2019 Seattle International Film Festival ShortsFest Winners Announced

5/27/2019 |
Amanda Bedell, Festival PR Manager amanda.bedell@siff.net | 206.315.0696

Nearly 100 filmmakers attended ShortsFest with Jury Awards given to Narrative, Animation, Documentary and FutureWave short films.

SEATTLE, WA—May 27, 2019—The 2019 Seattle International Film Festival is proud to announce this year's ShortsFest Jury Award winners. Each Grand Jury Prize winner receives $2,500 and winners may also qualify to enter their respective Short Film category of the Academy Awards® for the concurrent season without the theatrical run. ShortsFest is sponsored by IMDbPro, the essential resource for entertainment industry professionals.

This year, nearly 100 shorts filmmakers ascended on Seattle for ShortsFest Weekend that ran from Thursday, May 23 through Memorial Day, Monday, May 27, 2019 at SIFF Cinema Uptown.  Every year SIFF presents a collection of short films that make lasting impressions and ignite audience's imaginations. Short films, though limited in length, are bursting with creativity generated by accessibility, as the filmmakers are often free from the financial constraints of a feature film. The results often break the rules of cinema itself resulting in a completely unique experience.  IMDbPro is the essential resource for entertainment industry professionals. ShortsFest Jury Award winners will receive a free one-year membership to IMDbPro, which includes comprehensive information and tools designed to help entertainment industry professionals achieve success throughout all stages of their career.



Sin Cielo (USA, 2018), Director: Jianna S. Maarten Saada
Jury Statement: Moved by the complexity and intimacy of character, yet jolted by the devastating implications of turning a blind eye, the jury was deeply impressed by this film's ability to tell a singular story that shines a light on the larger global crisis of femicide. Congratulations to Jianna S. Maarten Saada and the team behind Sin Cielo.

Rock (USA, 2019), Director: Jacob Rosen
Jury Statement: Delighted by its unexpected narrative and capacity for fun. The jury wanted to give an honorable mention to Jacob Rosen and the filmmaking team behind Rock.


All on a Mardi Gras Day (USA, 2019), Director: Michal Pietrzyk
Jury Statement: For introducing us to an artist beset by many challenges, including post-Katrina displacement (and the gentrification that followed in its wake), who finds community and purpose in honoring the Indigenous people that provided safe harbor for fleeing slaves, the jury prize for documentary goes to Michal Pietrzyk for All on a Mardi Gras Day.

Fast Horse (Canada, 2019), Director: Alexandra Lazarowich (Cree)
Jury Statement: A visit to the fascinating and little-known world of the dangerous, high-stakes game of bareback horse racing, Alexandra Lazarowich has created an exhilarating and beautiful film about the Blackfoot First Nation tradition that was almost lost and is now becoming North America's original extreme sport.

Everything You Wanted to Know About Sudden Birth* (*but were afraid to ask) (United Kingdom, 2019), Director: Scott Calonico
Jury Statement: Breaching completely new territory with a story that itself examines an obscure film, Scott Calonico has delivered a film that is hilarious, disturbing, and educational.


The Seahorse Trainer (Canada, 2019), Directors: Ricardo Bonisoli, Babak BinaJury Statement: A stunning achievement in an animated/live action hybrid, creating both a rich world for the viewer to inhabit, and answering the question of what might be the product of human and seahorse relations, the jury prize for animation goes to Ricardo Bonisoli and Babak Bina for The Seahorse Trainer.

Egg (France, 2018), Director: Martina ScarpelliJury Statement: For its bold visionary style that takes us on a journey as visceral as it is mesmerizing, a Special Mention for Best Animation Short goes to Martina Scarpelli for Egg

Wild Love (France, 2018), Directors: Paul Autric, Quentin Camus, Maryka Laudet, Léa Georges, Zoé Sottiaux, Corentin Yvergniaux
Jury Statement: Proving that crime shall not go unpunished (especially in wilderness) Paul Autric, Quentin Camus, Léa Georges, Maryka Laudet, Zoé Sottiaux, and Corentin Yvergniaux have created an animated short that is anything but predictable, full of laughs, and proves that, in the end, nature always wins.  


grief.exe (USA, 2018), Director: Dylan Santa Cruz
Jury Statement: For its combination of a polished narrative with compelling subject matter, grief.exe brings necessary attention to adolescent male vulnerability. We are excited to see more films by Dylan Santa Cruz.

PRODIGY CAMP SCHOLARSHIP The winners will be awarded a $1000 scholarship to the 2019 Prodigy Camp.
Stuffed (USA, 2018), Director: Sam Kellman
Fifteen (USA, 2019), Director: AJ Baldwin



Missy Laney
Missy Laney is the Director of Development at Adult Swim. Laney previously worked at the Sundance Institute growing their #ArtistServices Initiative, a program that focused on how technology is changing the way audiences interact with films and at BitTorrent Inc. leading their film strategy where she launched The Discovery Fund, BitTorrent's first ever artist granting initiative.

Carlos Rios
Carlos Rios has a degree in Information Sciences from the Barcelona Autonomous University, a post-graduate degree in Cultural Management and Policies. In 1994 he was the Co-founder and promoter of the film broadcaster 100.000 Retinas, an entity dedicated to promoting film as culture. He has been promoter and coordinator of the section CINEAMBIGÚ, a weekly film space that offered the best films without distribution in our country. He was for more than 10 years Co-director of the Barcelona Asian Film Festival - BAFF and since 2010 Director of Noucinemart (film broadcaster and distributor) and the D'A Film Festival Barcelona.

Rana San
Rana San is an artist and arts administrator whose creative practice melds dreamwork, written word, body in motion, video poetry, and analog photography. She's interested in the ways we relate to ourselves, each other, our surroundings, the unknown, and the new meanings that are made in spaces where artistic mediums meet.
In community, Rana crafts collective experiences that elevate the work of artists and activists using film and contemporary performing arts to incite public dialogue and social change. She is the Artistic Director at Northwest Film Forum and serves on the short film committee for the Seattle Turkish Film Festival.


A.J. Eaton
Director, writer A.J. Eaton was born and raised in Idaho. He became inspired to become a filmmaker observing his father, a folk musician, write on a song for a small documentary. Eaton makes his feature-length directorial debut with David Crosby: Remember My Name (2019), a natural step for someone who grew up around music. He cites Mark Twain as an inspiration, following his advice to "write what you know" and "make movies and tell stories about subjects and themes you're familiar with and passionate about."

Anna Feder
Anna currently serves as the director of programming in the Visual and Media Arts department at Emerson College where she curates and oversees the Bright Lights Film Series. Bright Lights is a free, public film and conversation series, screening 50 films a year in a cinema in the Paramount Center in downtown Boston. Anna has over twenty years experience in curating and creating cinema environments at several festivals including the Boston Underground Film Festival (where she served as director for seven years), SFIndie, and Wicked Queer. She speaks on audience building, the power of communal experience and collaborative filmmaking at national conferences including the University Film and Video Association, the Arthouse Convergence, and SXSW. She also teaches a course on cinema exhibition and has started a movement to encourage those in exhibition to teach their craft. She is an evangelist for #cinemaculture and believes that everyone needs to see their stories reflected back to them in a darkened theater.

Wes Hurley
Wes Hurley is a Russian-born Seattle-based filmmaker/writer. In addition to creating the cult TV series Capitol Hill, Hurley directed and produced over a dozen shorts, including the acclaimed autobiographical doc Little Potato (co-directed with Nathan Miller) which won 27 awards including the Oscar-qualifying Jury Prize at SXSW. Hurley's first VR piece Potato Dreams was presented at AFI, IDFA, Sheffield Doc Fest, and SIFF. He is a recipient of 2019 Creative Capital Award, The Advocate Magazine's Person to Watch, City Arts Magazine's Artist of the Year and a regular contributor to Huffington Post.


Leo Pfeifer
Leo Pfeifer is a commercial and doc director based in LA and Seattle who believes in telling stories that create empathy and connection. His films have received hundreds of thousands of views online and been featured by Directors Notes, BOOOOOOM TV, GLAAD, The Seattle Times, and Upworthy.

Melinda Raebyne
Tacoma-based actor Melinda Raebyne began filmmaking in 2015 after ten years of acting. Melinda's art is inspired by the saying "great art doesn't just capture the moment, it allows you to feel it." Motivated from her own personal experiences, and the resilience of the human spirit, she uses her films to examine important social injustices while giving a voice to those in our society who've become invisible.

Sudeshna Sen
Sudeshna Sen is a Seattle based filmmaker. She is the writer/ director of Mehndi (2018). Her films have screened at Seattle International Film Festival, Outfest, Boston LGBT Film Festival, Chicago South Asian Film Festival, and New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF) among others. Sudeshna serves as board member at Seattle's Northwest Film Forum. 

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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 is the longest, most highly attended film festival in the United States, reaching more than 140,000 annually. The 25-day festival is renowned for its wide-ranging and eclectic programming, presenting over 400 features, short films, and documentaries from over 80 countries each year. SIFF Cinema exhibits premiere theatrical engagements, arthouse, international titles, and classic repertory film showings 365 days a year on five screens at the SIFF Cinema Uptown, SIFF Cinema Egyptian, and SIFF Film Center, reaching more than 175,000 attendees annually. SIFF Education offers educational programs for all audiences serving more than 8,000 students and youth in the community with free programs each year. 

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