Seattle International Film Festival is May 19 – June 12, 2016
Encapsulating all the wonder of the 25-day Seattle International Film Festival – the nation’s largest, most highly attended film festival – into a neat and tidy blog post is not the easiest task, especially for a former SIFF staffer. I will do my best.
This year, the Seattle International Film Festival celebrates its 42nd anniversary with 421 films representing 85 countries. Filmmakers and actors will grace the red carpet, popcorn will be a welcome substitute for dinner, and audiences of all sorts will fall in love with film all over again.
There’s so very much to see and do. Make sure you weave in some parties and industry forums to take full advantage of networking and learning opportunities. Support the Northwest Connections program, showcasing films with roots in the Pacific Northwest. I challenge you to break up with Netflix for the next month and get thee to the cinema!
New this year: SIFFX
SIFFX, a brand new festival-within-a-festival (June 2-5), is an all-out exploration of emerging technologies and immersive storytelling. After SIFFX, “Alice in Wonderland” will never be the same, and if you didn’t grow up in a war zone, you’ll have a better understanding of what it was like for those who did. SIFFX festivalgoers will get to try out both sophisticated virtual reality (VR) headsets and cardboard viewers, and compare solitary viewing to the shared viewing experiences of 360° screenings in the Pacific Science Center’s Laser Dome. My mind cannot WAIT to be blown.
Filmmakers and audiences alike will also learn from the “godmother of virtual reality,” Nonny de la Peña, and other experts who will cover the philosophical, technical, and artistic aspects of these innovations in storytelling.
Seattle is primed to further push the VR/AR/360° envelope – we are so excited to see what Seattle’s tech and creative communities will produce together in this space. Read more about immersive storytelling and how Seattle fits in in Washington Filmworks’ Q&A with SIFFX Director Sandy Cioffi.
- Two additional Seattle venues will host screenings this year: Ballard’s Majestic Bay (May 20 -26) and Columbia City’s Ark Lodge (June 3-9)
- SIFFcast, the festival’s new official podcast, has exclusive interviews with filmmakers, composers, actors, writers, and other talent from around the globe
- May 22: An Afternoon with Molly Shannon
- June 4: World premiere of Seattle director and 2015 Mayor’s Film Award recipient Megan Griffiths’ latest, “The Night Stalker,” with Griffiths and the film’s star, Lou Diamond Phillips, in person
- June 11: A Tribute to Viggo Mortensen, including the Northwest premiere of his newest film, “Captain Fantastic,” which was shot in Washington
- June 12, 1:30PM, SIFF Cinema Egyptian: A tribute to the festival’s co-founder Dan Ireland, who passed away this year
Find your physical copy of the SIFF Free Guide at your nearest Starbucks, or browse online by film program, genre, mood, country, or your favorite letter of the alphabet. Want to start with a narrowed-down list of films? Check out the Programmers’ Picks, a selection of films that the festival’s curators have found particularly captivating.
Don’t miss your chance to score free tickets – keep an eye on SIFF’s social media for contests and giveaways.
Read SIFF’s press release for more information about film programs, competitions, forums and panels, and special presentations.