Seattle 2018: EIGHTH GRADE and WON'T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? Take Top Prizes

Editor, Festivals; Los Angeles, California (@RylandAldrich)
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Seattle 2018: EIGHTH GRADE and WON'T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? Take Top Prizes

America's largest fest has wrapped up for another year and Seattle will be sleeping off the cinematic hang over for a while to come. It was a great year at SIFF and you can see a few of the movies that unspooled in our preview coverage. A24's Eighth Grade, directed by Bo Burnham, took home the Golden Space Needle audience award for best narrative and the star Elsie Fischer took home the best actress prize as well. Focus's Mr.Rogers docu Won't You Be My Neighbor? by Morgan Neville won the same prize for best documentary. Gustav Möller won the best director award for his Danish dispatcher thriller The Guilty. Check out the full release below and see you next year.

Eighth GradeWon’t You Be My Neighbor?
WIN TOP AWARDS AT THE 44TH SEATTLE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

Eighth Grade wins Golden Space Needle Audience Awards for Best Film
Grand Jury Prizes go to The Reports on Sarah and SaleemDead PigsRust,Inventing Tomorrow, and Thunder Road
Best Documentary goes to Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Elsie Fisher of Eighth Grade wins Best Actress
Miguel Ángel Solá of The Last Suit wins Best Actor

SEATTLE -- June 10, 2018 -- The Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF), the largest and most highly attended film festival in the United States, today announced the winners of the 2018 Golden Space Needle Audience and Competition Awards. The awards were presented at a ceremony and breakfast held at First & Bell. The 25-day Festival, which began May 17, featured over 400 films representing 90 countries, including 35 World premieres (6 features, 29 shorts), 46 North American premieres (32 features, 14 shorts), 25 US premieres (16 features, 9 shorts), and 750 Festival screenings and events. Additionally, SIFF brought in nearly 400 filmmakers, actors, and industry professionals as guests of the Festival.

Artistic Director Beth Barrett said, "Executive Director Sarah Wilke and I were thrilled to present Ethan Hawke with the Festival's Outstanding Achievement Award in Cinema before a screening of Blaze, his latest directing effort, as well as welcoming Melanie Lynskey back to the Festival for a special screening of Seattle based local film, Sadie. We also had an incredible lineup of local films, and our documentary film selection continues to be among the best in the country. Back for the second year was SIFF’s New Works-in-Progress Forum, where we screened two narrative and two documentary features in the midst of their creative process to the Seattle audience of industry and festival attendees, as well as continuing our exploration of the intersections between cinema and Virtual Reality at our first Pop-up event, SIFF VR Zone at Pacific Place.”

The Best of SIFF lineup will be announced later today and SIFF's five cinema screens will resume daily cinema service with Best of SIFF titles and other outstanding cinematic experiences beginning Friday, June 15.

 

2018 GOLDEN SPACE NEEDLE AWARD WINNERS

SIFF celebrates its films and filmmakers with the Golden Space Needle Audience Awards. Selected by Festival audiences, awards are given in six categories: Best Film, Best Documentary, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Short Film. This year, over 80,000 ballots were submitted.

The 2018 Golden Space Needle Awards are created by Seattle Artist, Piper O'Neill. More about O’Neill atpiperoneill.net.

GOLDEN SPACE NEEDLE AWARD - BEST FILM
Eighth Grade, directed by Bo Burnham (USA 2018)
First runner-up: The Last Suit, directed by Pablo Solarz (Argentina/Poland/Spain/France/Germany 2017)
Second runner-up: Champions, directed by Javier Fesser (Spain 2018)
Third runner-up: C’est la vie!, directed by Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano (France/Canada/Belgium 2017)
Fourth runner-up: Supa Modo, directed by Likarion Wainaina (Kenya/Germany 2018)

GOLDEN SPACE NEEDLE AWARD - BEST DOCUMENTARY
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, directed by Morgan Neville (USA 2018)
First runner-up: Pick of the Litter, directed by Don Hardy Jr., Dana Nachman (USA 2017)
Second runner-up: Return to Mount Kennedy, directed by Eric Becker (USA 2018)
Third runner-up: The Most Dangerous Year, directed by Vlada Knowlton (USA 2018)
Fourth runner-up: The Russian Five, directed by Joshua Riehl (USA 2018)

GOLDEN SPACE NEEDLE AWARD - BEST DIRECTOR
Gustav MöllerThe Guilty (Denmark 2018)
First runner-up: Pablo Solarz, The Last Suit (Argentina/Poland/Spain/France/Germany 2017)
Second runner-up: Megan Griffiths, Sadie (USA 2018)
Third runner-up: Debra Granik, Leave No Trace (USA 2018)
Fourth runner-up: Albert Dupontel, See You Up There (France 2017)

GOLDEN SPACE NEEDLE AWARD - BEST ACTOR
Miguel Ángel SoláThe Last Suit (Argentina/Poland/Spain/France/Germany 2017)
First runner-up: Jakob Cedergren, The Guilty (Denmark 2018)
Second runner-up: Ethan Hawke, First Reformed (USA 2017)
Third runner-up: Jim Cummings, Thunder Road (USA 2018)
Fourth runner-up: Ben Foster, Leave No Trace (USA 2018)

GOLDEN SPACE NEEDLE AWARD - BEST ACTRESS
Elsie FisherEighth Grade (USA 2018)
First runner-up: Rhaechyl Walker, My Name is Myeisha (USA 2018)
Second runner-up: Sophia Mitri Schloss, Sadie (USA 2018)
Third runner-up: Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, Leave No Trace (USA 2018)
Fourth runner-up: Ana Brun, The Heiresses (Paraguay/Uruguay/Germany/Brazil/Norway/France 2018)

GOLDEN SPACE NEEDLE AWARD - BEST SHORT FILM
Emergency, directed by Carey Williams (USA 2017)
First runner-up: About the Birds and the Bees, directed by J.J. Vanhanen (Finland 2017)
Second runner-up: Wishing Box, directed by Wenli Zhang, Nan Li (USA 2017)
Third runner-up: Cats Cradle, directed by Jonathan Napolitano (USA 2018)
Fourth runner-up: Wave, directed by Benjamin Cleary, TJ O’Grady Peyton (Ireland 2017)

LENA SHARPE AWARD FOR PERSISTENCE OF VISION
Presented by Women in Film - Seattle
Dana NachmanPick of the Litter (USA 2017)

This award is given to the female director's film that receives the most votes in public balloting at the Festival. Lena Sharpe was co-founder and managing director of Seattle's Festival of Films by Women Directors and a KCTS-TV associate who died in a plane crash while on assignment. As a tribute to her efforts in bringing the work of women filmmakers to prominence, SIFF created this special award and asked Women in Film - Seattle to bestow it.

 

SIFF 2018 COMPETITION AWARDS

SIFF confers five juried competition awards: SIFF Official Competition, Ibero-American Competition, New Directors Competition, New American Cinema Competition (FIPRESCI Prize), and Documentary Competition. The winners in each juried competition receives $5,000 in cash.

SIFF 2018 OFFICIAL COMPETITION WINNER

The SIFF Official Competition is juried by a team of international industry members, and are selected by SIFF programmers for their cinematic excellence. The SIFF Official Competition Jury members were James Faust (Dallas International Film Festival), Lael Loewenstein (Box Office Online), and Ania Trzebiatowska (Autlook Filmsales).

GRAND JURY PRIZE
The Reports on Sarah and Saleem (d: Muayad Alayan, Palestine/Netherlands/Germany/Mexico 2018)

JURY STATEMENT: The Official Competition Jury Award goes to a work that through its complex and multi-dimensional characters tells a familiar story of infidelity in an original and wholly disarming way. We were struck by the unexpected journey taken by the two female leads towards empowerment, particularly given the political and social climate of a modern day divided Jerusalem. The Official Competition Jury Award goes to The Reports on Sarah and Seleem.

SPECIAL JURY MENTION
The Heiresses (d: Marcelo Martinessi, Paraguay/Uruguay/Germany/Brazil/Norway/France 2018)

JURY STATEMENT: We would like acknowledge The Heiresses, a remarkable first feature from Paraguay by Marcelo Martinessi. 

2018 Entries:
The Devil’s Doorway (d: Aislinn Clarke, United Kingdom 2018, World Premiere)
Garbage (d: Qaushiq Mukherjee, India 2018, North American Premiere)
The Heiresses (d: Marcelo Martinessi, Paraguay/Uruguay/Germany/Brazil/Norway/France 2018, US Premiere)
Leave No Trace (d: Debra Granik, USA 2018)
Luna (d: Elsa Diringer, France 2017)
Pig (d: Mani Haghighi, Iran 2018, North American Premiere)
Team Hurricane (d: Annika Berg, Denmark 2017)  
The Reports on Sarah and Saleem (d: Muayad Alayan, Palestine/Netherlands/Germany/Mexico 2018, North American Premiere)
Something Useful (d: Pelin Esmer, Turkey/France/Netherlands/Germany 2017, North American Premiere)

 

SIFF 2018 IBERO-AMERICAN COMPETITION

The SIFF Ibero-American Competition aims to highlight the strength, creativity, and influence of storytelling in the region. The Ibero-American Competition is for films having their Seattle premiere during the Festival and without US distribution. The SIFF Ibero-American Competition Jury members were Juan Carlos Arciniegas (CNN), Sandro Fiorin (FiGa Films), and Marcela Isaza (Associated Press).

GRAND JURY PRIZE
Rust (d: Aly Muritiba, Brazil 2018)

JURY STATEMENT: For highlighting a very important social issue, through an inventive structure and phenomenal performances, we present the Ibero-American Competition Jury Award to Aly Muritiba’s Rust.

SPECIAL JURY MENTION
Rush Hour (d: Luciana Kaplan, Mexico 2017)

JURY STATEMENT: The Jury wants to also recognize a wonderful discovery, told with a subtle, unique point of view. For her examination of suffering and humanity inside of an increasingly automotive environment, the Ibero-American Competition Jury awards a special mention to Luciana Kaplan’s Rush Hour.

2018 Entries:
Champions (d: Javier Fesser, Spain 2018)
Giant (d: John Garaño, Aitor Arregi, Spain 2017)
Gold Seekers (d: Juan Carlos Maneglia, Tana Schémbori, Paraguay 2017)
The Heiresses (d: Marcelo Martinessi, Paraguay/Uruguay/Germany/Brazil/Norway/France 2018, US Premiere)
Killing Jesus (d: Laura Mora Ortega, Colombia/Argentina 2017)
Lots of Kids, A Monkey and a Castle (d: Gustavo Salmerón, Spain 2017)
Marilyn (d: Martin Rodriguez, Argentina/Chile 2018, North American Premiere)
Retablo (d: Peru/Germany/Norway 2017, North American Premiere)
Rush Hour (d: Luciana Kaplan, Mexico 2017)
Rust (d: Aly Muritiba, Brazil 2018)
Virus Tropical (d: Santiago Calcedo, Colombia/Ecuador 2017) 

 

SIFF 2018 NEW DIRECTORS COMPETITION

Festival programmers select 10 films remarkable for their original concept, striking style, and overall excellence. To be eligible, a film must be a director's first or second feature and without US distribution at the time of selection. The SIFF New Directors Jury members were Andrew Carlin (Oscilloscope Laboratories), Bill Guentzler (Cleveland Film Society), and Alesia Weston (Independent International Consulting).

GRAND JURY PRIZE
Dead Pigs (d: Cathy Yan, China/USA 2018)

JURY STATEMENT: For building an epic world, grounded in humanity, purposefully depicting the intricacies of the characters who exemplify the changes of a modernizing China, the New Directors Competition Jury award goes to Cathy Yan for Dead Pigs

SPECIAL JURY MENTION
Scary Mother (d: Ana Urushadze, Georgia/Estonia 2017)

JURY STATEMENT: Using striking and haunting visuals, this filmmaker confidently creates intimate and empathetic characters while depicting the struggle for artistic expression in a society that does not allow the full breadth of it. The jury would like to recognize Ana Urushadze with a special mention for her filmScary Mother.

2018 Entries:
After the War (d: Annarita Zambrano, Italy/Belgium/Switzerland 2017)
Amateurs (d: Gabriela Pichler, Sweden 2018)
The Blessed (d: Sofia Djama, Algeria/France/Belgium/Qatar 2017)
The Charmer (d: Milad Alami, Denmark/Sweden 2017)
Dead Pigs (d: Cathy Yan, China/USA 2018)
Sashinka (d: Kristina Wagenbauer, Canada (Québec) 2017, US Premiere)
Scary Mother (d: Ana Urushadze, Georgia/Estonia 2017)
Shuttle Life (d: Tan Seng Klat, Malaysia 2017, US Premiere)
Supa Modo (d: Likarion Wainaina, Kenya/Germany 2018)
Retablo (d: Alvaro L. Delgado-Aparicio, Peru/Germany/Norway 2017, North American Premiere)

 

SIFF 2018 NEW AMERICAN CINEMA COMPETITION

Festival programmers select eight films without US distribution at the time of selection that are sure to delight audiences looking to explore the exciting vanguard of New American Cinema to compete for the FIPRESCI Award for Best New American Film. The SIFF New American Cinema Jury members were Pablo Staricco Cadenazzi (El País), Gabe Klinger (filmmaker, Porto), and Vojtech Rynda (Týden Weekly Magazine).

GRAND JURY PRIZE
Thunder Road (d: Jim Cummings, USA 2018)

JURY STATEMENT: For the bold and unpredictable lead performance and commitment to telling a hilarious and ultimately heartbreaking story of shifting family relations in the face of personal adversity and tragedy, the New American Cinema Competition Jury award goes to Thunder Road by Jim Cummings.

2018 Entries:
Jinn (d: Nijla Mu’min, USA 2018)
My Name is Myeisha (d: Gus Krieger, USA 2018)
Noble Earth (d: Ursula Grisham, USA 2017, US Premiere)
Prospect (d: Zeek Earl, Chris Caldwell, USA 2018)
Sadie (d: Megan Griffiths, USA 2018)
Thunder Road (d: Jim Cummings, USA 2018)
Tyrel (d: Sebastián Silva, USA 2018)
Wild Nights with Emily (d: Madeleine Olnek, USA 2018)

 

SIFF 2018 DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION

Unscripted and uncut, the world is a resource of unexpected, informative, and altogether exciting storytelling. Documentary filmmakers have for years brought untold stories to life and introduced us to a vast number of fascinating topics we may never have known existed. The SIFF Documentary Jury members were Richard Abramowitz (Abramorama), Simon Kilmurry (International Documentary Association), and Pat Saperstein (Variety).

GRAND JURY PRIZE
Inventing Tomorrow (d: Laura Nix, USA 2018)

JURY STATEMENT: For it’s compelling cast of young visionaries from around the globe who are engaged and looking for solutions to the world's environmental problems, Inventing Tomorrow offers us a sense of optimism and the certainty that science matters.

SPECIAL JURY MENTION
Afghan Cycles (d: Sarah Menzies, USA/France/Afghanistan 2018)

JURY STATEMENT: For portraying a side of Afghanistan that we don’t usually see and the self confidence and bravery of the young women, we would like to acknowledge Afghan Cycles with a Documentary Competition Special Jury Mention.

2018 Entries:
Afghan Cycles (d: Sarah Menzies, USA/France/Afghanistan 2018, US Premiere
Inventing Tomorrow (d: Laura Nix, USA 2018)
MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A. (d: Stephen Loveridge, United Kingdom/USA 2018)
People’s Republic of Desire (d: Hao Wu, China 2018)
Queerama (d: Daisy Asquith, United Kingdom 2017)
The Return (d: Malene Choi, Denmark 2018, US Premiere)
Unarmed Verses (d: Charles Officer, Canada 2017, US Premiere)
Warrior Women (d: Elizabeth A. Castle, Christina D. King, USA 2018, US Premiere)

 

SIFF 2018 YOUTH JURY FEATURES & FUTUREWAVE SHORTS AWARDS

SIFF presents films throughout the Festival curated for youth in our Films4Families and FutureWave feature programs with seven youth selected in each respective jury to award their favorite film within their category.

YOUTH JURY PRIZE FOR BEST FILMS4FAMILIES FEATURE
Zoo (d: Colin McIvor, Ireland 2017)

JURY STATEMENT: For its well-developed, heartwarming plot, spectacular scenery, and believable acting.

YOUTH JURY PRIZE FOR BEST FUTUREWAVE FEATURE
My Name is Myeisha (d: Gus Krieger, USA 2018)

JURY STATEMENT: For its creative and non-linear storytelling that incorporates multiple art forms, including poetry, rap, beat-boxing, and dance, and its holistic portrayal of victims of police brutality.

In addition, SIFF presents FutureWave Shorts during ShortsFest Weekend. These inspiring original short films represent some of the best short filmmaking from around the world.

WAVEMAKER AWARD (GRAND PRIZE)
iRony (d: Radheya Jegatheva, Australia 2017)

JURY STATEMENT: We found that the animation was excellent, smart, and gorgeous. This film was paired with emotional and poignant prose about technology in this new world, sustaining our curiosity and interest throughout.

FutureWave Shorts Jury: Filmmakers Rachelle Henry, Stefanie Malone, and Moses Olson.

PRODIGY CAMP SCHOLARSHIP
The winner will be awarded a $1000 partial scholarship to the Prodigy Camp.
Roommate (d: Jinho Rhee, USA 2017)

FUTUREWAVE SHORTS AUDIENCE AWARD
iRony (d: Radheya Jegatheva, Australia 2017)

 

SIFF 2018 SHORT FILM JURY AWARDS

All short films shown at the Festival are eligible for both the Golden Space Needle Audience Award and Jury Award Shorts Competition. Jurors chose winners in the Live Action, Animation, and Documentary categories. Each jury winner receives $2,500 and a free one-year membership to IMDb Pro, which includes comprehensive information and tools designed to help entertainment industry professionals achieve success throughout all stages of their career. Winners in each of the three categories may also qualify to enter their respective films in the Short Film category of the Academy Awards®.

LIVE ACTION

GRAND JURY PRIZE
Caroline (d: Celine Held, Logan George, USA 2017)

JURY STATEMENT: “Perfect” and “flawless” were two words our team used multiple times to describe this intense drama. A searing portrait of motherhood, it sent our blood pressure through the roof and arrested our attention until the very last second with its clever and powerful ending. The winner of the 2018 Live Action Short Jury Award goes to Caroline by Celine Held and Logan George.

SPECIAL JURY MENTION
Creme de Menthe (d: Jean-Marc E. Roy & Philippe David Gagné, Canada 2017)

JURY STATEMENT: Unlike the liqueur for which it is titled, this film is bittersweet and complex, a poignant reminder of every grown child’s desire for parental validation, even posthumously. What the captivating lead finds instead are small victories amidst her “rush” to judgement and the rubble of her father’s later life. Our special mention award goes to the understated and masterful Creme de Menthe by Jean-Marc E. Roy and Philippe David Gagné.

SPECIAL JURY MENTION
The Victory of Charity (d: Albert Meisl, Austria 2017)

JURY STATEMENT: This Austrian farce manages to create comedic gold with a mismatched pair of music professors: turning an act of charity--however maliciously motivated--into a hilarious treasure hunt around Vienna. For its endlessly humorous crafting of two endearingly ridiculous characters, on an earnest and equally ridiculous quest, we award a Special Mention to the short that left us in stitches, The Victory of Charity by Albert Meisl.

DOCUMENTARY

GRAND JURY PRIZE
Juck [Thrust] (d: Olivia Kastebring, Julia Gumpert, Ulrika Bandeira, Sweden 2018)

JURY STATEMENT: An unapologetic, empowering, and affecting call to action that demands attention.

SPECIAL JURY MENTION
The Driver is Red (d: Randall Christopher, USA 2017)

JURY STATEMENT: An invigorating revelation of an important, lesser known part of history, full of inventive visuals and tension-filled storytelling

ANIMATION

GRAND JURY PRIZE
Between the Lines (d: Maria Koneva, Russia 2017)

JURY STATEMENT: A delightful and whimsical story from a skilled, emerging new voice in animation.

 

SPECIAL JURY MENTION
The Driver is Red (d: Randall Christopher, USA 2017)

JURY STATEMENT: An invigorating revelation of an important, lesser known part of history, full of inventive visuals and tension-filled storytelling.

 

SHORT FILM JURIES FOR SIFF 2018

LIVE ACTION: Opal Bennett (Film Programmer), Warren Etheredge (founding faculty, TheFilmSchool) and Megan Oretsky (Vimeo)

DOCUMENTARY AND ANIMATION: Missy Laney (Adult Swim), Inga Diev (Ouat Media) and Abby Dylan (SAG-AFTRA)

 

SIFF 2018 CHINA STARS AWARDS

The Seattle International Film Festival is pleased to have presented the following awards at the China Stars Award Ceremony on Friday, June 8th at the Pan Pacific Hotel.

CHINA STARS BEST FILM AWARD
The Taste of Betel Nut (d: Jia Hu, p: Wei Sun, China 2017)

CHINA STARS BEST FIRST FILM
Dead Pigs (d: Cathy Yan, China/USA 2018)

CHINA STARS BEST NEW TALENT
Girls Always Happy (d: Mingming Yang, China 2018)

 

SIFF 2018 DOCUMENTARY FILM GRANT PROGRAM

We are humbled by the generosity and vision of Dwayne and Terese Clark, True Productions, and Áegis Living through their creation of this grant program and their ongoing commitment to nurture filmmakers with the vital financial support towards the completion of their films. The 2018 Clark Family Legacy Film Grant in the amount of $50,000 was awarded to Jordan Schiele for his film The Silk and the Flame and the Áegis Living Film Grant in the amount of $25,000 was awarded to Sarah Menzies for her film Afghan Cycles. These grants are given to documentary filmmakers who are working with excellence and integrity to bring important human stories to life. Both films were screened at this year's Festival.

 

SIFF 2018 SCREENPLAY COMPETITION

Screenplay Competition is a platform aimed at offering up-and-coming writers the opportunity to gain industry exposure through SIFF. This year, the Finalist and Grand Prize scripts were juried by Gerren Crochet (The Gersh Agency), Craig Detweiler (director, Remand), and Shelby Rachleff (The Westridge Foundation). The winning script, Youth Decay, received a live read by SAG-AFTRA actors on Thursday, June 7.

GRAND PRIZE WINNER
Youth Decay by Brandon Hall

FINALISTS
Anh Sang by Barry Brennessel
Kibou by Cassie Hayasaka and Keith Hayasaka
Plan B by Paige Gresty

SEMI-FINALISTS
Amelia Was Here! by Millie West
Kelley’s Coffin by Jon Hartz
Pale Souls by Michael Lavine
The Rodeo King of Brooklyn by Paul Longo
Seattle ‘94 by Charles Freeman
Strange Trails by Jordan Short

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