The Seattle International Film Festival is not known for its brevity. It is in fact the largest film festival in North America – a film marathon of sorts spanning over 25-days - testing even the heartiest of film goers’ endurance. Fortunately, SIFF recognizes the need to give us a breather after watching films day after day that can run anywhere from 90 – 120 minutes (or in some cases over 200 minutes).
So, as part of its ShortsFest and FutureWave Shorts program, SIFF assembled 187 short films into several tidy, digestible packages covering a full range of genres on just about every topic imaginable. These filmmakers tell their stories in short burst – anywhere from just over a couple of minutes to the epic 20-minute oeuvre – proving that sometimes less is more.
As with any fest – no matter the size – awards will be handed out. And SIFF’s ShortsFest is no different. Each ShortsFest Grand Jury winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize and over $5,000 in goods and services. And to top it all off, the winning Narrative and Animation films will be eligible to enter the Short Films category of the Academy Awards.
The votes have been tallied and the jury’s envelopes holding the names of the winners have been sealed and delivered. Now, here are the official ShortsFest Grand Jury winners.
Grand Jury Prizes
Narrative - The Extraordinary Life of Rocky, directed by Kevin Meul (Belgium)
The jury liked this film’s “wonderfully morbid Scandinavian sensibility” and awarded this film high marks as “a darkly funny exploration of a young man with a curse.”
Documentary - Paradise, directed by Nadav Kurtz (USA)
The jury awarded this short film top honors for “approaching literally lofty subject matter from a down-to-earth perspective, and for allowing the subjects to tell their own stories.”
Animation - Zergüt, directed by Natasha Subramaniam and Alisa Lapidus (USA)
Members of the jury gave this film a deserving nod and remarked that “combining perishable elements with the meticulous nature of stop motion animation is just the beginning of the delicious wonders.”
FutureWave Shorts Award Winners
WaveMaker Award (Grand Prize) - Before the Music Ends, directed by Ashley Armitage and Gina Mattassa (USA)
Special Jury Prize - This is My Life, Brother, directed by Jawara Drigo (USA)
TheFilmSchool Prodigy Camp Scholarship - 143, directed by Mariana Emmanuelli (Puerto Rico)
Chipotle Cultivate Filmmakers Award
ShortsFest filmmakers Ryan Prows (Narcocorrido, USA) and Evan Viera (Caldera, USA) each received a $500 cash prize from Chipotle for their “innovative use of animation and music.”
New Belgium Brewing Company Award
Filmmaker Benjamin Schuetze won’t need to make any beer runs anytime soon as he nabbed a year's supply of New Belgium beer for his film The Paris Quintet in Practice Makes Perfect.