5/27/2014 | SIFF Festivals
Rachel Eggers | 206.315.0683 | rachel.eggers@siff.net

SEATTLE -- May 27, 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 film, takes place every year over Memorial Day Weekend at SIFF Cinema Uptown. This year's Festival (May 15 - June 8) features 168 short films, including 24 World, 8 North American, and 6 US premieres.

Carl Spence, SIFF's Artistic Director, says, "ShortsFest Weekend is always one of the most fun events of the Festival. Once again this year, the selection reveals the incredible vibrancy and diversity of the short form. The audience here in Seattle loves shorts, and it's great to bring these filmmakers together for the long weekend so they can share ideas while we celebrate their work." 

Adds Beth Barrett, Director of Programming, "From recognizable names to emerging talent, ShortsFest 2014 showcased an impressive array of films. Six years ago, SIFF became an Academy Award®-qualifying festival, and we are proud to be part of the development of these significant voices in filmmaking." 

ShortsFest jurors choose winners in the Live ActionDocumentary, and Animation 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 eligible for the Academy Awards® in their respective Short Film category (Live Action, Documentary, or Animated). ShortsFest is sponsored by The Mac Store and Classical KING FM 98.1. 




Twaaga, directed by Cedric Ido (Burkina Faso, France)

JURY STATEMENT: A rich and compelling world with beautiful cultural and generational chapters. The seamless use of animated comic book imagery reflects the protagonist's journey and the larger political backdrop.

SPECIAL JURY MENTION Aban + Khorshid, directed by Darwin Serink (USA)

JURY STATEMENT: A beautifully filmed and tragic story, based on real life events, about freedoms here in the US that carry the death penalty elsewhere.



Maikaru, directed by Amanda Harryman (USA)

JURY STATEMENT: An honest, vulnerable, and authentic piece that exposes an invisible issue that is happening in Seattle and worldwide. The character's story of healing leaves the audience with a sense of hope. The use of artistic footage illustrates the character's transformative journey.

SPECIAL JURY MENTION The Queen (La Reina), directed by Manuel Abramovich (Argentina)

JURY STATEMENT: Effective framing crafts a haunting portrait of youth in exhibition pageants.


GRAND JURY PRIZE Rhino Full Throttle, directed by Erik Schmitt (Germany)

JURY STATEMENT: A story of self redemption told through quirky and playful animation bounding with shifting formats that would be dizzying if the story wasn't so timeless. An animated love story that tips its hat to its own genre.



Laura Jean Cronin is Producer + Director at B47 Studios and the Lead Producer of Reel Grrls Productions. Before directing and producing for B47 & Reel Grrls, Laura Jean was on the set of "Biz Kid$," the award-winning PBS television show about financial literacy for kids and young adults, for five seasons where she filled the role of Production Manager and First Assistant Director. Laura Jean has also produced numerous community-conscious, client-driven videos under the banner Pound Pictures.


Craig is the festival director and founder at Couch Fest Films based in Seattle. For the last 3 years, he was the head of the film production department of Saga Film in Iceland. When he's not writing or screening films for Short of the Week, he's testing the tensile strength of his immune system while shooting funding videos for NGOs in third-world countries. He is also currently working as the Education Manager at Northwest Film Forum.


Brooks Peck is a curator at EMP Museum where he has created exhibitions about "Battlestar Galactica," Avatar, space-themed album art, and others. His current show is Icons of Science Fiction, which looks at some of the genre's biggest What If? questions as answered in novels, stories, movies, television and games. He is the author of two Syfy Channel original films: Rage of the Yeti and Zombie Apocalypse, as well as the 2012 Fly Film D.C.I., directed by Lacey Leavitt.

About SIFF

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 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.