Above: A still shot from Anna and Nicholas Hudak's award-winning documentary feature "Where God Likes to Be."
And just that fast, the 2015 Spokane International Film Festival is over. Those who attended (and many did) had the opportunity to see 50-some films — shorts, features and documentaries — from more than 20 countries, giving new meaning to the annual event's international aura.
Everyone who did attend has, presumably, a favorite among the entries. And the SpIFF jury, made up from the board of directors (on which I serve), the programmers and various area film educators and professionals, is no different. Only difference? The jury's choices carry the weight of authority (and is something the filmmakers can pin on their pajamas).
The jury winners of SpIFF 2015 are as follows:
Best of the NW Feature: Gold SpIFFy: "Where God Likes to Be" (Anna Hudak, Nicolas Hudak, Germany/USA); Silver SpIFFy: "Wildlike" (Frank Hall Green, USA)
Best of the NW Short: Gold SpIFFy: "The Package" (Dave Kotlan, USA); Silver SpIFFy: "Serenade" (Kendra Ann Sherrill, USA)
Best Documentary: Gold SpIFFy: "Evaporating Borders" (Iva Radivojevic, USA/Cyprus); Silver SpIFFy: "Where God Likes to Be" (Anna Hudak, Nicolas Hudak, Germany/USA)
Best Mid-Length: Gold SpIFFy: "From the Sky" (Ian Ebright, USA); Silver SpIFFy: "People in the Trees" (Jonah Vigil, USA)
Best Short Film: "Still" (Jeff Rutherford, USA)
Best Animated Short: "A Single Life" (Job, Joris & Marieke, Netherlands)
Most Promising Filmmaker: Ian Ebright ("From the Sky")
Personally, I would have given an extra award: Geena Pietromonaco, who was the sole actor in Jeff Rutherford's award-winning short "Still," is my choice as Best Actress. Unfortunately, SpIFF does not give out acting awards. But if anyone in SpIFF 2015 deserves it, Pietromonaco definitely does.
Just as soon as the balloting is done, we'll announce the Audience Award winners. And then it's on to SpIFF 2016.