Tana Schémbori, 7 Boxes, (Paraguay, 2012); Reha Erdem, Jin, (Turkey, 2012); Michael Mayer, Out in the Dark, (Israel, 2012); Destin Daniel Cretton, Short Term 12, (USA, 2013).


Best Actor Golden Space Needle Award

James Cromwell, Still Mine, (Canada, 2012)


First runner-up: Mads Mikkelsen, The Hunt, (Denmark, 2012)

Second runner-up: Terence Stamp, Unfinished Song (United Kingdom, 2012)

Third runner-up: Ivan Trejon, In the Shadow, (Czech Republic, 2012)

Fourth runner-up: Sabin Tambrea, Ludwig II, (Germany, 2013)


Rounding out the top ten: Michael Beach, Scrapper, (USA, 2013); Niels Arestrup, You Will Be My Son, (France, 2012); Edward Hogg, Imagine, (Poland, 2012); Ali Suliman, The Attack, (Lebanon, 2012); Casey Affleck, Ain't Them Bodies Saints (USA, 2013); Paul Eenhoorn, This is Martin Bonner, (USA, 2013).


Best Actress Golden Space Needle Award

Samantha Morton, Decoding Annie Parker, (USA, 2013)


First runner-up: Onata Aprile, What Maisie Knew, (USA, 2012)

Second runner-up: Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha, (USA, 2012)

Third runner-up: Juliane Köhler, Two Lives, (Germany, 2012)

Fourth runner-up: Martina Gedeck, The Wall, (Austria, 2012)


Rounding out the top ten: Brie Larson, Short Term 12, (USA, 2013); Robin Weigert, Concussion, (USA, 2013); Lisa Tomaschewsky, The Girl With Nine Wigs, (Germany, 2013); Anna Giles, Scrapper, (USA, 2013); Jeanne Moreau, A Lady in Paris, (Estonia, 2012); Alma Prica, Halima's Path, (Croatia, 2012).  


Best Short Film Golden Space Needle Award

Spooners, directed by Bryan Horch (USA, 2012)


First runner-up: My Right Eye (The Apple of My Eye), directed by Josecho de Linares (Spain, 2012)

Second runner-up: Malaria, directed by Edson Oda (Brazil, 2013)

Third runner-up: Fora, directed by Ayuub Kasasa Mago (Rwanda, 2012)

Fourth runner-up: While You Weren't Looking, directed by Jeremy Mackie (USA, 2012)


Rounding out the top ten: Good Karma $1, directed by Jason Berger, Amy Laslett (USA, 2012); Noodle Fish, directed by Jin-man Kim (South Korea, 2012); Walking the Dogs, directed by Jeremy Brock (United Kingdom, 2012); The Roper, directed by Ewan McNichol, Anna Sandilands (USA, 2012); Macropolis, directed by Joel Simon (United Kingdom, 2012); Penny Dreadful, directed by Shane Atkinson (USA, 2012).   



Lena Sharpe Award for Persistence of Vision,
Presented by Women in Film/Seattle


This award is presented to the female director whose feature film receives the highest number of audience ballots.   

The Punk Singer, directed by Sini Anderson (USA, 2013)



Reel NW Award, presented by KCTS 9    


For the second year in a row, KCTS 9 has partnered with the Seattle International Film Festival to present the Reel NW Award, which was created to bring new recognition and new audiences to a deserving film and help strengthen the Pacific Northwest's independent film community. The winning film will received 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). 


Reel NW Award

GRAND JURY PRIZE  Big Joy, directed by Eric Slade and Stephen Silha (USA)

JURY STATEMENT: The Seattle International Film Festival assembled an impressive array of Northwest Connection films in 2013, with stories ranging from heart-breaking illness to life-affirming music, from the ballot box to the scrap yard, from Northwest noir to volatile blends of fact and fiction, and many places in between.  Quality was very high across the board, great news for local film fans and a difficult challenge for the jurors.  In a very close decision, the 2013 Reel NW Award goes to a beautifully constructed film that personifies the essence of independent creative spirit and re-discovers a great American story, which has been largely forgotten.


The Reel NW jury comprised of Randy Brinson (KCTS 9/Executive Director of Programming), Lyall Bush (Northwest Film Forum/Executive Director) and Chris Swenson (Seattle Office of Film + Music/Film and Special Events Program Manager).



SIFF 2013 FutureWave and Youth Jury Awards


Youth Jury Award for Best FutureWave Feature


The Spectacular Now, directed by James Ponsoldt (USA)

JURY STATEMENT: For its relatable story that embodies the teenage struggle in a realistic manner and for its powerful ensemble of actors, the Youth Jury Award for Best FutureWave Feature goes to The Spectacular Now.



Blackbird, directed by Jason Buxton (Canada)

The FutureWave Jury would also like to give a Special Jury Prize to Blackbird for its subtly powerful and original story featuring compelling performances.


The jury was comprised of six high-school students that viewed eight FutureWave features.


Youth Jury Award for Best Films4Families Feature


Ernest & Celestine, directed by Benjamin Renner, Stephane Aubier, and Vincent Patar (France)

JURY STATEMENT: The film we chose told a fascinating story about characters from two different worlds learning to be friends. Through their friendship we learned that even though two worlds may seem completely different, in many ways they are the same.


The jury was comprised of five elementary and middle school students that viewed four Films4Families features.


SIFF's WaveMaker Award for Excellence in Youth Filmmaking was awarded at the FutureWave Shorts program on May 27 at SIFF Cinema Uptown as part of SIFF ShortsFest Weekend. More than 100 short films were submitted from young filmmakers aged 11-18, from around the world. The program also featured a selection of audience favorites from the National Film Festival for Talented Youth. The WaveMaker Award was selected from the 14 presented finalists. TheFilmSchool faculty member Rick Stevenson also awarded two scholarships to TheFilmSchool's Prodigy Camp to two FutureWave filmmakers in recognition of their outstanding storytelling.


WaveMaker Award for Excellence in Youth Filmmaking


The Painted Girl, directed by Ben Kadie (USA, 2013)


FutureWave Shorts Audience Award

Piece of Cake, directed by Susan Procopio and Katherine Procopio (Canada, 2012)



A Quest for Peace: Nonviolence Among Religions, directed by Matthew Evans (USA, 2013)
Runner up: Laser Rabbit, directed by Matt Wells (USA, 2013)   



SIFF 2013 Short Film Jury Awards


As a qualifying festival of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, short films that received the Grand Jury Prize for Best Live Action, Animated, and Documentary Short 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 complies with the Academy rules. Winners received a $1,000 cash prize.




My Right Eye (The Apple of My Eye), directed by Josecho de Linares (Spain, 2012)

JURY STATEMENT: For its beautifully crafted and profound exploration of love and loss told through touching performances that depict a young man's authentic journey of rediscovery, the jury awards Best Narrative Short to The Apple of My Eye, written and directed by Josecho de Linares.


Penny Dreadful, directed by Shane Atkinson (USA, 2012)
Mobile Homes, directed by Vladimir de Fontenay (USA/France, 2012)
Decimation, directed by Wade Jackson (USA, 2013)

JURY STATEMENT: For its stylish direction and a terrific performance by Oona Laurence as a young kidnap victim who turns the tables on her abductors, the jury would like to give a Special Jury Mention to the short film Penny Dreadful.   The jury would also like to award a Special Jury Mention to Mobile Homes, a suspenseful, moving narrative with where the main characters stumble upon a most unexpected mean of escape. The jury awards a Special Jury Mention for outstanding ensemble filmmaking supported by the Northwest filmmaking community to the cast and crew of Decimation, written and directed by Wade Jackson.




Keep a Modest Head, directed by Deco Dawson (Canada, 2012)

JURY STATEMENT: Although there were many great films to discuss and debate, ultimately there was one film that the jury unanimously felt was particularly worthy of receiving the Best Documentary Short award. For its brilliantly surrealistic imagining of the life of the last of the surrealists, the jury gives its award to Keep A Modest Head, directed by Deco Dawson.


Today, directed by Philip Montgomery (USA, 2013)
JURY STATEMENT: For its touching and inspiring story about a man who learns to find meaning in his life's work even after a tragic accident, the jury awards a Special Jury Mention to Today, directed by Phillip Montgomery.  




Woody, directed by Stuart Bowen (Australia) 

JURY STATEMENT: For the award for Best Animated Short, the jury has unanimously decided upon a film that told a lovely story about a guy who was just like everyone else, but wanted deeply to be something different than what he was. The filmmakers took the art of film as a visual medium to heart - with no dialogue and without facial expressions, they crafted a complete story that evoked compassion for the character. The jury awards Best Animated Short to Woody, directed by Stuart Bowen.  



Malaria, directed by Edson Oda (Brazil, 2013)
The Hunter, directed by Marieka Walsh (Australia, 2012)  
JURY STATEMENT: For its intriguing and original visual storytelling, combined with the tautness of an old-school Western, the jury awards a Special Jury Mention to Malaria, directed by Edson Shundl Oda.   We had a very difficult time making a final decision between two films. After much discussion, the jury has decided to award a Special Jury Mention to The Hunter, directed by Marieka Walsh, for its beautifully simple, yet deeply emotional illustrations integrated into a folk-tale of a story.   


The Short Film jury comprised of Jannat Gargi, Lela Meadow-Conner, and Kim Voynar.





This year's Festival kicked off with the much anticipated screening of Much Ado About Nothing which director Joss Whedon and the film's stars Alexis Denisof, Amy Acker, Nathan Fillion, and Clark Gregg walk the Opening Night red carpet. Washington native Kyle MacLachlan received the Seattle International Film Festival Award for Outstanding Achievement in Acting. The awards presentation included an onstage interview with film clips from his career, an audience Q&A moderated by David Poland, followed by a screening of the Twin Peaks pilot. Peter Greenaway's lecture proved to be both an enlightening and exciting adventure, which was followed by a screening of Greenaway's latest film, Goltzius and the Pelican Company. Additional guests who attended the Festival included Andy Garcia and Vera Farmiga for the World Premiere of Middleton, Alice Walker the subject of Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth, film subjects Macklemore and Blue Scholars for the World Premiere of The Otherside, and Dr. Mary-Claire King and Annie Parker who met for the first time on stage following the film screening of Decoding Annie Parker, which is based on their true story. SIFF closed with the North American Festival Premiere of Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring and welcomed actorsIsrael Broussard & Katie Chang from the film. Film screenings took place throughout the cities of Seattle, Renton and Kirkland.


For more information regarding 2013 Festival Award winners, including photographs, please contact the SIFF Public Relations Department (206.315.0694,





Founded in 1976, SIFF creates experiences that bring people together to discover extraordinary films from around the world with the Seattle International Film Festival, SIFF Cinema, and SIFF Education. Recognized as one of the top film festivals in North America, the Seattle International Film Festival (May 16 - June 9, 2013) is the largest, most highly attended film festival in the United States reaching more than 150,000 annually. The 25-day festival is renowned for its wide-ranging and eclectic programming, presenting over 250 features and 150 short films from over 70 countries each year. SIFF Cinema exhibits premiere theatrical engagements, repertory, classic, and revival film showings 365 days a year on four screens at the SIFF Film Center and the historic SIFF Cinema Uptown, reaching more than 100,000 attendees annually. SIFF Education offers educational programs for all audiences serving more than 11,000 students and youth in the community with free programs each year.