Best picture was Ferzan Ozpetek's haunting drama "Facing Windows," set in an Italian apartment house. He was also first runner-up in the directing category, won by Marco Tullio Giordana ("The Best of Youth"). Acting awards went to Luis Tosar ("Take My Eyes") and Catalina Sandino Moreno ("Maria Full of Grace").
Zana Briski and Ross Kauffman's "Born into Brothels" won best documentary, and Jason Reitman's "Consent" was named best short film.
Festival staffers noted at the awards brunch (held at the Space Needle, natch) that more than 70,000 ballots were cast, and that ticket sales were up 20 percent over last year.
Four juried awards were also presented: the New American Cinema award (won by Zak Penn's "Incident at Loch Ness" and Lisa Cholodenko's "Cavedweller"), the New Director's Showcase award (won by "Wild Side," directed by Sébastien Lifshitz), the Refracting Reality Documentary award (co-winners were Andrew Douglas' "Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus" and Daniel Gordon's "The Game of Their Lives") and the Short Film award (won by Takia Waititi's "Two Cars, One Night" and Jonathan Nix's "Hello").
Elsewhere, the festival's diehard full-series passholders yesterday announced their traditional Fool Serious awards, matching the Golden Space Needles in only one category (Tosar, for best actor). The passholders named Yoji Yamada's "Twilight Samurai" as best picture, Zhang Yimou best director (for "Hero"), Esther Gorintin of "Since Otar Left" best actress and "The Corporation" for best documentary.
Passholders honored "Hero" for its cinematography and music, and named "Danny Deckchair" their favorite guilty pleasure.
— Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times movie critic