Seattle International Film Festival: ‘Sami Blood,’ ‘At the End of the Tunnel’ Come Out on Top

Sami Blood Sameblod SIFF
Courtesy of SIFF

The 2017 Seattle International Film Festival announced its audience award recipients and official competition winners on Sunday. Films “At the End of the Tunnel” and “Sami Blood (Sameblod)” and documentaries “Dolores” and “Becoming Who I Was” were the standouts from the Washington-based competition.

Over 82,000 ballots were cast at SIFF this year for the five official categories and six audience awards.

Amanda Kernell’s coming-of-age drama “Sami Blood (Sameblod)” from Sweden, Norway, and Demark was named the grand jury prize winner for the official competition. The jury chose the film as its main festival winner “for its beautifully nuanced and spare portrayal of the struggle to discover who you are, both because of and in spite of where you are from.” They also praised the inclusion of the Scandinavian setting’s rarely seen culture.

Chang-Yong Moon and Jin Jeon’s “Becoming Who I Was” from South Korea was selected as the best documentary by festival voters. “We admired the filmmakers’ skill and commitment to capturing the relationship between the two subjects,” explained the jury.

“At the End of the Tunnel” by Rodrigo Grande was named best film by the audience, while “Dolores” from Peter Bratt was deemed best doc. As Variety previously reported, Anjelica Huston was presented the career achievement in acting award.

A complete list of winners from the 43rd Annual Seattle International Film Festival can be found below:

Official competition — Grand jury prize:
“Sami Blood (Sameblod),” directed by Amanda Kernell (Sweden/Norway/Denmark 2016)

Documentary competition — Grand jury prize:
“Becoming Who I Was,” directed by Chang-Yong Moon and Jin Jeon (South Korea 2016)

Ibero-American competition — Grand jury prize:
“The Winter (El Invierno),” directed by Emiliano Torres (Argentina/France 2016)

New directors competition — Grand jury prize:
“Boundaries (Pays),” directed by Chloé Robichaud (Canada 2016)

New American cinema competition — Grand jury prize:
“Lane 1974,” directed by SJ Chiro (USA 2017)

Golden space needle award — Best film
“At the End of the Tunnel,” directed by Rodrigo Grande (Spain/Argentina 2016)

First runner-up: “King’s Choice,” directed by Erik Poppe (Norway 2016)
Second runner-up: “I, Daniel Blake,” directed by Ken Loach (United Kingdom/France/Belgium 2016)
Third runner-up: “Patti Cake$,” directed by Geremy Jasper (USA 2017)
Fourth runner-up: “Lane 1974,” directed by SJ Chiro (USA 2017)

Golden space needle award — Best documentary:
“Dolores,” directed by Peter Bratt (USA 2017)
First runner-up: “Chasing Coral,” directed by Jeff Orlowski (USA 2017)
Second runner-up: “Step,” directed by Amanda Lipitz (USA 2017)
Third runner-up: “City of Ghosts,” directed by Matthew Heineman (USA 2017)
Fourth runner-up: “Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey,” directed by Dave O’Leske (USA 2017)

Golden space needle award — Best director:
Rodrigo Grande, “At the End of the Tunnel” (Spain/Argentina 2016)

First runner-up: Justin Chon, “Gook” (USA 2017)
Second runner-up: Philippe van Leeuw, “In Syria” (Lebanon/France/Belgium 2017)
Third runner-up: Mani Haghighi, “A Dragogn Arrives!” (Iran 2016)
Fourth runner-up: Hirokazu Kore-eda, “After the Storm” (Japan 2016)

Golden space needle award — Best actor:
David Johns, “I, Daniel Blake” (United Kingdom/France/Belgium 2016)

First runner-up: Leonardo Sbaraglia, “At the End of the Tunnel” (Spain/Argentina 2016)
Second runner-up: Timothy Spall, “The Journey” (United Kingdom 2016)
Third runner-up: Fares Fares, “The Nile Hilton Incident” (Sweden/Denmark/Germany 2017)
Fourth runner-up: Bogusław Linda, “Afterimage” (Poland 2016)

Golden space needle award — Best actress:
Lene Cecilia Sparrok, “Sami Blood (SameBlod)” (Sweden/Norway/Denmark 2016)

First runner-up: Elina Vaska, “Mellow Mud” (Latvia 2016)
Second runner-up: Danielle MacDonald, “PAtti Cake$” (USA 2017)
Third runner-up: Sophia Mitri-Schloss, “Lane 1974” (USA 2017)
Fourth runner-up: Simone Baker, “Gook” (USA 2017)

Golden space needle award — Best short film:
“Defend the Sacred,” directed by Kyle Bell (USA 2016)

First runner-up: “Little Potato,” directed by Wes Hurley, Nathan M. Miller (USA 2017)
Second runner-up: “The Geneva Convention,” directed by Benoit Martin (France 2016)
Third runner-up: “Fluffy,” directed by Lee Filipovski (Serbia/Montenegro/Canada 2016)
Fourth runner-up: “The Cleansing Hour,” directed by Damien LeVeck (USA 2016)

Lena Sharpe award for persistence of vision:
Amanda Lipitz, “Step” (USA 2017)

Special jury mention:
“What Lies Upstream,” directed by Cullen Hoback (USA 2017)

Career achievement in acting award:
Anjelica Huston