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Established 1995 serves and documents relentless the festivals community, offering 92.000 articles of news, free blog profiles and functions to enable festival matchmaking with filmmakers.


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Seattle International Film Festival in action

The Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) may not be the most glamorous or glitzy of int'l film festivals, but it is probably the one with the longest running time in captivity, this year straddling the calendar from May 25 to June 17 -- a total of 24 consecutive days or, roughly, three and a half weeks, more than twice the duration other major festivals. During this period, on heavy days when there are five ascreenings each at six widely scattered theatyers in the city, a bewildered film buff will have to mull obver a slate of 30 films in a single day to choose from. Daunting! For sheer daily screening overkill even Cannes doesnot surpass Seattle.

As for the quality and kind of films to be shown, while you won't find too many superstar directors or actors in the mix, the word for this festival is "eclectic" -- a bit of everything and something for everybody. The programming emphasis is on lesser-known directors and fringe or independent cinema from around the world, while also spotlighting films with a Seattle connection (but, of course!), films with appeal to the younger pop-music oriented set, and, in view of the fact that this city has one of the most thriving gay communities in the country centered on gay sub-city, Capitol Hill, enough films on the theme of same-sex love to constitute a gay-and-lesbian festival on its own if shown seperately. There are also enough documentaries of all types to make up a seperate docu-festival if shown elsewhere.

Searching through the 255 film titles listed in the festival catalogue one will find few highly recognizable name directors (but there are some, famous in their own countries) and hardly any Hollywood megastars, for this festival is not about Mainsteam Cinema, but rather about the discovery o fnew talent and unusual films which would otherwise not reach the Seattle audience. Speaking of which -- this is a city with an unexpectedly keen cinema awareness, one where probably as many foreign language films are shown annually at variouis venues as anywhere else in the country, be it New York, L.A. or San Francisco. SIFF fans are conditioned to expect variety and the unexpected.

Besides the obvious suspects, France, Germany, Scandinavia, Chinas, Japan, etc., this year there are films on view from such unlikely countries as Tadjikstan, Malaysia, Romania, Ireland and Indonersia. There is also a large number of Hollywood classics -- Such as "Captain Blood", "Gunga Din" and others, to be shown in special sidebars.

The special guest of the fest this yeasr is Anthony Hopkins, whose various films from "Silence of the Lambs" onward, have dome particualrly well in this neck of the woods.

A short list of sdome of the up-coming festival highlights:
Emerging Masters -- Seattle International Film Festival celebrates 4 directors who are poised to become the world’s next cinematic masters.
Local Films Shine: Spawned in Seattle
Thw Hungarian opera film "Bank Ban" shot by Vilmos Zsigmond and featuring Hungarian stars of all leading opera houses Seattle International Film Festival celebrates the vision and genius of those working and creating locally with special festival program highlighting films by Seattleites and films shot in our NW backyard.
Fear of Flies: SIFF’s Fly Filmmaking Challenge Three local filmmakers take on the 2007 Fly Filmmaking Challenge. Films to premiere at 2007 Seattle International Film Festival. Son of Rambow A Tribute to Anthony Hopkins SIFF Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient May 30 7:30 PM -- Sir Anthony Hopkins will be presented with the SIFF Lifetime Achievement Award during a special tribute evening on May 30th at the Egyptian Theater,...
A Battle of Wits -- May 26 6:00 PM
Set during China's Warring States period, this historical epic pits the intimidating army of the Zhao Nation against the humble peasants of the region....
With an incredibly large agenda of films of every kind to be seen SIFF 2007 is off and running -- non stop, for the next twenty-four daze.

Alex Deleon

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