For the first time, the Seattle Film Critics Society (SFCS) is adding a category to specifically honor Pacific Northwest filmmaking as part of our annual awards highlighting the best of the year in film. This award is meant to celebrate the many talented filmmakers who call our region home and who produce work here.
A nominating committee carefully considered a wide variety of feature films released during 2022 with strong connections to the region and selected five finalists:
- All Sorts
J. Rick Castañeda’s absurdist office comedy set in the secret world of underground filing.
Steven Soderbergh’s Seattle-set thriller starring Zoë Kravitz as an agoraphobic computer programmer enmeshed in a corporate scandal.
- Know Your Place
Zia Mohajerjasbi’s slice of life drama about two teens traversing present-day Seattle.
- Sam Now
Reed Harkness’s 25-years in the making story of brothers on a 2,000-mile road trip to solve a family mystery.
- Sweetheart Deal
Elisa Levine and Gabriel Miller’s deeply moving portrait of sex workers on Seattle’s Aurora Avenue seeking salvation from the spiral of addiction.
Three of these films – All Sorts, Know Your Place, and Sweetheart Deal – had their world premieres at the Seattle International Film Festival; Sam Now launched at Toronto’s Hot Docs Film Festival; Kimi premiered on HBO Max.
The winner will be determined by a vote of the full membership and announced alongside SFCS’s other awards on January 17, 2023.
“We’re excited to formally acknowledge the plethora of great work coming out of our distinct region. This inaugural batch of nominees will set a precedent for years to come by propelling further conversation and recognition of the exciting filmmaking happening in the Pacific Northwest,” SFCS President Matt Oakes said.
“My hope with this film is that it encourages people to find magic. When they look at a filing cabinet, a paperclip, or a copy machine, I want them to have the same feeling I had hiding in a closet after reading The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, or seeing a red stapler after watching Office Space,” All Sorts filmmaker J. Rick Castañeda said in a director’s statement.
“The Pacific Northwest raised me. Seattle is home.This film is both a love letter and a lament,” Know Your Place filmmaker Zia Mohajerjasbi said in a director’s statement.
“I grew up with a personal connection to playing in ditches, dirt roads, and parks shrouded in Evergreen Trees in Seattle,” Sam Now director Reed Harkness said. “This film grew out of that scene with connection to place, play, and family.”
“We hope that viewers can feel as inspired as we do by this group of remarkable women and their will to survive seemingly insurmountable adversity, and rise above it,” Sweetheart Deal co-director and producer Elisa Levine said in a director’s statement.
The Seattle Film Critics Society is an association of professional reviewers working in concert to facilitate a community that supports local productions and festivals, that enhances public education, awareness, and appreciation of cinema, and strengthens the bonds of critical dialogue as it pertains to the cinematic arts.
Further information about the Seattle Film Critics Society’s annual awards can be found at seattlefilmcritics.com/upcoming-awards