erik lundegaard

Sunday June 07, 2015

SIFF 2015 Awards

The 2015 Seattle International Film Festival ends this evening, and this morning its awards were announced:

Golden Space Needle Awards (voted by moviegoers)

  • Best Film: “The Dark Horse” (New Zealand)
  • Best Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl”
  • Best Actor: Cliff Curtis, “The Dark Horse”
  • Best Actress: Nina Hoss, “Phoenix”
  • Best Documentary: “Romeo is Bleeding,” Jason Zeldes 
  • Best Short: “Even the Walls”

Grand Jury

  • New Directors Competition: Károly Ujj-Mészáros, “Liza, The Fox-Fairy”
  • New American Cinema Award: “Chatty Catties”
  • Documentary: “The Great Alone”

Youth Jury

  • Futurewave: “Seoul Searching”
  • Films4Family: “When Marnie Was There”
  • Futurewave shorts: “Minimum Max”

The trailer for the big winner is below. I was aware of “Dark Horse”—my friend Vinny is a big chess guy—but wasn't much interested in seeing it. (Which is why I didn't.) Seemed like one of those Michelle Pfeiffer teacher/pupil movies. The teacher is redeemed by inspiring the students. The audience is supposed to be inspired. We're supposed to want to “stand up and cheer.” 

Anyone see it? Any good? 

Here's a list of past Golden Space Needle awards. Not a bad group: “Boyhood,” “The Hurt Locker,” “Sex and Lucia,” “The Usual Suspects,” “The Wedding Banquet,” “My Life as a Dog.” But some recent head-scratchers, too. I wasn't a “Beasts of the Southern Wild” fan. And “The Whistleblower” seems a particularly weak choice. Feels like a lot of bad politics in these decisions. I also heard not-complimentary things about two of this year's award winners: “Chatty Catties” and “Seoul Searching.”

That said, this was probably my best SIFF ever. Maybe they had better movies this year; maybe I'm just getting better at picking them.

I'll post my SIFF awards tomorrow. 

Posted at 03:09 PM on Sunday June 07, 2015 in category Movies - Awards  
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