Golden Space Needles awarded

'Blossoms' takes best film; 'Em' gets grand jury prize

Audience members gave Doris Dorris' "Cherry Blossoms -- Hanami" the best film Golden Space Needle Award at the 34th Seattle International Film Festival, which ended Sunday. The jury's grand prize went to Tony Barbieri's "Em."

At the 25-day fest, the jury awarded a special jury prize to writer-director Russell Brown for "The Bluetooth Virgin."

Within the fest's New Directors Showcase competition, the grand jury prize was awarded to Yves-Christian Fournier's "Everything Is Fine," while the special jury prize was bestowed on Anna Melikyan's "Mermaid."

The grand jury prize for documentary was presented to Isaac Julien's "Derek," and special jury prizes were awarded to Raphael Mathie's "Combalion" and Timothy Hotchner's "Accelerating America."

The short film winners were Rebecca Dreyfus' "Self Portrait With Cows Going Home and Other Works: A Portrait of Sylvia Plachy" in the documentary category, with Christina Voros' "The Ladies" picking up the special prize; Luis Cook's "The Pearce Sisters" in the animation category, with Kim Slate's "Home" winning the special prize; and Atul Taishete's "Rewind" in the narrative category. Narrative special jury prizes were handed out to Amy Gebhardt's "Walnut," Paddy Considine's "Dog Altogether," Teemu Nikki's "A Mate" and Steph Green's "New Boy."

John Grigsby's "Introduction to Lucid Dreaming" and Adam Keker's "On the Assassination of the President" earned honorable mentions for inventive filmmaking.

Rose McAleese's "Disorder" claimed the FutureWave Jury's Grand Jury Prize WaveMaker Award. Honorable mentions went to Misami Kubo's "4th Floor"; Meng Mao, Eli Shalcross, Charlie Shelton, and Matt Yaggy's "Driving to the New Age: American Automobiles and You"; and Dave Riff's "New Perspective."

Anthony O'Brien's "Perfect Sport" was the MyFestival Feature Film winner, and John Burish's "Robbie's Withdrawel" was the MyFestival Short Film winner.

MyFestival special recognition awards went to Jason Goodman's "Eternal City" and Kirsten Alaqidy's "Hot Wind: America's Fallout Casualties."

In addition to "Cherry Blossom -- Hanami," other audience winners that scored Space Needle Awards were:

Best documentary: Denny Tedesco's "The Wrecking Crew"

Best director: Amin Matalqa for "Captain Abu Raed"

Best actor: Alan Rickman for "Bottle Shock"

Best actress: Jessica Chastain for "Jolene"

Best short film: Andreas Utta's "Felix"

Lena Sharpe Award, given to the film by a woman director that receives the most votes from the public: Courtney Hunt's "Frozen River."
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