Eighth Grade, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? WIN TOP AWARDS AT THE 44TH SEATTLE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: Big Stars arrive Final Weekend.

By MK Scott

Big stars arrived for the final weekend of the Seattle International Film Festival. Actor, Ethan Hawke arrived this past Friday for a tribute reserved for Platinum pass and ticket holders only. Two days later, the closing night brought director, Gus Van Sant and actors, Joaquin Phoenix and Beth Ditto for a screening of his latest film, “Don’t Worry, He won’t get far on foot.”

Earlier in the day, winners were announced at the Golden Space Needle 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.


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 at piperoneill.net.

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)

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)

Gustav Möller, The 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)

Miguel Ángel Solá, The 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)

Elsie Fisher, Eighth 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)

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)

Presented by Women in Film – Seattle
Dana Nachman, Pick 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 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.


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).

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.

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)###

About SIFF

Founded in 1976, SIFF creates experiences that bring people together to discover extraordinary films from around the world with the Seattle International Film Festival, SIFF Cinema, and SIFF Education. Recognized as one of the top film festivals in North America, the Seattle International Film Festival is the longest, most highly attended film festival in the United States, reaching more than 145,000 annually. The 25-day festival is renowned for its wide-ranging and eclectic programming, presenting over 400 features, short films, and documentaries from over 80 countries each year. SIFF Cinema exhibits premiere theatrical engagements, repertory, classic, and revival film showings 363 days a year on five screens at the SIFF Cinema Uptown, SIFF Cinema Egyptian, and SIFF Film Center, reaching more than 175,000 attendees annually. SIFF Education offers educational programs for all audiences serving more than 10,000 students and youth in the community with free programs each year.

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