Grand Jury Prize, Gandu, directed by ‘Q’ Kaushik Mukherjee

The 37th Seattle International Film Festival, wrapped on June 12th after a 25-day run with the announcement of the SIFF 2011 Competition Awards and Golden Space Needle Audience Awards. The Indian film ‘Gandu’ directed by “Q” Kaushik Mukherjee took the Grand Jury Prize for Best New Dierctor. ‘Gandu’ is described as film about A poor young man in Kolkata befriends a Bruce Lee-obsessed rickshaw driver and begins a strange descent into a world of drugs and rap-fueled fantasy in this gritty, resolutely anti-Bollywood adventure.

Three Competition Awards including Best New Director, Best Documentary and the FIPRESCI Prize were announced today. Winners in the juried New Director and Documentary competition will receive $2,500. All of the winners will receive a Space Needle inspired glass award by artist James Mongrain.

SIFF 2011 Best New Director
Grand Jury Prize
Gandu, directed by “Q” Kaushik Mukherjee (India, 2010)
Jury Statement: “We chose to give the prize to a movie that bowled us over with its kinetic, brash humor and style-hoping dexterity, a portrait of tortured youth that refreshingly pokes fun at adolescent self-centeredness while simultaneously exploring the anger, despondency and malaise of a generation.”

The New Directors Competition jury was comprised of: Robert Abele, Film and TV Critic/Journalist; Peter Goldwyn, Samuel Goldwyn Films; and Sara Rose, Acquisitions Executive

SIFF 2011 Best Documentary
Grand Jury Prize
Hot Coffee, directed by Susan Saladoff (USA, 2011)
Jury Statement: “Going beyond a well-known headline that was the butt of many jokes, Hot Coffee makes dry legal boilerplate spring to life in portraying human dramas with tragic consequences. It makes us all question our simple assumptions – it’s a film that needs to be seen.”

Special Jury Prizes
To Be Heard, directed by Roland Legiardi-Laura, Amy Sultan, Deborah Shaffer and Edwin Martinez (USA, 2010)
Jury Statement: “By filmically living with and sharing the dramas of a remarkably affecting group of young people over a period of years, To Be Heard wins the hearts of viewers with a roller coaster emotional ride…it’s immediacy and poignancy make it a film that truly lives beyond the frame.”

Sushi: The Global Catch, directed by Mark Hall (USA, 2011)
Jury Statement: “The film brings to the forefront the urgent and occasionally competing arguments of overfishing that don’t necessarily have easy answers – truly a film that is food for thought.”

The Documentary jury was comprised of: Krysanne Katsoolis, Cactus Three; Richard Lorber, Kino Lorber Inc.; and Katherine Tulich, Hollywood Foreign Press and International Federation of Film Critics.

SIFF 2011 FIPRESCI Prize for Best New American Film
SIFF is very pleased to announce its continued partnership with FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics. FIPRESCI, in existence for more than 65 years, with members in over 60 countries, supports cinema as an art and as an outstanding and autonomous means of expression. SIFF is one of three festivals in the United States to host a FIPRESCI jury, and this year, FIPRESCI presented an award to Best New American Film selected from the New American Cinema program.

On the Ice, directed by Andrew Okpeaha MacLean (USA, 2011)
Jury Statement: “For presenting a universal, near-Biblical tragedy set in a little known culture recreated with compelling detail. A story told with outstanding naturalistic performances with a confident, compelling narrative.”

The FIPRESCI jury was comprised of members of the International Federation of Film Critics: Peter Keough, USA; Gideon Kouts, France; and Lucy Virgen, Mexico

SIFF 2011 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. More than 80,000 ballots were cast by SIFF audiences to determine the winners. Golden Space Needle Award winners receive a hand-made glass creation by artist James Mongrain. Additionally, the Golden Space Needle award winner for Best Short film will receive a brand new Mac computer, fully loaded with the latest filmmaking software from The Mac Store, and will receive $1,000 of film stock from Eastman Kodak.

Best Film Golden Space Needle Award
Paper Birds, directed by Emilio Aragón (Spain, 2010)
First runner up: Tilt, directed by Viktor Chouchkov Jr. (Bulgaria, 2010)
Second runner up: Simple Simon, directed by Andreas Öhman (Sweden, 2010)
Third runner up: The Whistleblower, directed by Larysa Kondracki (Canada/Germany, 2010)
Fourth runner up: King of Devil’s Island, directed by Marius Holst (Norway, 2010)

Rounding out the top ten: My Afternoons With Margueritte, directed by Jean Becker (France, 2010); Spud, directed by Donovan Marsh (South Africa, 2010); Service Entrance (The Women of the Sixth Floor), directed by Philippe Le Guay (France, 2011); Almanya, directed by Yasemin Samdereli (Germany, 2011); Old Goats, directed by Taylor Guterson (USA, 2010).

Best Documentary Golden Space Needle Award
To Be Heard, directed by Roland Legiardi-Laura, Amy Sultan, Deborah Shaffer, Edwin Martinez (USA, 2010)
First runner up: Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey, directed by Constance Marks (USA, 2011)
Second runner up: Buck, directed by Cindy Meehl (USA, 2011)
Third runner up: How to Die in Oregon, directed by Peter D. Richardson (USA, 2011)
Fourth runner up: Hot Coffee, directed by Susan Saladoff (USA, 2011)

Rounding out the top ten: Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians, directed by Bryan Storkel (USA, 2011); The Interrupters, directed by Steve James (USA, 2011); Circus Dreams, directed by Signe Taylor (USA, 2011); 12 Angry Lebanese, directed by Zeina Daccache (Lebanon, 2010); A Lot Like You, directed by Eliaichi Kimaro (Tanzania/USA, 2011).

Best Director Golden Space Needle Award
Larysa Kondracki, The Whistleblower (Canada/Germany, 2010)
First runner up: Emilio Aragón, Paper Birds (Spain, 2010)
Second runner up: Mohammad Rasoulof, The White Meadows (Iran, 2009)
Third runner up: Yasemin Samderelli, Almanya (Germany, 2011)
Fourth runner up: Maryam Keshavarz, Circumstance (Iran, 2011)

Rounding out the top ten: Carlos Saura, Flamenco, Flamenco (Spain, 2010); Robbie Pickering, Natural Selection (USA, 2011); Megan Griffiths, The Off Hours (USA, 2011); Raul Ruiz, The Mysteries of Lisbon (Portugal, 2010); Mike Mills, Beginners (USA, 2010).

Best Actor Golden Space Needle Award
Bill Skarsgård, Simple Simon (Sweden, 2010)
First runner up: Matt Smith, Womb, (Germany/Hungary/France, 2010)
Second runner up: Imanol Arias, Paper Birds (Spain, 2010)
Third runner up: Matt O’Leary, Natural Selection (USA, 2011)
Fourth runner up: Ron Eldard, Roadie (USA, 2011)

Rounding out the top ten: Ewan McGregor, Beginners (USA, 2010); Peter Stormare, Small Town Murder Songs (Canada, 2010); Toni Servillo, A Quiet Life (Italy, 2010); Peter Mullan, Tyrannosaur (UK, 2011); Gerard Depardieu, My Afternoons with Margueritte (France, 2010).

Best Actress Golden Space Needle Award
Natasha Petrovic, As If I Am Not There (Ireland/Macedonia/Sweden, 2010)
First runner up: Bodil Jorgensen, Nothing’s All Bad (Denmark, 2010)
Second runner up: Rachel Weisz, The Whistleblower (Canada/Germany, 2010)
Third runner up: Rachael Harris, Natural Selection (USA, 2011)
Fourth runner up: Magaly Solier, Amador (Spain, 2011)

Rounding out the top ten: Eva Green, Perfect Sense (UK, 2011); Yahima Torres, Black Venus (France, 2010); Sara Forestier, The Names of Love (France, 2010); Katja Kukkola, Princess (Finland, 2010); Sandra Hüller, Above Us Only Sky (Germany, 2011).

Best Short Film Golden Space Needle Award
The Fantastic Flying Books Of Mr. Morris Lessmore, directed by William Joyce (USA, 2011)
First runner up: North Atlantic, directed by Bernardo Nascimento (Portugal, 2010)
Second runner up: Interview, director Sebastian Marka (Germany, 2010)
Third runner up: Amazonia, director Sam Chen (USA, 2010)
Fourth runner up: Cataplexy, director John Salcido (USA, 2010)

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.
Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey, directed by Constance Marks (USA, 2011)

SIFF 2011 FutureWave and Youth Jury Awards
The SIFF FutureWave jury was comprised of five high-school students that viewed nine FutureWave features to award the prize of Best FutureWave Feature. The Films4Families jury was comprised of five elementary and middle school students that viewed six Films4Families films to award the prize for Best Films4Families Feature. SIFF’s WaveMaker Award for Excellence in Youth Filmmaking was awarded at the FutureWave Shorts program on May 30 at SIFF Cinema as part of the ShortsFest Weekend. More than 100 short films were submitted from young filmmakers aged 13-18, from Canada, USA, Sweden, Ireland, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. The WaveMaker Award was selected from the 19 presented finalists. TheFilmSchool faculty member Rick Stevenson also awarded several partial scholarships to TheFilmSchool’s Prodigy Camp for outstanding storytelling.

Youth Jury Award for Best FutureWave Feature
Detention, directed by Joseph Kahn (USA, 2011)
Jury Statement: “For its unpredictable and genuinely exciting story that is based on today’s teenager, but effectively immersed in a fantasy world. It is obvious that Detention was made with a passion for creative filmmaking and we are eager to share it with our generation.”

Youth Jury Award for Best Films4Families Feature
Circus Dreams, directed by Signe Taylor (USA, 2011)
Jury Statement: “For showing the ups and downs of training and performing in a children’s circus and the importance of pursuing your dreams.”

WaveMaker Award for Excellence in Youth Filmmaking (Grand Jury Prize)
The Million Dollar Watch, directed by Joseph Yao (USA, 2010)
Jury statement: “For its creativity, vision, and scope on an operatic scale.”

WaveMaker Special Jury Prize
Deaf Perspective, directed by Rogan Shannon (USA, 2011)
Jury statement: “For opening our eyes (and ears) to a new perspective on the world.”

Joseph Yao (The Million Dollar Watch, USA, 2010) and Blair Scott (Reflection, USA, 2010) also received a scholarship to TheFilmSchool’s Prodigy Camp, a weeklong, immersive, overnight film camp for youth aged 12–18 held in late June.

FutureWave Shorts Audience Award
Deaf Perspective, directed by Rogan Shannon (USA, 2011)
First runner up: The Million Dollar Watch, directed by Joseph Yao (USA, 2010)
Second runner up: Reflection, directed by Blair Scott (USA, 2010)
Third runner up: Henry, directed by Amelia Elizalde (USA, 2011)
Fourth runner up: Noticed, directed by Reel Youth CampOut (Canada, 2010)

SIFF 2011 Short Film Jury Awards
As a qualifying festival of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, short films that receive the Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative short film and Best Animation short film awards 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 otherwise complies with the Academy rules. Winners will also receive a $1,000 cash prize.

Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Short
Time Freak, directed by Andrew Bowler (USA, 2010)
Jury statement: “A hilarious, original take on time travel that reminds us all to embrace the moment.”

Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary Short
Library of Dust, directed by Ondi Timoner and Robert James (USA, 2010)
Jury statement: “This real-life ghost story is a startling reminder of the strength of spirit and compels us to recognize the tragedy of overlooking the spirits of those still with us.”

Grand Jury Prize for Best Animated Short
The Eagleman Stag, directed by Mikey Please (USA, 2010)
Jury statement: “With a monochromatic palette, it provides a colorful tale of life and rebirth.”

Special Jury Prizes
Narrative – Howard From Ohio, directed by SJ Chiro (USA, 2011)
Jury statement: “It’s a simple tale with a straightforward honesty seldom seen on screen.”

Our Ship, directed by Garon Campbell (South Africa, 2011)
Jury statement: “A heartwarming story that underscores the importance of family loyalty.”

Animation – New Digs, directed by Martin Sen (South Africa, 2010)
Jury statement: “A charmingly ironic tale about having faith in the people who love you.”

The Short Film jury was comprised of: Kellie Ann Benz, The Shorts Report; Bill Murray, Northwest Screenwriters Guild; Jason Plourde, Three Dollar Bill Cinema and Tom Skerritt, actor and founder, TheFilmSchool.

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