5/31/2017 |
Nina Cates | 817.776.1624 | nina.cates@siff.net

Awards Given for Best Live Action, Documentary, Animation

SEATTLE—May 31, 2017—The Seattle International Film Festival, the largest and most highly attended festival in the United States, announced today this year's ShortsFest Jury Award winners. ShortsFest Weekend, SIFF's celebration of the short form, takes place every year over Memorial Day Weekend at SIFF Cinema Uptown. This year's Festival (May 18 - June 11) features 163 short films, including 22 World, 12 North American, and 19 US premieres.

"Year after year the Seattle International Film Festival gets to welcome an incredible caliber of short filmmakers from across the world. In addition to being an Academy Award®-qualifying festival, our ShortsFest Weekend celebrates an array of shorts packages created to celebrate an abundance of talent," says SIFF's Interim Artistic Director Beth Barrett. 

Executive Director Sarah Wilke adds, "We are thrilled to have the opportunity to screen 163 short films this year and to celebrate these filmmakers during ShortsFest Weekend. One of the highlights of this festival is seeing so many shorts filmmakers come together and share their stories with our Seattle audience."

ShortsFest jurors chose winners in Live Action, Animation, and Documentary categories. All ShortsFest films shown at the Festival are also eligible for Golden Space Needle Audience Awards. Each ShortsFest Grand Jury winner will receive $2,500, and is eligible to be nominated for an Academy Award® in its respective Short Film category (Live Action, Animated, or Documentary).

ShortsFest is sponsored by Withoutabox, IMDb Pro, Classic King FM, Christopher Newell, Seattle Weekly, Women in Film Seattle, Shoreline Community College, Solo Bar and Eatery, Lagunitas Brewing Company, and Chloe Wine Collection.




"Women&Wine" (Norway), directed by Liv Karin Dahlstrøm

JURY STATEMENT: For its honest depiction of friendship that, over a short period of time, authentically runs the spectrum from silly and beautiful to awkward and heartbreaking, we give the Jury Award for Best Live Action Short to "Women&Wine", directed by Liv Karin Dahlstrom.


"Nothing Ever Really Ends" (Norway), directed by Jakob Rørvik

JURY STATEMENT: For its exceptional craftsmanship in all areas of the filmmaking process we decided that "Nothing Ever Really Ends" could not go unmentioned. From the writing and directing to the editing and acting this film unfolds effortlessly. And all in the service of an incredibly entertaining and relatable story.


"Fanny" (Norway), directed by Halfdan Ullmann Tøndel

JURY STATEMENT: We'd also like to recognize a filmmaker who impressed us with an intimate and frank film about sexuality and loneliness. For his unique vision, heartbreaking honesty, and nuanced direction in the film "Fanny", we'd like to award Halfdan Ullmann Tøndel a special jury award for emerging director.



"Refugee" (USA), directed by Joyce Chen and Emily Moore

JURY STATEMENT: For many refugees, getting to the United States is only the first step of a decades-long journey. "Refugee" is the moving and powerful story of a mother of five, Aicha Diop, whose journey to obtain asylum encapsulates the hope of life in America, as well as its harsh political realities.


"Waiting for Hassana" (Nigeria), directed by Ifunanya Maduka

JURY STATEMENT: By bringing to light one young girl's traumatic experience, this important documentary gives a voice to all 276 teenage girls whose lives were violently interrupted by Boko Haram in 2014. This film is a necessary reminder that an issue doesn't vanish when its hashtag stops trending.



"Pussy" (Poland), directed by Renata Gasiorowska

JURY STATEMENT: A witty and whimsical animated short about a girl and her body, "Pussy" quickly takes the audience on a wild ride through female sex positivity.


"The Head Vanishes" (France), directed by Franck Dion

JURY STATEMENT: Through its beautiful animation and unique perspective, "The Head Vanishes" poignantly captures the exceptional challenges, the hopeful glimmers, the peaceful moments, and the continual struggles of dealing with a mentally ill parent.



$1000 prize supported by Amazon

"Battles" (Canada, Quebec), directed by Karen Pinette Fontaine

JURY STATEMENT: For its richly composed visuals and poetic journey of self that takes the viewer from a hollow party atmosphere to a seemingly empty space that becomes filled with the narrator's culture that is thriving within her.


Each winner will be awarded a $1250 scholarship to the Prodigy Camp.

"The Petition" (USA), directed by Riley Goodwin and Kibiriti Majuto



Ina Pira is the newest member of Vimeo's Curation team. Prior to her job at Vimeo, Ina worked as a Senior Programmer for the Hamptons International Film Festival, the Montclair Film Festival, and the Sarasota Film Festival. In addition to her programming duties, Ina has helped manage and select scripts for the Hamptons Screenwriters Lab and other year-round programs.

Lacey Leavitt's feature film producing credits include Megan Griffiths' Sadie (in post-production), The Off Hours (Sundance Film Festival '11), and Lucky Them (TIFF '13); Lynn Shelton's Laggies (Sundance '14) and Touchy Feely (Sundance '13); Colin Trevorrow's Safety Not Guaranteed (Sundance '12); Todd Rohal's The Catechism Cataclysm (Sundance '15); and lastly The Automatic Hate (SXSW '15), which she produced with Alix Madigan (Winter's Bone). She co-directed and produced the award-winning roller derby documentary Blood on the Flat Track (SIFF '07), and directed the short films "D.C.I." (SIFF Fly Film '12) and "Escape" (commissioned by the Orcas Island Film Festival '15).

Lacey is the co-founder and CEO of the cinematic content studio Mechanical Dreams, which harnesses both emerging and traditional technologies to create a powerful and diverse array of stories. MD's first virtual reality film Eagle Bone (directed by Tracy Rector) premiered at SIFFX '16 and had its international premiere at TIFF '16. "Little Potato" (directed by Wes Hurley) just won the Best Short Documentary Award at SXSW '17, and you can see that and the work-in-progress VR companion piece "Potato Dreams"at SIFF '17. Lacey is an alumni of the University of Washington and the Sundance Creative Producing Lab.

Tony Fulgham is a writer and director in Seattle, WA.  Tony started his career at Digital Kitchen before moving to LA to work for Imaginary Forces. In 2005 he founded Seattle production company World Famous and spent a decade there as a live action director and the Executive Creative Director. Tony left World Famous in 2015 to focus full time on writing and directing. He is an award-winning commercial director and independent filmmaker. He is currently in development on his first feature length film.


In addition to writing grants for the nonprofit Milwaukee Film, Anna Sampers has been curating the "Shorter Is Better" section of the Milwaukee Film Festival since its first annual event in 2009. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Anna received her BFA in Film, with a double minor in Film Studies and Spanish. Anna is also an accomplished, award-winning filmmaker whose work has screened at the Wisconsin Film Festival and the Ivy Film Festival, among others.

Nancy Chang is the Executive Director of Reel Grrls. She believes that storytelling is the key to building connections to form empathy. Films are our portals to hear the voices and stories that bring us outside of our own bubbles. She holds an MPA and a BFA from the University of Washington. She loves girl centric communities and co-founded Skate Like a Girl as a non-profit. She sits on various boards including Skate Like a Girl, and Artist Trust.

David Chen is a director and video producer, as well as the editor-at-large at slashfilm.com. He hosts and produces podcasts such as "The /Filmcast," "The Tobolowsky Files," and "A Cast of Kings," which collectively receive over 200,000 downloads per week. His video work has been featured/mentioned in online publications such as Rolling Stone, Buzzfeed, Slate, Vulture, Indiewire, Bustle, Cosmopolitan, @Midnight, Vimeo Staff Picks, Allocine, and Digg. In 2014, he directed The Primary Instinct, which premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival.