List of San Diego International Film Festival award winners

The following is a list of San Diego International Film Festival award winners by year, celebrity and by award.

Film Competition Award Winners By YearEdit

SDiFF2020Edit

Oct 15-18, 2020[1]

  • Best Narrative Feature: Drunk Bus (dir. John Carlucci and Brandon LaGanke)
  • Best Documentary: MLK/FBI (dir. Sam Pollard)
  • Best International Feature: 150 Million Magical Sparrows (dirs. Brahmanand S. Singh, Tanvi Jain)
  • Best Thriller Feature: Through the Glass Darkly (dir. Lauren Fash)
  • Best Drama Feature: Farewell Amor (dir. Ekwa Msangi)
  • Best Comedy Feature: Eat Wheaties! (dir. Scott Abramovitch)
  • Best Ensemble Cast: Before/During/After (dir. Stephen Kunken, Jack Lewars)
  • Best Short Documentary: Panthoot (dir. Richard Reens)
  • Best Short Narrative: Last Queen on Earth (dir. Michael Shumway)
  • Best International Short Film: Chen Chen (dir. Kargo Chen)
  • Best Animation: To: Gerard (dir. Taylor Meacham)
  • Kumeyaay Award: Invasion: The Unist'ot'en's Fight for Sovereignty (dirs. Michael Toledano, Sam Vinal)
  • Best Local Film: Anna (dir. Rich Underwood)
  • Chris Brinker Award: The MisEducation of Bindu (dir. Prarthana Mohan)
  • Artistic Director's Award: You Asked for the Facts: Bobby Kennedy at the Univ of Mississippi

Audience Choice Awards:

  • Audience Choice Documentary: The Mustangs: America's Wild Horses
  • Audience Choice Short: Feeling Through (dir. Doug Roland)
  • Audience Choice Gala: Nomadland
  • Audience Choice Feature: Drunk Bus

SDiFF2019Edit

 
Joey Travolta directed Carol of the Belles, Winner of the 2019 Audience Award for Best Feature Film Award

Oct 15-20, 2019[2][3]

  • Best Narrative Feature : The Steed (dir. Erdenebileg Ganbold)
  • Best Documentary: Breaking Their Silence: Women on the Frontline of the Poaching War (dir. Kerry David)
  • Best Short Film: Long Time Listener, First Time Caller (dir. Nora Kirkpatrick)
  • Best International Short Film: Portraitist (dir. Cyrus Neshvad)
  • Best Animation: Riptide
  • Best Global Cinema: Philophobia (dir. Guy Davies)
  • Kumeyaay Award: Angelique's Isle (dir. Marie-Hélène Cousineau, Michelle Derosier)
  • Best Ensemble Cast: Inside Game (dir. Randall Batinkoff)
  • Best Original Screenplay: Love in Kilnerry (dir. Daniel Keith)
  • Best World Premiere: 100 Days to Live (dir. Ravin Gandhi)
  • Best Student Film: Sonora
  • Best Local Film: Flourish (dir. Christopher Allan Francis, Nicole Franco)
  • Best Comedy Film: Babysplitters (dir. Sam Friedlander)
  • Best Thriller: Safe Inside (dir. Renata Gabryjelska)
  • Litecoin Filmmaker Award: Philophobia
  • Artistic Director's Award: Safe Spaces (dir. Daniel Schechter)

Audience Choice Awards:

  • Studio Film: Marriage Story (dir. Noah Baumbach)
  • Feature Film: Carol of the Bells (dir. Joey Travolta)
  • Documentary: Breaking Their Silence, Women on the Frontline of the Poaching War (dir. Kerry David)
  • Short Film: Men of Vision (dir. Frank Todaro)

SDiFF2018Edit

 
Garrard Conley & Joel Edgerton, writer and director of Boy Erased

Oct 10-14, 2018[4] | Jury Awards:

  • Best Animation: The Driver is Red (dir. Randall Christopher)
  • Best Student Film: Learning to Swim
  • Best Global Cinema: My Name is "Batlir", Not Butler (dir. Stare Yildirim)
  • Kumeyaay Award: Indian Horse
  • Most Inspirational Film: The Push (dir. Grant Korgan, Brian Niles)
  • Best World Premiere: Electric Love (dir. Aaron Fradkin)
  • Best Local Film: Daisy Belle (dir. William Wall)
  • Best Local Breakout: Romance is Dead (dir. Todd Jackson)
  • Best Short Film: Akeda (dir. Dan Bronfield)
  • Best Short Comedy Film: Hero (dir. Drew and Nate Garcia)
  • Best Documentary: Stroop: Journey into the Rhino Horn War
  • Best Thriller: Rust Creek
  • Best Breakout Feature: I May Regret (dir. Graham Streeter)
  • Best Feature Film: Tiger
  • Artistic Directors' Award: Soufra (dir. Thomas A. Morgan)

Audience Choice Awards:

  • Best Documentary: Soufra
  • Best Feature: I May Regret
  • Best Short: Your Call Is Important To Us
  • Best Studio: Boy Erased

SDiFF2017Edit

 
Audience Choice Award Winner for Best Studio Film

Oct 4-8, 2017[5] | Jury Awards:

  • Best Narrative Feature: The Bachelors (dir. Kurt Voelker)
  • Best Documentary: The Last Animals
  • Best Short Film: The Foster Portfolio
  • Best Foreign Short: Ostoja Will Move Your Piano
  • Best Animated Short: Green Light (dir. Seong-Min Kim)
  • Best Global Cinema: The Divine Order
  • Kumeyayy Eagle Award: Waabooz (dir. Molly Katagiri)
  • Best Military Film: Apache Warrior (dir. David Salzberg, Christian Tureaud)
  • Best Ensemble Film: Butterfly Caught (dir. Manny Rodriguez Jr.)
  • Best World Premiere: Dismissed (dir. Benjamin Arfmann)
  • Best Comedy Feature: The Lonely Italian (dir. Lee Farber)
  • Best Breakthrough Feature: Selling Isobel
  • Chairman's Award: Dog Years (dir. Adam Rifkin)

Audience Choice Awards:

  • Best Documentary: Resistance is Life (dir. Apo W. Bazidi)
  • Best Feature: Life Hack
  • Best Short: The Dog With the Woman (dir. Phoebe Arnstein, Stephen Ledger-Lomas)
  • Best Studio: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

SDiFF2016Edit

 
Kevin Pollak accepted the Best Comedy Award in 2016 for The Late Bloomer which he directed.

Sept 28-Oct 2, 2016 | Jury Awards:

  • Best Narrative Short: Bon Voyage (dir. Marc Raymond Wilkin)
  • Best Comedy: The Late Bloomer (dir. Kevin Pollak)
  • Best Military Film: Railway Spine (dir. Samuel Gonzalez, Jr.)
  • Kumeyayy Eagle Award: Te Ata (dir. Nathan Frankowski)
  • Best Documentary: Political Animals
  • Best International Film: Julieta (dir. Pedro Almodovar)
  • Breakthrough Feature: Po
  • Chairman's Award: Citizen Soldier (dir. David Salzberg, Christian Tureaud)
  • Best Narrative Feature: So B. It
  • Breakthrough Documentary: In Utero

Audience Choice Awards:

SDFF2015Edit

Sep 30-Oct 4, 2015[6] | Jury Awards:

  • Best Narrative Feature – Diablo
  • Best Documentary – India's Daughter
  • Best International Film – Victoria
  • Best Narrative Short – SubRosa (dir. Thora Hilmarsdottir)
  • Best Animated Film – SOAR (dir. Alyce Tzue)
  • Best Military Film – No Greater Love (dir. Justin Roberts)
  • Kumeyaay Award – For Blood (dir. Chadwick Pelletier, John T. Connor)
  • Chairman's Award – Kidnap Capital

Audience Choice:

SDFF2014Edit

Sep 24-28, 2014[7][8] | Jury Awards:

  • Best Narrative Feature: Where the Road Runs Out (dir. Rudolf Buitendach)
  • Best Documentary: Waiting for Mamu
  • Best International: Schimbarev (dir. Álex Sampayo)
  • Best Narrative Short: The Bravest, The Boldest (dir. Moon Molson)
  • Best Animated Film: The Dam Keeper
  • Kumeyaay Award: Sycuan: Our People. Our Culture. Our History.
  • U-T San Diego Award: Where the Road Runs Out
  • Chairman's Award: The Hornet's Nest

Audience Choice:

SDFF2013Edit

Oct 2-6, 2013[9] | Jury Awards:

SDFF2011Edit

[12]

Audience Choice:

SDFF2010Edit

Audience Choice:

 
Mira Sorvino won the Best Actress Award in 2009

SDFF2009Edit

[13]

Audience Choice:

SDFF2008Edit

[14]

  • Best Feature - Summerhood (dir. Jacob Medjuck)
  • Best Actress - Sasha Alexander - The Last Lullaby
  • Best Actor - Michael Tassoni - The Appearance of a Man (dir. Daniel Pace)
  • Heineken Red Star Award - The Appearance of a Man
  • Physical Graffiti Best Action Sports Story - Against the Grain
  • Best Short - In the Name of the Son
  • Best Documentary - Uncounted (dir. David Earnhardt)
  • Best Music Video - Greg Laswell - How the Day Sounds
  • Best San Diego Short - Residue

Audience Choice:

  • Best Feature - The Last Lullaby
  • Best Documentary - Speed & Angels (dir. Peyton Wilson)

SDFF2007Edit

 
Paul Schrader won Best Screenplay in 2007

Sept 27-30, 2007[15][16]

SDFF2006Edit

Sept. 27 – Oct. 1, 2006[18][19]

  • Best Feature Film - Danika
  • Best Director - Jordan Albertsen, The Standard
  • Best Screenplay - Tim Boughn, Neo Ned
  • Best Documentary --Chasing the Horizon
  • Best Short - "Olyver Brody"
  • Best Female Filmmaker - Heather MacAllister, The Narrow Gate
  • Best Actor - Ryan Donowho, The Favor
  • Best Actress - Regina Hall, Danika
  • San Diego Filmmaker - "Nothing To Do With Amy"
     
    Felicity Huffman won Best Actress in 2005
  • Best Music Video - "Just Go", Misdirection
  • Best Music Video Director—Fernando Apodaca, "Life Wasted", Pearl Jam

Audience Choice:

  • Best Feature - Neo Ned
  • Best Documentary - The Creek Runs Red

SDFF2005Edit

Sept 21-25, 2005[20]

Audience Choice:

SDFF2004Edit

Sept 29 - Oct 4, 2004[21]

Night of the Stars HonoreesEdit

SDiFF2020Edit

No awards banquet was held in 2020 due to COVID-19 protocols about social distancing.

SDiFF2019Edit

Oct 18, 2019[23][24][25] | Pendry Hotel San Diego

Host: Scott Mantz

Confirmed Festival Guests: Stephen Gyllenhaal[28]

 
John Cho won the Spotlight Award in 2018

SDiFF2018Edit

Oct 11, 2018[29][30][31] | Pendry Hotel San Diego

Host: Scott Mantz

Confirmed Festival Guests: Hal Linden,[32] Nat Wolff,[33] Jassa Ahluwalia[34]

SDiFF2017Edit

 
Kumail Nanjiani won the Auteur Award in 2017

Oct 5, 2017[35] | Pendry Hotel San Diego

Host: Jeffrey Lyons Co-hosts: Ben Lyons, Scott Mantz

Confirmed Festival Guests: Rian Johnson,[36] Nick Eversman (presenter)

SDiFF2016Edit

Sept 29th, 2016[37][38] | Museum of Contemporary Art

Host: Jeffrey Lyons Co-hosts: Ben Lyons, Scott Mantz

Confirmed Festival Guests: Warren Beatty,[39] Kevin Pollak,[40] Josie Totah (as JJ Totah),[41] Sean Patrick Flanery,[42] Kweku Mandela[43]

 
Geena Davis won the Humanitarian Award in 2015

SDFF2015Edit

Oct 1, 2015[44] - Museum of Contemporary Art

Host: Jeffrey Lyons

Confirmed Festival Guest: Mika Haka,[45] Leslee Udwin, Roger Ross Williams, Dawn Porter[46]

SDFF2014Edit

Sept 25, 2014 | Museum of Contemporary Art[47][48][49]

Confirmed Festival Guests:[51] Tom Berenger, Josh Duhamel, Dennis Haysbert, Stelio Savante

SDFF2013Edit

Oct 3, 2013 | Museum of Contemporary Art[52][53]

Confirmed Festival Guests: Michael B. Jordan,[54] Troy Duffy[55]

 
Gus Van Sant won the Visionary Filmmaker Award and received a film retrospective in 2012

SDFF2012Edit

Sept 27, 2012 | Museum of Contemporary Art[56]

Confirmed Guests: Robin Williams, Ben Affleck,[58] Diane Ladd,[59] Anne Heche, Pennie Lane, Stephen Gyllenhaal, Martin McDonagh,[60] Mark Christopher Lawrence[61]

SDFF2011Edit

Sep 28-Oct 2[62]

Confirmed Guests: Will Reiser, Tom Sizemore, Lee Hirsch

SDFF2010Edit

Sept 20, 2010[63]

Confirmed Guests: Jenna Fischer, Kim Coates, Leland Orser, Davis Guggenheim, Jason Ritter and Elliott Gould.

SDFF2009Edit

Confirmed Guests:[64] William Shatner, Richard Dreyfuss, James Van Der Beek, James Cromwell

SDFF2005Edit

 
Joan Collins won a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005

Sept 24, 2005[65][66]

Confirmed Guests: Melissa Joan Hart, Bryan Greenberg, Ben Younger.

SDFF2004Edit

SDFF2002Edit

Achievement in Acting Award:[67] James Woods

Confirmed Festival Guests:[68] Kevin Smith, Jeff Anderson, Rod Lurie, Tatum O’Neal, Cliff Robertson, Joey Lauren Adams and Scott Baio

By awardEdit

Golden EaglesEdit

Best Narrative FeatureEdit

Best DocumentaryEdit

Best AnimationEdit

  • 2020: To: Gerard (dir. Taylor Meacham)
  • 2019: Riptide
  • 2018: The Driver is Red (dir. Randall Christopher)
  • 2017: Green Light (dir. Seong-Min Kim)
  • 2015: SOAR (dir. Alyce Tzue)
  • 2014: The Dam Keeper (dir. Robert Kondo)

Kumeyaay Eagle AwardEdit

for Best Native American Film

  • 2020: Invasion: The Unist'ot'en's Fight for Sovereignty (dirs. Michael Toledano, Sam Vinal)
  • 2019: Angelique's Isle (dir. Marie-Hélène Cousineau, Michelle Derosier)
  • 2018: Indian Horse (dir. Stephen Campanelli)
  • 2017: Waabooz (dir. Molly Katagiri)
  • 2016: Te Ata (dir. Nathan Frankowski)
  • 2015: For Blood (dir. Chadwick Pelletier, J.T. Connor)
  • 2014: Sycuan: Our People. Our Culture. Our History.

Audience AwardsEdit

Best DocumentaryEdit

  • 2020: The Mustangs: America's Wild Horses
  • 2019: Breaking Their Silence: Women on the Frontline of the Poaching War (dir. Kerry David)
  • 2018: Soufra (dir. Thomas A. Morgan)
  • 2017: Resistance is Life (dir. Apo W. Bazidi)
  • 2016: Seed: The Untold Story (dir. Taggart Siegel)
  • 2015: Moments of Clarity (dir. Stev Elam)
  • 2014: Waiting for Mamu
  • 2011: The Highest Pass (dir. Jon Fitzgerald)
  • 2010: Waiting for Superman (dir. Davis Guggenheim)
  • 2009: Jesse's Story (dir. Mark S. Jacobs)
  • 2008: Speed & Angels (dir. Peyton Wilson)
  • 2006: The Creek Runs Red (dirs. B. Beesley, J. Brannum)
  • 2005: "Little Man," (dir. Nicole Conn )
 
Jason Priestley directed the winner of the 2014 Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature

Best Narrative FeatureEdit

Best Narrative ShortEdit

  • 2020: Feeling Through (dir. Doug Roland)
  • 2019: Men of Vision
  • 2018: Your Call Is Important To Us
  • 2017: The Dog With the Woman (dir. P., S. Ledger-Lomas)
  • 2016: Mine (dir. Simon Berry)
  • 2015:The Gunfighter (dir. Eric Kissack)
  • 2014: Sure Thing
 
Malala Yousafzai starred in the Audience Choice for Best Documentary in 2015

Best Studio/Gala FilmEdit

Gregory Peck AwardEdit

Chris Brinker AwardEdit

For best first time director.

  • 2020: Prarthana Mohan
  • 2019: Ravin Gandhi
  • 2018: Stare Yildirim
  • 2017: Manny Rodriguez
  • 2016: Anne Hamilton
  • 2015: Jack Robbins
  • 2014: John Hill

Cinema Vanguard AwardEdit

Humanitarian AwardEdit

Fairbanks AwardEdit

 
Kenny Loggins won the Music Icon Award in 2018

Auteur AwardEdit

Music Icon AwardEdit

Rising Star AwardEdit

ReferencesEdit

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