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C.O.G.

The 39th Seattle International Film Festival announced the winners of the SIFF 2013 Competition and Golden Space Needle Audience Awards – OUR NIXON, directed by Penny Lane won the GRAND JURY PRIZE for Best Documentary and C.O.G., directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez won the GRAND JURY PRIZE for Best New American Cinema. OUR NIXON is described as an “all-archival documentary, constructed from Super8 footage shot by three White House aides (Watergate conspirators Ehrlichman, Haldeman, and Chapin), creates an intimate and complex portrait of the Nixon presidency, as it has never been seen before.”  C.O.G. is described as the “first film adaptation of David Sedaris’ work .. a funny and poignant portrait of a lost soul and the amusing characters he meets as he pursues his Steinbeckian dream—to spend his summer working on an apple farm in Oregon.”

SIFF 2013 COMPETITION AWARDS

SIFF 2013 BEST NEW DIRECTOR

GRAND JURY PRIZE 
Harmony Lessons, directed by Emir Baigazin (2013, Kazakhstan)

JURY STATEMENT: Emir Baigazin’s astounding debut feature Harmony Lessons set the bar for all the films that the Narrative Jury watched before and after. On one level, it’s the simple tale of a bullied Muslim boy in rural Kazakhstan. But as no single child’s life is ever as simple as adults believe, from the moment we meet the dark-eyed, pimply hero chasing down a family sheep to slaughter with his aging babushka, to his ultimate act of vengeance in his struggle for survival, his confrontation with bullies at his local school spirals into a larger tale of societal dominance and submission. Power relations based on intimidation and violence flow from boy to sheep, alpha boy to beta, local police to accused criminals, and ultimately an entire society defined by a hierarchy of male bullying male. Visually exact, transparently acted by a mostly juvenile cast, and quietly terrifying, this Kazakhstan/Germany/France co-production is a hard-won lesson in how brutal life can be that is told with spellbinding assurance by a visionary young talent. 

SIFF 2013 BEST DOCUMENTARY

GRAND JURY PRIZE 
Our Nixon, directed by Penny Lane (2013, USA)

JURY STATEMENT: For Best Documentary the prize goes to Penny Lane for Our Nixon. For this original telling of the unraveling of the Nixon presidency, Lane poured over a mountain of archival Super 8 home movie footage and audio to take a story that we think we already know and give it a fresh and human perspective.

 SPECIAL JURY PRIZE
The Crash Reel, directed by Lucy Walker (2013, USA

JURY STATEMENT: We’re giving a Special Jury Prize to Lucy Walker for The Crash Reel, a deeply emotional and nuanced look at snowboarder and Olympic hopeful Kevin Pearce, his inspiring journey back from traumatic brain injury, and the healing power of family.

 

SIFF 2013 BEST NEW AMERICAN CINEMA

GRAND JURY PRIZE 
C.O.G., directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez (USA, 2013)

JURY STATEMENT: We, the members of FIPRESCI, are very pleased to award the International Critics Prize for Best New American Film to C.O.G., written and directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez. Unsentimental yet openhearted, Alvarez’s adaptation of David Sedaris’ essay tells a compelling story of youthful self-actualization, of defining encounters with class, sex and religion, that refuses to succumb to the dictates of fashionable identity politics. Its narrative trajectory is fundamentally wayward, yet its clipped, idiosyncratic pacing, its evocative visualization of the fecund landscapes and overcast light of the Pacific Northwest, and its use of the percussive music of Steve Reich converge to immerse us in a very particular world, and to create a film of unlikely momentum, unnerving humour and subtle emotional resonance.

 

SIFF 2013 GOLDEN SPACE NEEDLE AUDIENCE AWARDS

BEST FILM GOLDEN SPACE NEEDLE AWARD
Fanie Fourie’s Lobola, directed by Henk Pretorius (South Africa, 2013)

First runner-up: The Rocket, directed by Kim Mordaunt (Australia, 2013)
Second runner-up: Monsters University, directed by Dan Scanlon (USA, 2013)
Third runner-up: Decoding Annie Parker, directed by Steven Bernstein (USA, 2013)
Fourth runner-up: Still Mine, directed by Michael McGowan (Canada, 2013) 
Rounding out the top ten: Short Term 12, directed by Destin Daniel Cretton (USA, 2013); Horses of God, directed by Nabil Ayouch (Morocco, 2013); Circles, directed by Srdan Golubovic (Serbia, 2013); The Forgotten Kingdom, directed by Andrew Mudge (USA, 2013); Unfinished Song, directed by Paul Andrew Williams (United Kingdom, 2012); Populaire, directed by Régis Roinsard (France, 2012).

 

BEST DOCUMENTARY GOLDEN SPACE NEEDLE AWARD
Twenty Feet from Stardom, directed by Morgan Neville (USA, 2013)

First runner-up: The Punk Singer, directed by Sini Anderson (USA, 2013)
Second runner-up: Harana, directed by Benito Bautista (Philippines, 2012)
Third runner-up: Alive and Well, directed by Josh Taft (USA, 2013)
Fourth runner-up: Blackfish, directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite (USA, 2013)
Rounding out the top ten: Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth, directed by Pratibha Parmar (USA, 2013); Finding Hillywood, directed by Leah Warshawski, Chris Towey (USA, 2013); Evergreen: The Road to Legalization in Washington, directed by Riley Morton (USA, 2013); SOMM, directed by Jason Wise (USA, 2012); The Otherside, directed by Daniel Torok (USA, 2013); Inequality for All, directed by Jacob Kornbluth (USA, 2013).

 

BEST DIRECTOR GOLDEN SPACE NEEDLE AWARD
Nabil Ayouch, Horses of God, (Morocco, 2012)

First runner-up: David Ondříček, In the Shadow, (Czech Republic, 2012)
Second runner-up: Joss Whedon, Much Ado About Nothing, (USA, 2012)
Third runner-up: Thomas Vinterberg, The Hunt, (Denmark, 2012)
Fourth runner-up: Andrew Mudge, The Forgotten Kingdom, (USA, 2013)
Rounding out the top ten: Sarah Polley, Stories We Tell, (Canada, 2012); Brady Hall, Scrapper, (USA, 2013);Juan Carlos Maneglia,Tana Schémbori, 7 Boxes, (Paraguay, 2012); Reha Erdem, Jin, (Turkey, 2012); Michael Mayer, Out in the Dark, (Israel, 2012);Destin Daniel Cretton, Short Term 12, (USA, 2013).

 

BEST ACTOR GOLDEN SPACE NEEDLE AWARD
James Cromwell, Still Mine, (Canada, 2012)

First runner-up: Mads Mikkelsen, The Hunt, (Denmark, 2012)
Second runner-up: Terence Stamp, Unfinished Song (United Kingdom, 2012)
Third runner-up: Ivan Trejon, In the Shadow, (Czech Republic, 2012)
Fourth runner-up: Sabin Tambrea, Ludwig II, (Germany, 2013) 
Rounding out the top ten: Michael Beach, Scrapper, (USA, 2013);Niels Arestrup, You Will Be My Son, (France, 2012); Edward Hogg, Imagine, (Poland, 2012); Ali Suliman, The Attack, (Lebanon, 2012); Casey Affleck, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (USA, 2013); Paul Eenhoorn, This is Martin Bonner, (USA, 2013).

 

BEST ACTRESS GOLDEN SPACE NEEDLE AWARD
Samantha Morton, Decoding Annie Parker, (USA, 2013)

First runner-up: Onata Aprile, What Maisie Knew, (USA, 2012)
Second runner-up: Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha, (USA, 2012)
Third runner-up: Juliane Köhler, Two Lives, (Germany, 2012)
Fourth runner-up: Martina Gedeck, The Wall, (Austria, 2012)
Rounding out the top ten: Brie Larson, Short Term 12, (USA, 2013); Robin Weigert, Concussion, (USA, 2013); Lisa Tomaschewsky, The Girl With Nine Wigs, (Germany, 2013); Anna Giles, Scrapper, (USA, 2013); Jeanne Moreau, A Lady in Paris, (Estonia, 2012); Alma Prica, Halima’s Path, (Croatia, 2012).  

 

BEST SHORT FILM GOLDEN SPACE NEEDLE AWARD
Spooners, directed by Bryan Horch (USA, 2012)

First runner-up: My Right Eye (The Apple of My Eye), directed by Josecho de Linares (Spain, 2012)
Second runner-up: Malaria, directed by Edson Oda (Brazil, 2013)
Third runner-up: Fora, directed by Ayuub Kasasa Mago (Rwanda, 2012)
Fourth runner-up: While You Weren’t Looking, directed by Jeremy Mackie (USA, 2012)
Rounding out the top ten: Good Karma $1, directed by Jason Berger, Amy Laslett (USA, 2012); Noodle Fish, directed by Jin-man Kim (South Korea, 2012); Walking the Dogs, directed by Jeremy Brock (United Kingdom, 2012); The Roper, directed by Ewan McNichol, Anna Sandilands (USA, 2012); Macropolis, directed by Joel Simon (United Kingdom, 2012); Penny Dreadful, directed by Shane Atkinson (USA, 2012).   

 

LENA SHARPE AWARD FOR PERSISTENCE OF VISION, PRESENTED BY WOMEN IN FILM/SEATTLE
The Punk Singer, directed by Sini Anderson (USA, 2013)

  

REEL NW AWARD, PRESENTED BY KCTS 9     

REEL NW AWARD
GRAND JURY PRIZE  Big Joy, directed by Eric Slade and Stephen Silha (USA)

JURY STATEMENT: The Seattle International Film Festival assembled an impressive array of Northwest Connection films in 2013, with stories ranging from heart-breaking illness to life-affirming music, from the ballot box to the scrap yard, from Northwest noir to volatile blends of fact and fiction, and many places in between.  Quality was very high across the board, great news for local film fans and a difficult challenge for the jurors.  In a very close decision, the 2013 Reel NW Award goes to a beautifully constructed film that personifies the essence of independent creative spirit and re-discovers a great American story, which has been largely forgotten. 

 

SIFF 2013 FUTUREWAVE AND YOUTH JURY AWARDS 

YOUTH JURY AWARD FOR BEST FUTUREWAVE FEATURE

GRAND JURY PRIZE 
The Spectacular Now, directed by James Ponsoldt (USA)

JURY STATEMENT: For its relatable story that embodies the teenage struggle in a realistic manner and for its powerful ensemble of actors, the Youth Jury Award for Best FutureWave Feature goes to The Spectacular Now.

 

SPECIAL JURY PRIZE
Blackbird, directed by Jason Buxton (Canada)

The FutureWave Jury would also like to give a Special Jury Prize toBlackbird for its subtly powerful and original story featuring compelling performances.

 

YOUTH JURY AWARD FOR BEST FILMS4FAMILIES FEATURE

GRAND JURY PRIZE 
Ernest & Celestine, directed by Benjamin Renner, Stephane Aubier, and Vincent Patar (France)

JURY STATEMENT: The film we chose told a fascinating story about characters from two different worlds learning to be friends. Through their friendship we learned that even though two worlds may seem completely different, in many ways they are the same. 

 

WAVEMAKER AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN YOUTH FILMMAKING

GRAND JURY PRIZE 
The Painted Girl, directed by Ben Kadie (USA, 2013)

FUTUREWAVE SHORTS AUDIENCE AWARD
Piece of Cake, directed by Susan Procopio and Katherine Procopio (Canada, 2012)

 

THEFILMSCHOOL PRODIGY CAMP SCHOLARSHIPS
A Quest for Peace: Nonviolence Among Religions, directed by Matthew Evans (USA, 2013)

Runner up: Laser Rabbit, directed by Matt Wells (USA, 2013)   

 

SIFF 2013 SHORT FILM JURY AWARDS

As a qualifying festival of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, short films that received the Grand Jury Prize for Best Live Action, Animated, and Documentary Short 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 complies with the Academy rules. Winners received a $1,000 cash prize.

 

LIVE ACTION

GRAND JURY PRIZE
My Right Eye (The Apple of My Eye), directed by Josecho de Linares (Spain, 2012)

JURY STATEMENT: For its beautifully crafted and profound exploration of love and loss told through touching performances that depict a young man’s authentic journey of rediscovery, the jury awards Best Narrative Short to The Apple of My Eye, written and directed by Josecho de Linares.

 

SPECIAL JURY PRIZES 
Penny Dreadful, directed by Shane Atkinson (USA, 2012) 
Mobile Homes, directed by Vladimir de Fontenay (USA/France, 2012) 
Decimation, directed by Wade Jackson (USA, 2013)

JURY STATEMENT: For its stylish direction and a terrific performance by Oona Laurence as a young kidnap victim who turns the tables on her abductors, the jury would like to give a Special Jury Mention to the short film Penny Dreadful.   The jury would also like to award a Special Jury Mention to Mobile Homes, a suspenseful, moving narrative with where the main characters stumble upon a most unexpected mean of escape. The jury awards a Special Jury Mention for outstanding ensemble filmmaking supported by the Northwest filmmaking community to the cast and crew of Decimation, written and directed by Wade Jackson.

 

DOCUMENTARY 

GRAND JURY PRIZE 
Keep a Modest Head, directed by Deco Dawson (Canada, 2012)

JURY STATEMENT: Although there were many great films to discuss and debate, ultimately there was one film that the jury unanimously felt was particularly worthy of receiving the Best Documentary Short award. For its brilliantly surrealistic imagining of the life of the last of the surrealists, the jury gives its award to Keep A Modest Head, directed by Deco Dawson.

 

SPECIAL JURY PRIZE
Today, directed by Philip Montgomery (USA, 2013)
JURY STATEMENT: For its touching and inspiring story about a man who learns to find meaning in his life’s work even after a tragic accident, the jury awards a Special Jury Mention to Today, directed by Phillip Montgomery.  

 

ANIMATION

GRAND JURY PRIZE
Woody, directed by Stuart Bowen (Australia) 

JURY STATEMENT: For the award for Best Animated Short, the jury has unanimously decided upon a film that told a lovely story about a guy who was just like everyone else, but wanted deeply to be something different than what he was. The filmmakers took the art of film as a visual medium to heart – with no dialogue and without facial expressions, they crafted a complete story that evoked compassion for the character. The jury awards Best Animated Short to Woody, directed by Stuart Bowen.  

 

SPECIAL JURY PRIZE 
Malaria, directed by Edson Oda (Brazil, 2013) 
The Hunter, directed by Marieka Walsh (Australia, 2012)   
JURY STATEMENT: For its intriguing and original visual storytelling, combined with the tautness of an old-school Western, the jury awards a Special Jury Mention to Malaria, directed by Edson Shundl Oda.   We had a very difficult time making a final decision between two films. After much discussion, the jury has decided to award a Special Jury Mention to The Hunter, directed by Marieka Walsh, for its beautifully simple, yet deeply emotional illustrations integrated into a folk-tale of a story.    

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