SAAFF 2020 Jury and Audience Awards
February 25, 2020
Grand Jury Awards
Best Short Narrative: The Visit
A gripping film with a clever, multi-layered narrative, The Visit is a beautifully eerie story. The exploration of an elder’s experience as well as intergenerational clash is exceptionally well-crafted. With haunting imagery and foreboding tone, it leaves a deep impression on those who watch it.
Best Short Documentary: YAI NIN
Titled after its titular subject, Yai Nin follows a tough but generous matriarch residing in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The film unfolds before you and you watch as her character is revealed to you. You hear first-hand accounts of her kindness, understand her work ethic, and see that she’s a little bit lonely. Yai Nin’s impressive cinematography, structure, and heartfelt direction won over the short documentary jury.
Best Narrative Feature: Song Lang
Song Lang transports you back to 1980s Saigon in its gorgeous imagery and production design. There is beauty in the story’s subtleties, with an intimate relationship growing on screen between its leading men that reveals dimensions of who they are. Their intense chemistry leaves you wishing for all the possibilities and makes it an unforgettable and deeply moving film.
Best Documentary Feature: Born to Be
Born to Be covers stories that have yet to be explored much by the rest of the media. Following the journeys of Dr. Jess Ting and his transgender and gender non-conforming patients at Mount Sinai, the camera lets us into some of the most intimate moments of the patients’ lives. This is an incredibly impactful documentary that shows us a doctor whose kindness and innovation resonates in the work he does, striving to provide the best care possible and fulfilling the dreams of his patients. The world could use more people like Dr. Ting.
Cinemetropolis Award for best local film: SOMA
This award is chosen by the SAAFF Programming team.
The film beautifully showcases a local restaurant in the Seattle area. It is visually and aesthetically appetizing, and demonstrates the depth of talent and the uniqueness of Chef Soma.
Audience Choice Awards
Favorite Short Narrative: Halwa
Favorite Short Documentary: Vanishing Chinatown: The World of The May’s Photo Studio
Favorite Narrative Feature: Song Lang
Favorite Documentary Feature: Jeronimo