The 39th Seattle International Film Festival announced the winners of the SIFF 2013 Competition and Golden Space Needle Audience Awards over the weekend, with a few S&A profiled titles picking up trophies, including South African dramedy Fanie Fourie's Lobola, and the crowd-pleasing feature documentary on African American back-up singers, Twenty Feet from Stardom, each receiving Golden Space Needle Audience Awards.
Also the Moroccan drama Horses of God, directed by Nabil Ayouch, won the Best Director Golden Space Needle Award.
Others receiving mention include Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth and Finding Hillywood helping to round out the top 10 in the Best Documentary Golden Space Needle Award category, as well as South African drama The Forgotten Kingdom, in the Best Film Golden Space Needle Award category (read Vanessa's review of that film HERE).
The 25-day festival, which began May 16, featured over 447 films representing 85 countries, including 49 World (18 Features, 31 Shorts), 48 North American (38 Features, 10 Shorts), 17 US Premieres (6 Features, 11 Shorts), and over 700 screenings.
Additionally, SIFF brought in more than 400 filmmakers, actors and industry professionals.
"Our most successful festival in the history of SIFF is ending on a high note and setting an exciting precedent for the future with Fanie Fourie's Lobola from our inaugural African Pictures programming taking home the top audience prize for best film with a Golden Space Needle Award," said SIFF Artistic and Co-Director Carl Spence. "With once-in-a-lifetime experiences including country western rock band The Maldives performing a haunting score to Victor Sjöström's 1928 classic film The Wind and the opportunity for audiences to meet more than 200 directors with their films across 25 days with massive attendance illustrated once again that Seattle has the most engaged, lively and active audiences of any city in the US."
SIFF was the 2012 recipient of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences multi-year grant for its African Pictures program mentioned in Spence's quote above, which comprises of a total of $150,000 over a three-year period - funds that will go towards showcasing the burgeoning and diverse brands of cinema that are emerging across continental Africa.
For the full list of winners, click HERE.