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Entrance to the Seattle International Film Festival in Washington.

Previewing the Seattle International Film Festival

Captivating natural scenery and landmarks like the iconic Space Needle may come to mind first when you think of Seattle, but for the last 44 years, the city has also garnered a global reputation for showcasing extraordinary films.

Returning to the Emerald City from May 17 to June 10, the Seattle International Film Festival is the largest and most highly attended film festival in the country. More than 400 features, short films, and documentaries from around the world will screen to audiences in excess of 150,000, alongside an array of stylish galas and red-carpet gatherings.

The Big Sick panel at the Seattle International Film Festival in Seattle, WA.

At the heart of SIFF is a desire to bring people together through film’s unique ability to share original stories, diverse perspectives, and impassioned journeys.

The festival first debuted in 1976 and has since expanded to include SIFF Education, an initiative designed to bring film programs to enthusiasts of all ages – from panels to cinema dissection to hands-on filmmaking experiences. And more recently, SIFF introduced the five-screen SIFF Cinema in Seattle, which screens nearly 500 films throughout the year and hosts special events like Noir City Film Festival, Cinema Italian Style, and French Cinema Now.

Just minutes from The Woodmark, this year’s exciting, 25-day festival lineup includes Sundance award-winning films like Three Identical Strangers, the unbelievable true story about identical triplets separated at birth, and Matangi / Maya / M.I.A., a documentary about Sri Lankan immigrant and acclaimed hip-hop artist M.I.A.

Seattle International Film Festival at SIFF Cinema Uptown in Washington.

You will also find the works of some of SIFF’s favorite returning and upcoming directors like Disobedience, a passionate story of the love between two women (Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams) in London’s Orthodox Jewish community, and Hearts Beat Loud, in which a father-daughter duo (Nick Offerman and Kiersey Clemons) forms a catchy pop band.

From debut discoveries to films from renowned filmmakers, the selections spanning a wide array of genres are chosen from a pool of more than 4,000 annual submissions. (Some films will also screen secretly as part of the event’s Secret Festival.)

Seattle International Film Festival and Space Needle in Washington.

After the screenings, festival audiences are able to cast votes for the Golden Space Needle Awards, which have seen past winners like the Oscar- and Golden Globe-winning Boyhood, as well as acting talents like Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain, and Ryan Gosling.

With many featured films not expected to return to theaters, the festival provides a unique opportunity to discover new motion pictures from more than 80 countries.

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From the full Platinum Pass to 6-pack and 20-pack movie passes, tickets will be on sale for the duration of the festival here.

 

*All photos courtesy of SIFF.

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