We’d like to send an enormous congratulations to all of our 2019 Juried Award and Audience Choice winners! This year, a total of $10,000 was awarded in support of independent filmmaking. Cash awards are given by the festival and its jury, composed of filmmakers, film programmers, critics, and/or industry professionals. Audience Choice winners were determined by your ballots.


Honorable Mention – Pacific Northwest Short Film: Cold Holy Water dir. Vanessa Renwick

Honorable Mention – Pacific Northwest Short Film: All on a Mardi Gras Day dir. Michal Pietrzyk

Best Pacific Northwest Short Film: RESPEK dir. Kamari Bright
I'm shocked and honored that this passion project of mine is being recognized. I created it to get the idea out of my head; it's amazing to see it actually out in the world now. It affirms that this is something to keep putting energy toward. Thank you Herman (illustration) and Christina (animation), and thank you Tacoma Film Festival!

Best Pierce County Short or Feature Film: #StopErasingBlackPeople dir. Tacoma Action Collective (Christopher Paul Jordan, Cana Marie, Jamika Scott, Jaleesa Trapp)
For us, #StopErasingBlackPeople is more than a film. It's a proclamation of our continued survival in the face of erasure. We want to thank the Tacoma Film Festival and this year's jury members for the opportunity to share our story and for recognizing our work with an award. We are ecstatic and grateful.

Best Pacific Northwest Feature: Where the House Was dir. Ryan Adams


Best Music Video: Shambles dir. Jonathan Salmon


Best Animated Film: KIDS dir. Michael Frei
I’m shocked you like KIDS. I hope you are ok.

Documentary Shorts

Honorable Mention: Alejandro & Miguel dir. Joie Estrella Horwitz
I so appreciate the acknowledgment of my film Alejandro & Miguel by the Tacoma Documentary jury. It is my first win at a festival and exciting to receive this award for a film I made about and with people that I love.

Honorable Mention: Prisoner of Society dir. Rati Tsiteladze

Best Cinematography: Juanita Onzaga (Our Song to War)

Best Director: Darius Clark Monroe (Black 14)

Best Documentary Short Film: La Flaca dir. Adriana Barbosa and Thiago Zanato
Thanks TFF for the opportunity to share our film with your audience and thanks to the jury for awarding us Best Documentary Short Film. It is a great joy to see the story of a real-life character such as Arely, a proud Mexican immigrant and transgender woman, being recognized in such a lovely and relevant festival.

Documentary Features

Best Cinematography: Jim Hickcox (Caballerango)
I got texts from some folks in the audience at the ceremony who reported that you all had very kind things to say about us, which I am very much humbled by. As much as I love trying to synthesize with every director's vision and live in the world that they want to capture, working with Juan Pablo is always a potent experience that pushes everyone on set to think in new ways. It means a lot for y'all to see that, recognize it, and appreciate it. Thank you.

Best Director: Kavich Neang (Last Night I Saw You Smiling)

Best Documentary Feature: Caballerango dir. Juan Pablo González
We're truly honored that the film has been recognized in Tacoma in this way. This is a very special festival for us and are really excited about the new work that is being done here. We thank the generosity of the jurors and hope to be back here in the near future. â€” Juan Pablo González

Juan Pablo and I met at Tacoma in 2015 at the "New Faces of Film" retreat that used to happen. I told Philip [executive director of The Grand Cinema] that at Sundance this year. :) â€” Jamie Gonçalves, producer


Honorable Mention: ដីថ្មីផ្លូវខូច (New Land Broken Road) dir. Kavich Neang

Honorable Mention: 饺子 (Dumpling) dir. Xiaolu Wang
I really wish I could be there for this. Thank you again for believing in my work and all the hard work in creating spaces for indie filmmakers. 

Best Screenplay – Narrative Short Film: Halayla (Tonight) dir. Emily Shir Segal

Best Cinematography – Narrative Short Film: Adric Watson (All These Creatures)

Best Performance – Narrative Short Film: Tamar Amit–Joseph (Halayla [Tonight])

Best Director – Narrative Short Film: Barbara Cigarroa (Dios Nunca Muere)

Best Narrative Short Film: Dios Nunca Muere dir. Barbara Cigarroa

Narrative Features

Best Screenplay: The Plagiarists dir. James N. Kienitz Wilkins and Robin Schavoir

Best Cinematography: Christopher Rejano (Knives and Skin)

Best Performance: Zoé Audet (Mad Dog Labine)

Best Director: Peter Parlow (The Plagiarists)

Best Narrative Feature: Mad Dog Labine dir. Jonathan Beaulieu–Cyr and Renaud Lessard
We are truly thrilled received this recognition from the Tacoma Film Festival! Mad Dog Labine is a first feature film and was made on a shoestring budget. The film was made with and for the Pontiac community, a rural region of Quebec, unknown to most of us in Canada. This award is a great proof that initiatives like this one can cross borders and resonate within multiple communities, such as the lovely one at TFF. Merci du fond du coeur. 

Audience Choice

Best Feature Film: The Infiltrators dir. Cristina Ibarra and Alex Rivera

Best Short Film: Kamali dir. Sasha Rainbow
Thank you so much for this incredible audience award and to the festival and programmers for creating a space for Kamali and Suganthi's story. I wanted to celebrate Suganthi's quiet bravery and show that massive change can start with just one person. I hope this film does just that.

Best Pacific Northwest Feature Films:
Stories of Us: Camp Second Chance dir. Melinda Raebyne
My Mother Was Here dir. Rustin Thompson

Best Pacific Northwest Short Film: Sepulcher dir. Stephen Takashima
I really am continually blown away by the Tacoma Film Festival and so incredibly grateful for the support and encouragement I've received from them. Their dedication to supporting indie filmmakers is unmistakable; not only do they work tirelessly during the festival itself, but are constantly working throughout the year to create space and opportunities for artists to flourish.

Thank you all so much for supporting this year's Tacoma Film Festival! The 14th annual TFF included visiting filmmakers from PDX to NYC to Belgium; after parties at artist studios & magician-designed homes; a record number of free student passes registered and VIP passes sold; an incredible Opening Night at the historic Pantages Theater, and so much more. Don’t forget to stay updated about the festival on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and of course right here on The Grand Cinema website. See you next year!