It’s always the sign of a great movie festival when a screen-gazer laments all the footage that gets away from him (although the most dedicated buffs are known to attend over 150 of the nearly 300 films shown at this Seattle behemoth). But there are also reliable film-fan barometers available for deciding which movies to catch the second time around (and which to avoid like the plague), when they’re released mainstream (or sent straight to DVD).

For instance, there’s the Fool Serious Award Sheet, distributed during the event’s final day to frazzled, strung-out pass holders standing in line for one last fix. Conducted by a fanatical group of local festival-goers, the Fool Serious Awards are tabulated independently of Cinema Seattle, the organization behind SIFF. They’re kind of like the People’s Choice Awards, as opposed to the Oscars. And which films scored highest with those submitting ballots to these dedicated screen stalkers? “The Twilight Samurai,” “Snow Walker,” “Since Otar Left,” “Hero,” and “Take My Eyes” were popular crowd favorites. In fact, “…Eyes” could be a film with significant staying power: the Spanish domestic abuse drama also boasted a Best Actor win for leading man Luis Tosar.

Tosar’s performance as an insecure wife-beater also scored high marks in the event’s “official” merit system, the Golden Space Needle Awards, winning for Best Actor. Like the Fool Serious Awards, these cinematic commendations are also determined by popular audience vote, but on a much larger scale. Results are based on over 70,000 ballots submitted by viewers throughout SIFF’s draining, 25-day run.

The 2004 Golden Space Needle victors, announced June 13, 2004, are as follows:

Stellar Artois Best Film

Facing Window (Italy)

Stellar Artois Best Documentary

Born Into Brothels (India)

Best Short Film

Consent (USA)

Lena Sharpe Award

Dear Frankie (Scotland) ^ directed by Shona Auerbach

Best Actress

Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full of Grace)

Best Actor

Luis Tosar (Take My Eyes)

Best Director

Marco Tullio Giordana (Best of Youth)

Posted on June 22, 2004 in Festivals by

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