Every spring for 40 years now Seattle plays host to a sprawling marathon festival. This year's 25-day iteration (May 15 to June 8) boasted 452 films from 83 countries, the usual eclectic mix of world premieres (20 features), festival favorites from other festivals (John Ridley's opening gala film "Jimi: All Is By My Side" and closer "The One I Love," starring Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass), original music performances (jazzman Justin Kauflin), tributes (Laura Dern, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Quincy Jones), local filmmakers (Lynn Shelton, John Jeffcoat) and panels (I participated in lively discussions of film criticism and indie distribution). Marking a festival record, SIFF imported more than 350 filmmakers, actors, and industry folks to the city.
Nearly 90,000 audience ballots were submitted for the Golden Space Needle audience awards in five categories, which were swept handily by Richard Linklater's epic "Boyhood." It won Best Film, Director, and Actress (Patricia Arquette)--on the long road to more awards to come.
Young Australian filmmaker Alan Hicks' moving documentary "Keep On Keepin' On," about the last years of acclaimed jazz trumpeter Clark Terry, won Best Documentary; it was accompanied by a concert from his young protege, blind pianist Justin Kauflin, who has also been mentored by tributee Quincy Jones, who supported the documentary.
Actor Dawid Ogrodnik from Polish crowdpleaser "Life Feels Good" and Short Film "Fool's Day" also took home audience awards.
Among the competition jury prizes, Spanish filmmaker Carlos Marques-Marcet's feature "10,000KM," Colombian documentary "Marmato," and feature "Red Knot" earned the top awards.
Full list of awards below: