What’s It All About?
Founded in 1976, the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) creates experiences that bring people together to discover extraordinary films from around the world through the festival itself, SIFF Cinema and SIFF Education. Recognised as one of the top film festivals in North America, SIFF is the largest film festival in the United States, reaching more than 150,000 annually.
The 25-day festival has very eclectic programming, presenting over 400 features, short films and documentaries from over 80 countries each year. SIFF Cinema exhibits premiere theatrical engagements, repertory, classic and revival films, serving students and youth in the community with free programs each year.
The 43rd SIFF will honour Academy Award-winning actress Anjelica Huston and will include the world premiere of her newest film, Trouble, written and directed by Theresa Rebeck. Born into the family of renowned film director John Huston, and legendary grandfather Walter Huston, Huston is a powerhouse of an actor whose career has spanned over 50 years, through modeling, films and television. The actress will be honoured with a Career Achievement in Acting Award.
For the second year, SIFF will showcase a special section for China, the China Stars Showcase series, and will present 12 feature films along with five short films from students of the Beijing Film Academy.
Watch Out For!
The Amazon Studios’ feature The Big Sick, based on the real-life courtship of Pakistan-born comedian Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani) and grad student Emily (Zoe Kazan). The two fall in love but they struggle as their cultures clash. When Emily contracts a mysterious illness, Kumail must navigate the crisis with her parents and the emotional tug-of-war between his family and his heart.
This year the festival will host two Indian films, Newton and Chronicles Of Hari.
Amit Masurkar’s political black comedy Newton deals with the various issues of democracy in Indian culture, all laced with humor, irony, and hope and constructed with a mature vision. The film follows Newton Kumar (Rajkummar Rao), a rookie government clerk, who has been guided the whole of his life by his famous name. He’s on assignment deep in the mountains to oversee the latest Indian election in a remote part of Chhattisgarh, where Maoists and police forces compete.
Chronicles Of Hari follows Hari who lives in a coastal town in southern India, where he is renowned for his work playing female characters in traditional yakshagana theatre, but as the performance begins to seep into his daily life, Hari finds himself trapped between genders amid a prejudiced society.
Landline is an uproarious slice-of- life story about two sisters (Jenny Slate and Abby Quinn) in pre-cell-phone 1990s Manhattan who discover that their father is having an affair, and conspire to expose him.
The Seventh Art Stand
Iraqi filmmaker Samir pays moving homage to the frustrated democratic dreams of people successively plagued by the horrors of dictatorship, war and foreign occupation. A personal and insightful film that sheds light on a grossly misrepresented country, the director recounts his family’s personal stories while creating a genuine people’s history of Iraq.
Yemeniettes (Yemen, Qatar)
Directors Shawn Thompson and Leon Shahabian brings the story of three Yemeni teenage girls, who participate in an entrepreneurship competition but encounter many hardships along the way. In a country without hope, what if three girls could inspire an entire nation to dream again?
Closing Night Film
French film The Young Karl Marx
(Le Jeune Karl Marx), directed by Raoul Peck, follows 26-year-old Karl Marx (August Diehl) and his wife Jenny in exile in Europe, where they meet Friedrich Engels, who provides the final piece needed for the foundation of Marxist theory.