New Zealand Chess Drama ‘Dark Horse’ Wins Top Award at Seattle Film Festival

Other awards go to “Romeo Is Bleeding,” “Inside Out” and “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl”

Last Updated: June 7, 2015 @ 11:17 AM

James Napier Robertson’s “The Dark Horse,” an inspirational fact-based New Zealand drama starring Cliff Curtis as chess champion Genesis Potini, has been named the best film of the 2015 Seattle International Film Festival, SIFF organizers announced on Sunday.

The 25-day festival screened 450 films, with more than 90,000 votes submitted by audience members. It is the largest and most well-attended film festival in North America.

Runner-up films included Pixar’s “Inside Out” and the Sundance sensation “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.”

The audience award for best documentary went to Jason Zeldes’ “Romeo Is Bleeding,” while the directing award went to Alfonso Gomez-Rejon for “Me and Earl” and acting honors went to Nina Hoss for “Phoenix” and Curtis for “The Dark Horse.”

Also read: 13 Biggest Winners and Losers at the Cannes Film Festival

“The Dark Horse” will be distributed in the United States by Broad Green Pictures.

In separate jury awards, the winners included Károly Ujj-Mészáros’ “Liza, the Fox Fairy,” Greg Kohs’ “The Great Alone” and Pablo Valencia’s “Chatty Catties.”

The full list of winners:

SIFF 2015 GOLDEN SPACE NEEDLE AUDIENCE AWARDS

BEST FILM
“The Dark Horse,” directed by James Napier Robertson (New Zealand 2014)
First runner-up: “Inside Out,” directed by Pete Docter (USA 2015)
Second runner-up: “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (USA 2015)
Third runner-up: “Shaun the Sheep,” directed by Richard Starzak, Mark Burton (UK 2015)
Fourth runner-up: “Good Ol’ Boy,” directed by Frank Lotito (USA 2015)

BEST DOCUMENTARY
“Romeo Is Bleeding,” directed by Jason Zeldes (USA 2015)
First runner-up: “Paper Tigers,” directed by James Redford (USA 2015)
Second runner-up: “The Glamour & the Squalor,” directed by Marq Evans (USA 2015)
Third runner-up: “The Great Alone,” directed by Greg Kohs (USA 2015)
Fourth runner-up: “Frame by Frame,” directed by Mo Scarpelli, Alexandria Bombach (Afghanistan 2014)

BEST DIRECTOR
Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” (USA 2015)
First runner-up: George Ovashvili, “Corn Island” (Georgia 2014)
Second runner-up: Peter Greenaway, “Eisenstein in Guanajuato” (Netherlands 2015)
Third runner-up: Susanne Bier, “A Second Chance” (Denmark 2014)
Fourth runner-up: Ross Partridge, “Lamb” (USA 2015)

BEST ACTOR
Cliff Curtis, “The Dark Horse” (New Zealand 2014)
First runner-up: Ian McKellen, “Mr. Holmes” (UK 2015)
Second runner-up: Jason Segel, “End of the Tour” (USA 2014)
Third runner-up: Victor Andrés Trelles Turgeon, “Henri Henri” (Canada (Québec) 2014)
Fourth runner-up: Jacir Eid, “Theeb” (Jordan 2014)

BEST ACTRESS
Nina Hoss, “Phoenix” (Germany 2014)
First runner-up: Kalki Koechlin, “Margarita, with a Straw” (India 2014)
Second runner-up: Rebecka Josephson, “My Skinny Sister” (Sweden 2015)
Third runner-up: Regina Case, “The Second Mother” (Brazil 2015)
Fourth runner-up: Ghita Nørby, “Key House Mirror” (Denmark 2015)

BEST SHORT FILM
“Even the Walls,” directed by Sarah Kuck, Saman Maydáni (USA 2015)
First runner-up: “Submarine Sandwich,” directed by PES (USA 2014)
Second runner-up: “Stealth,” directed by Bennett Lasseter (USA 2014)
Third runner-up: “Personal Development,” directed by Tom Sullivan (Ireland 2015)
Fourth runner-up: “Bihttoš,” directed by Elie-Máijá Tailfeathers (Canada 2014)

LENA SHARPE AWARD FOR PERSISTENCE OF VISION
“Frame by Frame,” directed by Mo Scarpelli, Alexandria Bombach (Afghanistan 2014)

JURY AWARDS

SIFF 2015 BEST NEW DIRECTOR
GRAND JURY PRIZE
“Liza, the Fox-Fairy” (Hungary 2015), directed by Károly Ujj-Mészáros

SPECIAL JURY MENTION
“Corrections Class” (Russia/Germany 2014), directed by Ivan I. Tverdovsky

SIFF 2015 BEST DOCUMENTARY
GRAND JURY PRIZE
“The Great Alone” (USA 2015), directed by Greg Kohs

SPECIAL JURY PRIZES
“Romeo Is Bleeding” (USA 2015), directed by Jason Zeldes
“Sergio Herman: F**king Perfect” (Netherlands 2015), directed by Willemiek Kluijfhout

SIFF 2015 BEST NEW AMERICAN CINEMA
GRAND JURY PRIZE
“Chatty Catties” (USA 2015), directed by Pablo Valencia

SIFF 2015 FUTUREWAVE AND YOUTH JURY AWARDS

YOUTH JURY AWARD FOR BEST FUTUREWAVE FEATURE
“Seoul Searching” (USA/South Korea 2015), directed by Benson Lee

YOUTH JURY AWARD FOR BEST FILMS4FAMILIES FEATURE
“When Marnie Was There” (Japan 2014), directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi

WAVEMAKER AWARD (GRAND PRIZE)
“Audio Input” (USA), directed by Sho Schrock-Manabe

FUTUREWAVE AUDIENCE AWARD
“Minimum Max” (USA), directed by Josh Ovalle

PRODIGY CAMP SCHOLARSHIPS
“I’m Not Here” (South Africa), directed by Jack Markovitz
“Minimum Max” (USA), directed by Josh Ovalle

SIFF 2015 SHORT FILM JURY AWARDS

LIVE ACTION
GRAND JURY PRIZE
“The Chicken” (Croatia, Germany), directed by Una Gunjak

SPECIAL JURY PRIZE
“Hole” (Canada), directed by Martin Edralin

DOCUMENTARY

GRAND JURY PRIZE
“Bihttoš” (Canada), directed by Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers

ANIMATION

GRAND JURY PRIZE
“The Mill at Calder’s End” (USA), directed by Kevin McTurk

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