Alas, all good things must come to an end. 

After more than a week of films screenings, big announcements, and familiar faces, the in-person programming of the 2023 Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) came to a close Sunday with a showing of Chandler Levack's I Like Movies at the Egyptian followed by a party over at MOHAI where, among other things, there is an exhibit that sings a song about the so-called Great Seattle Fire. Cinema! 

Speaking of, there are still plenty more opportunities to take in said cinema—many SIFF entries will be available to screen virtually through May 28. As for the end of in-person films, it brought with it the announcement of the festival winners. In the Leonessa Ballroom at the Grand Hyatt on Sunday morning, organizers presented awards chosen by both juries and audiences who voted over the course of the festival. The winners chosen by the jury in each category were also given cash prizes with $5,000 being awarded for features and $2,5000 for shorts.

The clear audience favorite was the drama The Blue Caftan, with director Maryam Touzani winning the Golden Space Needle for Best Director and Lubna Azabal winning Best Performance.

When it came to the Grand Jury Prizes, 20,000 Species of Bees won in the Official Competition, Next Sohee won in the New Directors Competition, Mutt won in the New American Cinema Competition, The Fishbowl won in the Ibero-American Competition, and Against the Tide won in the Documentary Competition.  

You can see the full list of winners below. 


Best Film - Dancing Queen, directed by Aurora Gossé (Norway)

Best Documentary - 26.2 to Life, directed by Christine Yoo (USA)

Best Short Film - Donkey, directed by Matt Kazman (USA)

Best Performance - Lubna Azabal, The Blue Caftan (Morocco/France)

Best Director - Maryam Touzani, The Blue Caftan (Morocco/France)

Lena Sharpe Award for Persistence of Vision - 26.2 to Life, directed by Christine Yoo (USA)


Official Competition Grand Jury Prize - 20,000 Species of Bees | dir. Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren (Spain)

Official Competition Special Jury Prize - Actress Marall Nasiri in Opponent | dir. Milad Alami (Sweden)

Ibero-American Competition Grand Jury Prize - The Fishbowl | dir. Glorimar Marrero Sánchez (Spain)

Ibero-American Competition Special Jury Prize - Actress Maria Vásquez in Matria | dir. Álvaro Gago (Spain)

New Directors Competition Grand Jury Prize - Next Sohee | dir. by July Jung (South Korea)

New Directors Competition Special Jury Prize - Hanging Gardens | dir. Ahmed Yassin Al Daradji (Iraq, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United Kingdom)

New American Cinema Competition Grand Jury Prize - Mutt | dir. Vuk Lungulov-Klotz (USA)

New American Cinema Competition Special Jury Prize - This Closeness | dir. Kit Zauhar (USA)

Documentary Competition Grand Jury Prize - Against the Tide | dir. Sarvnik Kaur (India, France)

Documentary Competition Special Jury Prize - King Coal | Elaine McMillion Sheldon (USA)

Youth Jury Prize for Best FutureWave Feature - And the King Said, What a Fantastic Machine | dir. Axel Danielson, Maximilien Van Aertryck (Sweden, Denmark)


FutureWave Shorts Wavemaker Award - ROOM (USA 2022) | dir. Ian Dani Kim

Short Film Live Action Grand Jury Prize - Airhostess-737 | dir. Thanasis Neofotistos (Greece)

Short Film Live Action Special Jury Prize - Sisters of the Rotation | dir. Gaby Zarazir, Michel Zarazir (Lebanon)

Short Film Documentary Grand Jury Prize - Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó (Grandma & Grandma) | dir. Sean Wang (USA)

Short Film Documentary Special Jury Prize - 45th Parallel | dir. Lawrence Abu Hamdan (United Kingdom)

Short Film Animation Grand Jury Prize - Fur | dir. Zhen Li (USA)