2015 SHORTSFEST WINNERS ANNOUNCED
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SEATTLE -- May 26, 2014 -- 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 years Festival (May 14 - June 7) features 164 short films, including 25 World, 18 North American, and 11 US premieres.
Carl Spence, SIFF's Artistic Director, says, "Every year, an incredible array of shorts filmmakers converge at SIFF for ShortsFest Weekend to share their vision with eager Festival audience members and their peers. As an Academy Award®-qualifying festival, SIFF continues its longstanding commitment to the art of short form storytelling and to supporting the development of these tremendously talented filmmakers."
Adds Beth Barrett, Director of Programming, "This year's selection of films - from the breezy to the complex to the strange - reveals that the short form is more alive than ever. ShortsFest is one of my personal highlights at the Festival, and I'm thrilled to celebrate this year's exceptional winners."
ShortsFest jurors chose winners in the 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 $1,000, and the winners in the three categories are eligiblefor the Academy Awards® in their respective Short Film category (Live Action, Animated, or Documentary).
ShortsFest is sponsored by Withoutabox, Classical KING FM, Christopher Newell, Pagliacci Pizza, Cornish College of the Arts, Women in Film Seattle, and Solo Bar.
SIFF 2015 SHORTSFEST AWARD WINNERS
GRAND JURY PRIZE
The Chicken (Croatia, Germany), directed by Una Gunjak
JURY STATEMENT: An expertly crafted narrative that explores life and death through the eyes of a young girl. With a film full of authentic performances, Iman Alibalic is extraordinary as the six-year-old protagonist who receives a live chicken from her father for her birthday, and soon realizes it's meant for dinner. This is an emotional film with a production quality that continues to move the story along and underscore the realities of life in a war zone.
SPECIAL JURY MENTION
Hole (Canada), directed by Martin Edralin
JURY STATEMENT: Hole is a brave exploration of human sexuality and yearning for intimacy through the eyes of a lonely, forgotten, disabled man in the heart of Toronto. Ken Harrower delivers a captivating performance that transcends any labels or limitations and speaks to the need for human connection.
GRAND JURY PRIZE
Bihttoš (Canada), directed by Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers
JURY STATEMENT: For its ambitious approaches to visual storytelling and imaginative recounting of an exceptional family history.
GRAND JURY PRIZE
The Mill at Calder's End (USA), directed by Kevin McTurk
JURY STATEMENT: There exists a tendency to laud the new-new stories, new techniques, new talent. With the animation award, the jury is pleased to celebrate a film that is decidedly old-school, breathing life into a bygone style, iterating in a story tradition that is centuries old. For this fusion of the modern and classic, we are happy to award Kevin McTurk for The Mill at Calder's End.
FUTUREWAVE SHORTS AWARDS
WAVEMAKER AWARD (GRAND PRIZE)
In recognition of superior artistic and technical achievement.
Audio Input (USA), directed by Sho Schrock-Manabe
JURY STATEMENT: For its insightful and engaging portrait of podcasting, an audio art form, through a collage of interviews and images.
PRODIGY CAMP SCHOLARSHIPS
Each winner will be awarded a $1000 scholarship to the Prodigy Camp.
I'm Not Here (South Africa), directed by Jack Markovitz
Minimum Max (USA), directed by Josh Ovalle
SIFF 2015 SHORTSFEST JURY
LIVE ACTION JURY
Stefanie Malone is an Emmy award-winning producer, non-profit executive and currently the Executive Director of NFFTY. NFFTY is the world's largest youth film festival, supporting the work of filmmakers 24 years and younger. Within NFFTY lies an original content production arm called NFFTY Creative, where Stefanie serves as an Executive Producer on projects for Expedia, vitaminwater, KIND and more. Prior to NFFTY, Stefanie was with KCTS (PBS - Seattle) where she led national and local multimedia projects, produced television, designed web content for PBS Kids, created engagement and education strategies, and regularly served on national advisory boards for PBS. Stefanie has her Master of Arts in Communication from Ohio University, where she was awarded a Public Broadcasting fellowship. In her free time, Stefanie is a freelance producer and director and enjoys documentary filmmaking.
Bobby McHugh is a producer at World Famous, an award-winning creative agency in Seattle, Washington. At World Famous he has managed countless commercial productions and produced two narrative shorts, Box Walk and Secret, both of which played at SIFF. He is also deeply embedded in the Northwest DIY music video creators scene. His credits include making music videos for Chastity Belt, La Luz, Craft Spells, Dude York, The Head and the Heart, Fences, Sera Cahoone and many more. In his free time, he co-curates a showcase of locally made music videos with best friend and KEXP DJ Sharlese Metcalf at the Northwest Film Forum called Videoasis.
Tracy Rector is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Longhouse Media. She has worked from the ground level in organizing their success in tandem with her passion for filmmaking. Tracy's films have had national broadcast and distribution with Independent Lens, National PBS, National Geographic and on the world festival circuit. She is a recent Tribeca Institute Grantee, Sundance Institute Lab Fellow, and is the recipient of the Horace Mann Award for her work in social justice. Currently Ms. Rector sits as a City of Seattle Arts Commissioner.
DOCUMENTARY & ANIMATED SHORTS JURY
Courtney Sheehan is the program director at Northwest Film Forum, where she leads year-round film exhibition and events programs. She has worked as a film curator and event producer for theaters and festivals on three continents. On a year-long Watson Fellowship, Courtney traveled to twenty film festivals and media centers in India, Spain, the Netherlands, Brazil, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, and Macedonia. As a journalist, Courtney has covered film events ranging from TIFF and SXSW to the world's largest documentary festival (IDFA in Amsterdam) and South America's largest animation festival (Anima Mundi in Rio de Janeiro). Her publications include Bitch Magazine, Senses of Cinema, The Independent, and NECSUS: European Journal of Media Studies. She is also the co-founder of Cine Migratorio, a migration-themed film festival in Santander, Spain.
Jason Sondhi is a filmmaker, writer, and short film expert. He joined Vimeo as a Curator in 2011. Intensely interested in the nexus between traditional film worlds and the internet, he has been a leading voice for online short film since 2007 as co-founder of the influential website "Short of the Week." Honored as one of Filmmaker Magazine's "25 New Faces of Film" in 2011, Jason believes that short filmmaking is uniquely positioned to expand the definition of storytelling in our digital era, and endeavors to grow the audiences that can sustain these new innovative voices.
Alex Stonehill is the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Seattle Globalist. He's reported from over a dozen countries, including Syria, Ethiopia and Pakistan. He recently directed the award-winning documentary Barzan, which screened at SIFF in 2013. Alex teaches journalism and documentary filmmaking in the University of Washington's Department of Communication.
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 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 450 features, short films, and documentaries from over 80 countries each year. SIFF Cinema exhibits premiere theatrical engagements, repertory, classic, and revival film showings 365 days a year on five screens at the SIFF Cinema Uptown, SIFF Cinema Egyptian, and SIFF Film Center, reaching more than 150,000 attendees annually. SIFF Education offers educational programs for all audiences serving more than 13,000 students and youth in the community with free programs each year.