Quentin Tarantino kicks off LA’s Sundance NEXT FEST in style!

The 2017 Sundance Institute NEXT FEST – A four day event filled with movies, music and shenanigans  –  kicked off tonight at the iconic Theatre Ace Hotel  in Downtown LA to a sold out packed house screening of Academy Award winning writer/director Quentin Tarantino’s 25th anniversary cult classic – Reservoir Dogs in stunning preserved 35mm.


Tarantino, who received the institute’s Vanguard Leadership Award ignited the crowd with his brief speech before the screening of his film.  “Let me actually give a shout out to Los Angeles!” said Tarantino that drew an explosive applause.  “This is my first official Resevoir Dogs big deal anniversary thing in LA”.


Above John Cooper (L) and Trevor Groth (R)

Additional stars from the film in attendance included TIM ROTH, MICHAEL MADSEN (below hat) and KIRK BALTZ. Also seen on the red carpet horsing around was multiple critics choice award and Emmy nominee WALTON GOGGINS (below) who has appeared in multiple Tarantino films (The Hateful Eight and Djanjo Unchained).


Tim Roth (Below)


Stunt woman ZOE BELL (below), who has appeared in many Tarantino movies also was in attendance. #WomenInFilm


Sundance NEXT FEST continues through Sunday with some great indie movies and music.

Tickets can be purchased @ sundance.org/next

All photos are copyrighted by the Sundance Institute – Photographers: Ryan Kobane and Nick Sammons 



3rd Annual Wonder Women Tech + Diversity Conference – Tech, Stem & Film leaders + Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr.

The 2017 Wonder Women Tech + Diversity inclusion conference kicked off Friday at the Long Beach Convention Center featuring an impressive array of women leaders within the Women in Film + Women In Tech + Women In Stem (STEAM now) and Women In Business space.  Panelist and guests include senior recruiters from PIXAR and ILM (Industrial Light & Magic) plus VIP appearance on Sunday Aug 20th of the Rev. Jessie Jackson, Sr.

Founded by visionary and global inequality advocate Lisa Mae Brunson,  this conference is a must attend for those who want to be apart of the extraordinary changes that Brunson and her team are igniting into reality – EQUALITY!

Check our Brunson’s featured story here in EBONY (Appearing first Aug 12th in EBONY By Lynne D. Johnson

lynne johnson

Lynne D. Johnson

Here’s the line-up on this weekends events!

DAY 1:  INNOVATE (at time of publication – After session only)

2:00 PM – 6:00 PM
MC: Nadia Davari, Lawyer, Entertainment and Technology


2:25 PM – 2:35 PM
“Innovation for Everyone”
— Arabian Prince, Founding Member, NWA, Technologist, Rapper, iNov8 Next


3:10 PM – 3:20 PM
“The Diet Pill Syndrome with D&I in Tech Companies”
— Seema Gururaj, Founder & CEO, Square Circle Inc.


3:25 PM – 3:35 PM
“Issa Story”: The Social Phenomenon of Shared Experiences”
— Sabine Quetant, Director of Marketing, Blavity


3:35 PM – 3:45 PM
“Accessibility Consciousness for Deaf and Hard of Hearing”
— Leah Katz Hernandez, Speaker and Author, West Wing Receptionist, The White House


3:55 PM – 4:05 PM
“Optimizing your Badassery”
— Cameron (Cam) Kashani, “godmother of Silicon beach”, Founder, COACCEL: The Human Accelerator


4:10 PM – 4:20 PM
“What’s Next After Manufacturing Automation”
— Anna- Katrina Shedletsky, Founder & CEO, Instrumental Inc.


4:55 PM – 5:05 PM
“Unmanned Air Vehicle Cyber Security”
— Mahasa Zahirnia, Product Owner, Northrop Grumman Corporation


5:35 PM – 5:45 PM


6:30-8:30pm –  WWT VIP Mixer – Sponsored by WEWORK


The Wonder Women Tech + Diversity Conference is a Signature 3-day conference with an Expo, Startup Alley, keynotes, panel discussions, Mommy Lounge with daycare services and more!


Empower Your Community | Diversity Career Fair Presented by Amazon — August 19th, 2017: This is an interactive Career Fair (10 am – 4 pm) geared towards diversifying the STEAM workforce, featuring recruiting booths, career development workshops, headshot booths, and more! WWT is committed to empowering recruiters and attendees to diversify their workforce in real-time.

Also experience  the Science Fair, a Junior Innovation Camp for youth ages 13-18 and STEAM including camps for seniors 65+ and special services and attendance pricing for people with disabilities, deaf and hard of hearing.


Day 3 = IGNITE

Ignite Your Passion — August 20th, 2017: Learn from 15 inspiring speakers included REV. JESSE JACKSON, SR. to discuss purpose-driven social innovations in technology and story-telling on the main stage in a TED-talk style format.

For a full line-up of events visit WWT

Tickets can be purchased HERE

Be sure to follow @MissLisaMae + @Wonderwomentech on Twitter for LIVE updates throughout the weekend.

Use the hashtags #WeAreChangemakers #WWT2017

LA’s First Environmental Film Festival – July 29, 2017

KCETLink Media Group, the national independent broadcast and digital media network, has announced that its two services, KCET public television in Los Angeles and independent satellite network Link TV nationwide, will launch the first film festival in Los Angeles dedicated entirely to environmental issues called the EARTH FOCUS ENVIRONMENTAL FILM FESTIVAL. Partnering closely on the event is the Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital (DCEFF), which for over 25 years has been the world’s premier showcase of environmentally-themed films.

In its debut outing, the EARTH FOCUS ENVIRONMENTAL FILM FESTIVAL will take place Sat., July 29 from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Hollywood’s iconic Egyptian Theatre (6712 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028) in partnership with American Cinematheque and sponsors that include Green Wish, a grassroots nonprofit that helps other local nonprofit green organizations fund projects for their communities, and Deadline.com, the media sponsor for the festival. The free event is open to the public featuring five additional acclaimed films tackling the most important and relevant global environmental issues today. Celebrity environmental activists including filmmaker Raphael Sbarge (Once Upon A Time, Murder in the First, Longmire), Ed Begley Jr. (Ghostbusters, St. Elsewhere, Pineapple Express), Patrick Fabian (Better Call Saul) and Sharon Lawrence (Shameless, Queen Sugar, NYPD Blue) will introduce each film that will be followed by post-screening dialogues with the filmmakers. Free general admission tickets are available starting today at KCET.org/earthfocus.

“With our commitment to bringing environmental conservation issues to the forefront for audiences on multiple platforms through our EARTH FOCUS franchise, we are proud to offer a free festival as a resource for enlightenment and education through powerful storytelling,” said Michael Riley, President and CEO of KCETLink Media Group. “In partnership with DCEFF, we’ve been able to curate the finest films that cover a range of issues impacting the environment today. We hope these films can encourage our community here in Southern California to play a part in helping save our planet for tomorrow.”

The EARTH FOCUS ENVIRONMENTAL FILM FESTIVAL is a full day event that will also showcase green organizations in Los Angeles including Heal The Bay, River LA, LA Conservation Corps and Sierra Club among others, with booths set up on the plaza of the Egyptian Theatre offering important environmental educational information to attendees. More information on The Egyptian Theatre and the American Cinematheque can be found at www.americancinematheque.com.

Introduction by actor/filmmaker Raphael Sbarge (Green Wish Founder) / Q&A with TBD. Moderated by Kim Spencer (Link TV Co-Founder).

Not just a film, but the beginning of a movement seeking to encourage local communities around the world to change the way they live for the sake of our planet.

Each of the films included in the film festival will be augmented by original content published on KCET and Link TV’s web sites at kcet.org/earthfocus and linktv.org/earthfocus, on related topics ranging from environmental justice to climate activism to California’s drought.  Contributors will include veteran environmental journalists and other experts. Additionally, visitors to the websites will be treated to multimedia features, environmental-related discussion boards and social media videos as well as trailers to the films being featured.

The EARTH FOCUS ENVIRONMENTAL FILM FESTIVAL is part of KCET’s “Summer of the Environment,” which offers a robust library of content on multiple platforms intended to ignite compassion and action for helping to save and heal the planet.  Additional content on KCET and Link TV that focuses on environmental challenges and solutions include:

The schedule (subject to change) is as follows:

10 a.m.: Opening event in Egyptian Theatre plaza with booths from organizations Heal The Bay, River LA and Sierra Clubamong others.

10:30 a.m.: “Water & Power: A California Heist” (1 hr. 26 min.)


Introduction by actor Ed Begley Jr. (Green Wish Founding Member) / Q&A with Director Marina Zenovich (Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired). Moderated by Maryanne Culpepper (Executive Director, DCEFF).

From National Geographic Documentary Films, directed by Emmy® award-winner Zenovich and executive produced by Academy Award® winner Alex Gibney and Jigsaw Productions, the film unfolds like a real-life version of the 1974 film noir “Chinatown,” uncovering the ruthless exploits of California’s notorious water barons, who profit off the state’s resources while everyday citizens endure a debilitating water crisis.

1:30 p.m.: “RISE: Sacred Water – Standing Rock (Part 1)” followed by “RISE: Poisoned River” (Total Running Time 1 hr. 34 min.)


Introduction by actor/filmmaker Patrick Fabian (Friend of Green Wish) / Q&A with Director Michelle Latimer (Alias, Choke). Moderated by Chris Clarke (KCET contributor, California Desert Program Manager with the National Parks Conservation Association).

“Sacred Water” examines the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation’s resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline, which became worldwide news as the largest gathering of indigenous people in more than a century who came together to protect the area’s water. While “Poisoned River” follows Brazil’s Krenak People who are struggling to survive in the wake of a massive toxic spill that has contaminated their drinking water, hunting grounds and culture.

4:30 p.m.: “Tomorrow” (Total Running Time 2 hours)


Introduction by actor/filmmaker Raphael Sbarge (Green Wish Founder) / Q&A with TBD. Moderated by Kim Spencer (Link TV Co-Founder).

Not just a film, but the beginning of a movement seeking to encourage local communities around the world to change the way they live for the sake of our planet.

7:30 p.m.: “The Age of Consequences” (1 hr. 20 min.)


Introduction by actress Sharon Lawrence  (Green Wish Founding Member) / Q&A with Director Jared P. Scott (Requiem for the American Dream). Moderated by Deadline.com Senior Editor Dominic Patten.

This documentary film investigates the impact of climate change on increased resource scarcity, migration and conflict through the lens of national security and global stability. Interviews with distinguished admirals, generals and military veterans reveal how climate change stressors –water and food shortages, drought, extreme weather and sea level rise – function as catalysts for conflict in volatile parts of the world.

Each of the films included in the film festival will be augmented by original content published on KCET and Link TV’s web sites at kcet.org/earthfocus and linktv.org/earthfocus, on related topics ranging from environmental justice to climate activism to California’s drought.  Contributors will include veteran environmental journalists and other experts. Additionally, visitors to the websites will be treated to multimedia features, environmental-related discussion boards and social media videos as well as trailers to the films being featured.

The EARTH FOCUS ENVIRONMENTAL FILM FESTIVAL is part of KCET’s “Summer of the Environment,” which offers a robust library of content on multiple platforms intended to ignite compassion and action for helping to save and heal the planet.  Additional content on KCET and Link TV that focuses on environmental challenges and solutions include:

EARTH FOCUS PRESENTS documentary film series Weds., at 10 p.m. The lineup includes: “The 11th Hour” (7/5), “The Cove” (7/12), “Seeds of Time” (7/19), “A Fierce Green Fire” (7/26), “Tapped” (8/2), “Breath of Life” (8/9), “The City Dark”(8/16) and “We The People 2.0” (8/23)

Three KCET SOCAL CONNECTED environmental specials (7/11, 7/18 and 7/25 at 8 p.m.) focus on such issues as farming, recycling, climate change, environmental businesses and more.

LOST LA: DESCANSO GARDENS (7/18) A documentary explores the history of one of Southern California’s most beloved public gardens. From its pre-colonial origins as an oak woodland to its contemporary role as a living museum, the film examines how the Descanso Gardens reflect the social, political, and cultural evolution of Los Angeles.

ARTBOUND PRESENTS STUDIO A (August airdate TBD) Featuring acclaimed artists with important environmental causes including Low Leaf and Aloe Blacc.

EARTH FOCUS Dakota Pipeline Mapping project in partnership with ALMA and Friends, features interactive maps that focus on high-stakes environmental changes in the areas surrounding the Missouri Watershed, namely the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).

CALIFORNIA COASTAL TRAIL, an expansive online guide to the California Coastal Trail; exploring its past, its present, and its future through a series of historical narratives, camping and hiking guides, as well as articles about important cultural points of interest along the Trail.

Join the conversation on social media using #EarthFocus, #KCETgreen and #DCEFF.


KCETLink Media Group is a national independent, nonprofit, digital and broadcast network that provides high-quality, culturally diverse programming designed to engage the public in innovative, entertaining and transformative ways. With a commitment to independent perspectives, smart global entertainment, local communities, and opportunities for engagement and social action, KCETLink depicts people and the world through a lens unavailable elsewhere in U.S. media. A viewer-supported 501(c)(3) organization, KCETLink content is distributed nationally via satellite on Link TV – DIRECTV channel 375 and DISH Network channel 9410 – and on KCET in Southern and Central California via broadcast and cable, as well as through various digital delivery systems. For additional information about KCET and Link TV productions, web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit kcet.org or linktv.org. Select programming from KCET and Link TV is also available for streaming on Hulu, Apple TV and Roku platforms.


The Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital (DCEFF) is the world’s premier showcase of environmentally themed films. Since 1993 our mission has been to celebrate Earth and inspire understanding and stewardship of the environment through the power of film.

Each March in Washington, D.C., we present 100+ films to audiences of more than 30,000. Filmmaker and topical discussions are an important part of our events, which happen at museums, embassies, libraries, universities and local theaters throughout the city. We also present a year-round screening series and community events.

Many of our screenings are free, and our Washington, DC location offers the unique opportunity for films and filmmakers to reach national and international lawmakers and decision-makers. Our impact continues to grow both in DC and beyond.

DCEFF is the largest green film festival in the world; the longest-running in the United States.

To learn more, visit dceff.org.

Follow #DCEFF: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Evolution! Mallorca International Film Festival – TOP European Fall Festival pick!


FALL 2017- International Film Festival Highlight!

Entering it’s 6th year (Oct 26 – Nov 4, 2017) , the EVOLUTION! MALLORCA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (EMIFF) is located just off the coast of Spain on the tiny island of Mallorca in the culturally rich town center of Palma.   With flights reasonable from  LAX/NYC depending on when you book, this Fall festival is packed with great prizes, industry panels, impressive European press coverage and most of all the chance to have your film screened at one of the largest and most historical Theater in all of Spain – Teatro Principal!

The EMIFF mission is to take the festival goer on a journey without a suitcase; discover new cultures, countries, tribes, people, traditions, relationships around the world.  They even offer a ‘Films for Kids’ showcase dedicated to children ages 6-12 which includes a wonderful combination of animation, stop motion and narrative short films.

Each year, the EMIFF attracts over 3000 attendees from over 32 countries worldwide. In conjunction with its sister-screening event in Los Angeles; SEE THE WINNERS, a special selection of winning films screened at the Los Angeles Film School in the heart of Hollywood, EMIFF is becoming an international launching pad for promising new talent in all film genres.

We got a chance to catch up with Festival Founder and Director SANDRA  SEELING LIPSKI at the Hollywood Roosevelt in LA to talk more about her endeavor.

MEDIA INC:  Tell us more about the Evolution! Mallorca International Film Festival and its place on the film festival circuit.

SANDRA: Our 6th edition of EMIFF will run for 10 days; October 26th – November 4th, 2017.  We are one of the fastest growing and exciting film festivals in Europe with a clear mission to BRIDGE CULTURES.  Known as THE hub for networking, EMIFF brings together the brightest local and international minds in cinema in an incredibly intimate and breathtakingly gorgeous setting.  The festival regularly attracts A-list talent including Ana de Armas (Blade Runner 2049, War Dogs), Emma Suarez (Julieta by Pedro Almodóvar), and last year’s honoree, Danny DeVito to name a few. In 2013 a local radio station called us the Mediterranean Sundance, a claim we are proud to receive and keep up, whilst championing European and international independent film.

EMIFF Press 1

MI: What kind of experience can filmmakers and attendees expect when participating?

SANDRA: Attendees can expect an incredibly diverse audience, revealing Q&A’s, fascinating talk panels and sensational networking parties as well as Island excursions where filmmakers get to experience the most breathtaking locations this Mediterranean gem has to offer.

The festival program is curated to showcase a cultural diverse, raw and provocative mix of feature films, short films, documentaries, music videos, film’s for kids, experimental films and a brand new Virtual Reality category. In addition to our primary program topic “Bridging Cultures”, EMIFF highlights three additional sections; Made in Baleares; films by local filmmakers. Evolution Edge; films by first or second time directors with a distinct and avant-garde vision and Wake Up Europe; films and documentaries highlighting stories about the current situation in and around Europe.

EMIFF DeVito 1

MI:  Share more about the festivals beautiful island of Mallorca and where your events take place.

SANDRA: To ensure festival-goers get a taste of the extravagant beauty, rich culture and exciting film scene the island has to offer, EMIFF collaborates with the best and most beautiful venues. Our Opening Night Gala takes place in Palma’s opera house, build in 1680, this building exudes glamour and a very special Spanish aristocratic chic, it’s the perfect spot to kick off this 10-day event. The majority of the programmed films, screens at the only local independent cinema in Mallorca sustained 100% by a non-profit organization run by local cinema enthusiasts; Cineciutat. We also collaborate with the local Modern Museum Es Baluard where we screen our Art & Cinema films with a clear focus on art, artists and the art world. Our beloved breakfast talks; “Café con Cine” take place at the stunning concept store Rialto Living in the heart of Palma, inviting filmmakers to network and shop for beautiful gifts and souvenirs. TheVRand, a local VR company sponsors our Virtual Reality screenings at their brand new VR location called The Garage. Last but not least we are the only Film Festival with our own true Drive in Cinema, Port Adriano a yacht club in the South/West of the Island sponsors this exclusive two-night event.

EMIFF Best Doc

MI:  What is your process for submissions?

Our submissions are open on all major submission platforms including; Filmfreeway, Withoutabox etc. beginning in January each year and have our final two deadlines in mid summer (July/Aug).

Submission categories include: Feature Film, Short Film, Documentary Short and feature, animation and experimental short, films for Kids, Music Video, Student Films, VR content and our Screenplay competition. We know submissions fees can be a drag for indie filmmakers, so we encourage them to follow us on social media to be sure to catch discount codes, which are posted regularly to help filmmakers submit their projects.

Media Inc. Magazine readers and online engagers can use the code: “Mediainc” for a special discount in 2018!

MI:  Does your festival offer any special panels and VIP guests? How long does your festival last?

SANDRA: The EMIFF lasts for 10 days. Our professional talk panels are called “Producers Club”, past professional panelists include; Danny DeVito, Jake DeVito, David Matamoros (Zentropa), Geraldine Gonard (Imagina International Sales), Linus Andersson & Amanda Bjork (Kung Fury), Josh Blau (Netflix), Sarah Elena Schwerzmann (ARTE) etc. This year we are adding a new section called “Pitching” where filmmakers/writers can pitch their movie and TV-series ideas to European network executives, financiers and distributors. We focus on inviting panelists who are looking to discover the next the Xavier Dolan, Sharon Horgan or David Benioff.  The panels are designed to inform about current topics such as; Pushing through the barriers of co-production, Independent financing, how to start? How to navigate the deep waters of distribution? Etc.

MI: What are you most proud of over the years with your creation?

SANDRA: My team and I are most proud about finding the tenacity to keep growing the festival at a steady pace every year, despite the difficulties we had to face. Together we are proud to have created an event for filmmakers from all around the world, all cultures, all religions all ways of life, to come together and share their stories. We have created a unique platform on this beautiful Mediterranean island for independent filmmakers to present their projects to international industry professionals with a goal to create networking and new business opportunities.


Sandra Seeling Lipski (1983) born in Berlin and raised in Mallorca Spain, is the founder and director of the Evolution! Mallorca International Film Festival (EMIFF), located in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. She is an accomplished actress with notable credits such as CSI NY, Borat and Jane the Virgin. Sandra splits her time between Mallorca and Los Angeles. After having produced, directed and acted in several award winning short films, Sandra is currently preparing the 6th edition of EMIFF and in development of her first feature film as a producer and actress. Sandra holds an AA in dramatic arts from the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in New York City (2004) and graduated from the Los Angeles Film School with a degree in Filmmaking (2011). Sandra has recently been invited to speak on a panel organized by the SCL (Society of Composers and Lyricists) together with the AFI (American Film Institute) and was a member of the 2017 Mammoth Lakes Film Festival short film jury.

Follow SANDRA and EMIFF on Twitter

Follow EMIFF on Instagram



Tess Martin to screen new animated film “Ginevra” at Bellevue Arts Museum!

Courtesy of Smarthouse Creative

A section of Tess Martin’s work, including Ginevra, will be on view at Bellevue Arts Museum June 30 – October 22, 2017. Martin has deep roots in the Pacific Northwest, and is the founder of Haptic Animation Amplifier, a non-profit that helps support & distribute animation from the region.

Bellevue Arts Museum will be showcasing an installation of work by independent animator Tess Martin, featuring her new stop-motion animated film Ginevra. Alongside the film presentation will be exhibited several physical paper cut-outs from the film. This presentation will be the first public screening of Ginevra.


Martin is an independent Northwest animator who works with cut-outs, ink, paint, sand, or objects. Her films have displayed at galleries and festivals worldwide. The exhibition will be on view concurrently with Cut Up/Cut Out, an exhibition from the Bedford Gallery in California of national and international artists who explore the captivating methods of decorative piercing and cutting. The two exhibitions both highlight the incredible versatility of this ancient method of art-making and the diverse ways it is being employed by contemporary makers.

Based on Percy Shelley’s Poem The Dirge (itself based on the Florentine urban legend of Ginevra degli Almieri, who is rumored to have woken up a full day after her supposed death), Ginevra tells the tale of a woman mourning the murder of her daughter, only to find that the death is not quite the ending that she expected. Though technically unfinished upon Shelley’s untimely death, his wife Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (author of Frankenstein) published the last completed segment of the poem in 1824, allowing the mysteries of its meaning and the ambiguities of an untold ending to live on in the public consciousness.

This film is part of a series of short animations based on poetry titled Cinematic Campfire Poetry, and was supported by the IFP Screen Forward Lab and produced by Monticello Park Productions. Director Tess Martin wrote the film to fit the poem, and animated it using paper cut-outs on a multi-plane animation stand, one frame at a time.
Tess Martin: Ginevra is organized by Bellevue Arts Museum and curated by Lucile Chich and Benedict Heywood.
Tess Martin is an independent animator who works with cut-outs, ink, paint, sand or objects. She has received grants and residencies in support of her films, which have displayed at galleries and festivals worldwide. She also creates animations for musicians, other filmmakers, or initiatives like Ted-Ed. Tess runs and moderates the monthly Manifest Animation Show & Tell events in Rotterdam, where she is based, and is the director of Haptic Animation Amplifier, a non-profit that helps support & distribute animation from the Pacific Northwest of the USA.
Bellevue Arts Museum is a leading destination in the Pacific Northwest to experience art, craft, and design. BAM engages the community through exhibitions, programs, and publications, featuring regional, national, and international artists.


Seattle International Film Festival 2017 Awards announced!

The 2017 Seattle International Film Festival revealed its audience award recipients + official competition winners this morning and at the Golden Space Needle Awards.

More than 82,000 audience voter ballots were cast at SIFF this year for the five official categories and the six audience awards.

The Grand Jury award in competition went to ‘SAMI BLOOD’.  A coming-of-age drama from Denmark, Sweden and Norway written and directed by first time feature filmmaker AMANDA KERNELL

The 25-day Film Festival featured 400 films from 80 countries, that included 36 World premieres (14 features, 22 shorts), 34 North American premieres (22 features, 12 shorts), 20 US Premieres (11 features, 9 shorts) and 750 Festival screenings + events.

Marketed as the worlds largest and most attended film festival in the world according to their website, SIFF brought in 350 filmmakers, actors, and industry professionals as guests this year.


SIFF celebrates its films and filmmakers with the Golden Space Needle Audience Awards. Selected by Festival audiences, awards are given in six categories: Best Film, Best Documentary, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Short Film. This year, over 82,000 ballots were submitted.

AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL, directed by Rodrigo Grande (Spain/Argentina 2016)

First runner-up: KING’S CHOICE, directed by Erik Poppe (Norway 2016)
Second runner-up: I, DANIEL BLAKE, directed by Ken Loach (United Kingdom/France/Belgium 2016)
Third runner-up: PATTI CAKE$, directed by Geremy Jasper (USA 2017)
Fourth runner-up: LANE 1974, directed by SJ Chiro (USA 2017)

DOLORES, directed by Peter Bratt (USA 2017)

First runner-up: CHASING CORAL, directed by Jeff Orlowski (USA 2017)
Second runner-up: STEP, directed by Amanda Lipitz (USA 2017)
Third runner-up: CITY OF GHOSTS, directed by Matthew Heineman (USA 2017)
Fourth runner-up: DIRTBAG: THE LEGEND OF FRED BECKEY, directed by Dave O’Leske (USA 2017)

Rodrigo Grande, AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL (Spain/Argentina 2016)

First runner-up: Justin Chon, GOOK (USA 2017)
Second runner-up: Philippe van Leeuw, IN SYRIA (Lebanon/France/Belgium 2017)
Third runner-up: Mani Haghighi, A DRAGON ARRIVES! (Iran 2016)
Fourth runner-up: Hirokazu Kore-eda, AFTER THE STORM (Japan 2016)

David Johns, I, DANIEL BLAKE (United Kingdom/France/Belgium 2016)

First runner-up: Leonardo Sbaraglia, AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL (Spain/Argentina 2016)
Second runner-up: Timothy Spall, THE JOURNEY (United Kingdom 2016)
Third runner-up: Fares Fares, THE NILE HILTON INCIDENT (Sweden/Denmark/Germany 2017)
Fourth runner-up: Bogusław Linda, AFTERIMAGE (Poland 2016)

Lene Cecilia Sparrok, SAMI BLOOD (SAMEBLOD) (Sweden/Norway/Denmark 2016)

First runner-up: Elina Vaska, MELLOW MUD (Latvia 2016)
Second runner-up: Danielle MacDonald, PATTI CAKE$ (USA 2017)
Third runner-up: Sophia Mitri-Schloss, LANE 1974 (USA 2017)
Fourth runner-up: Simone Baker, GOOK (USA 2017)

DEFEND THE SACRED, directed by Kyle Bell (USA 2016)

First runner-up: LITTLE POTATO, directed by Wes Hurley, Nathan M. Miller (USA 2017)
Second runner-up: THE GENEVA CONVENTION, directed by Benoit Martin (France 2016)
Third runner-up: FLUFFY, directed by Lee Filipovski (Serbia/Montenegro/Canada 2016)
Fourth runner-up: THE CLEANSING HOUR, directed by Damien LeVeck (USA 2016)

Presented by Women in Film Seattle
Amanda Lipitz, STEP (USA 2017)

This award is given to the female director’s film that receives the most votes in public balloting at the Festival. Lena Sharpe was co-founder and managing director of Seattle’s Festival of Films by Women Directors and a KCTS-TV associate who died in a plane crash while on assignment. As a tribute to her efforts in bringing the work of women filmmakers to prominence, SIFF created this special award and asked Women in Film Seattle to bestow it.

A full List of the WINNERS can be found HERE

Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF)

Founded in 1976, SIFF creates experiences that bring people together to discover extraordinary films from around the world with the Seattle International Film Festival, SIFF Cinema, and SIFF Education. Recognized as one of the top film festivals in North America, the Seattle International Film Festival is the largest, most highly attended film festival in the United States, reaching more than 155,000 annually. The 25-day festival is renowned for its wide-ranging and 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 film showings 365 days a year on five screens at the SIFF Cinema Uptown, SIFF Cinema Egyptian, and SIFF Film Center, reaching more than 175,000 attendees annually. SIFF Education offers educational programs for all audiences serving more than 13,000 students and youth in the community with free programs each year. 

LA Film Festival 2017

The highly anticipated 23th edition of the LA FILM FESTIVAL produced by FILM INDEPENDENT  arrives this year and runs from June 14-22, 2017.  This years collection of cinematic wonder will include feature films, shorts and other media presentations from over 30 counties around the world.


All films that are screened at the LA FILM FESTIVAL become eligible to receive numerous awards including The Academy Awards in Narrative, Documentary, Short and Animated categories,  The Film Independent Spirit Awards (feature length) and Cinema Eye Honors for non-fiction filmmaking (documentary feature length).

This year special guest film director MIGUEL ARTETA will receive the prestigious Independent Spirit Award for his contribution to cinema.  Arteta will be delivering a keynote speech at the filmmaker retreat prior to the festival.   His latest film “Beatriz At Dinner” written by MIKE WHITE + starring SALMA HYAK and JOHN LITHGOW opens in theaters Friday.

Also highlighting the festival special events is the – DIVERSITY SPEAKS –  FREE events that takes place Saturday, June 17 and Sunday, June 18 in the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City.  Diversity Speaks will feature five in-depth panel discussions aimed at expanding the definition of diversity and act as a call-to-action presented by well known and successful creators in the industry.

Full Schedule of Diversity Speaks June 17 + June 18 

MEDIA INC MAGAZINE will be on the ground covering the festival + Red Carpet via LIVE twitter + daily interviews with filmmakers. Keep an eye out for our exclusive coverage of #WomenInFilm –  As we ill be Showcasing works of the festivals talented Women filmmakers + creatives + special guests.

Be sure to follow @MediaIncMag on TWITTER (Click to Follow) for round the clock 24-hour updates on the entire Festival!

Here’s MEDIA INC MAGAZINE’S guide on ‘How to – LA FILM FEST’!

Where to get your Tix and Passes.  The ARCHLIGHT in Culver City is Festival Headquarters and main ticketing center.  There are numerous ways and outlets to purchase + pick up.

Best way is to click here on TICKETS or PASSES and you’ll be set!

Festival Screening + Event VENUES 

Primary venues are ARCHLIGHT CINEMAS


Arclight Cinemas – Santa Monica 
395 Santa Monica Pl. #330
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 566-2810

Arclight Cinemas – Culver City (Headquarters + Ticketing Center)
9500 Culver Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 559-2416

Arclight Cinemas – Hollywood
6360 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 464-1478

Additional screening venues:

Ace Hotel theater 1

The Theater at Ace Hotel

LACMA theater

LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art)

culver studios best

The Culver Studios

Plan well ahead for parking and lines.  The SANTA MONICA Archlight Cinema is DA BOMB for shopping + quick 5 minute walk to the Santa Monica beach!

Be kind to all the festival staff and volunteers Ya’ll:)  They have worked VERY hard this last year to make this spectacle very special for all of us to enjoy.   See you in LA!

Follow LFF+Film Independent Twitter + Facebook + IG + YOUTUBE

Download the IFC App for your smartphone and devises to catch great films!

The 2017 Great American PitchFest June 23-25 | Announces Line-up + Schedule!

One of the most highly anticipated Hollywood screenwriting events is returning this year – The 2017 Great American Pitch Fest at the Los Angels Marriot Burbank Airport location June 23-25, 2017.

Entering their 14th year, this epic screenwriter event brings together some of the industries TOP production companies, agents, managers, financiers and decision makers looking to option, buy and/or hire as writers.  Nearly 2,000 writers travel from around the world each year to participate in ScriptFest and the Great American PitchFest which also have events held in Canada and the UK. The upcoming event in Los Angeles is the largest event of its kind, specifically for screenwriters, and anyone can attend.

ScriptFest and the Great American PitchFest were created by writers for writers.  The event started in Canada with the first Great Canadian PitchFest in 2003.  Fourteen years later, the event has expanded to Los Angeles, California and London, England.  The event has helped thousands of writers from around the globe to connect with industry decision makers.

ScriptFest, the ScriptFest Master Series, and the Great American PitchFest were started as a way to help other writers move their careers forward, and make ‘finding the door’ just a little bit easier.  Writers who have attended the event have been hired for writing assignments, signed with agents or managers and have had their screenplays optioned.  In a business that is defined primarily through the relationships creatives have with one another, thousands of writers that have attended one of their events  have helped launch their careers.

MEDIA INC MAGAZINE this year is honored to be a media sponsor by continuing  their global support of indie filmmaking and creatives in the industry.

We got a chance to catch up with the leadership team of SIGNE OLYNYK (Co-Founder) and BOB SCHULTZ (President) to share with us  more about their upcoming event.

MEDIA INC MAGAZINE:  Tell us about GAPF and why it’s been such a big draw for screen writers over the years?

Bob: When Signe started the event 14 years ago in Canada (I joined the organization with the first American event), she already had the magic formula: We are writers ourselves, so any questions about what we should do or offer should always be seen through that prism. We believe in the importance of writing. And we always remember that improving the quality of spec screenwriting overall will result in more opportunities for spec screenwriters individually. We offer the best classes, the best panels, the most pitching opportunities. We are grateful to all the writers who have come to our event over the years. We couldn’t do it without them.

MI:  How do screenwriters prepare for this event?  What should they bring? 

We interview all of our executives about what types of material they are looking for, whether a writer needs an agent or manager to approach them, stars or directors they have relationships with, advice for new writers – all sorts of questions like that.  And then we publish this information on our website, and as a booklet that is distributed at the event. We try to do this research for our writers so they can really pinpoint who is the best fit for their various projects, and that way, they can hone their pitches to make sure they are pitching their work to the executive who is the best fit.  If anyone wants to see what these various companies are looking for, they just need to click on the various companies who are attending, and read their profiles. 

As far as what a writer needs to bring to the event, I recommend that they have two hard copies of their script available to them at all times – one on them, and one in an easily accessible place, such as a car or hotel room.  The reason I suggest this is because if an execs requests a copy of the script and prefers a hard copy, it’s great if you are able to hand it to them on the spot.  It shows you are ready, serious, and that you have it ready to go.  It is not uncommon to see execs reading hard copies of scripts during the break. 

Now, most execs tend to prefer an electronic copy.  But if one asks for a hard copy, it’s great to be able to have one available right away to give to them.  I also recommend having a USB drive with you at all times with the latest versions of your script so you can send a copy electronically, immediately following the meeting.

The other thing that I recommend is a one-sheet, which is essentially a flyer for your script – a visual representation of your story.  They need to have your name, contact information, title, tagline, and a brief logline or synopsis.  They aren’t essential, but they are a very helpful selling tool.  And once the exec goes back to the office, it can assist them with re-pitching it to others who they work with. I also recommend bringing mints, bottled water, comfortable shoes to wear, and business cards.

Companies attending in 2017 HERE!

Q:  Do writers and attendees need to have a literary agent to pitch the executives?

A very successful strategy that many of our writers have used to get an agent or manager at the event is to use the morning pitchfest to meet with production companies and distributors.  Once they have a number of script requests, they can then use the afternoon to meet with the agents and managers.  In those meetings, they can talk about the various script requests, and how they now need an agent or manager to send those script requests out. 

When a writer is pitching an agent or manager, they want to pitch differently than if they are pitching to a production company.  Production companies will want to know the log-line, and will be thinking about the story, budget, packaging it with talent, directors, and other production details.  But an agent or manager will be thinking about those things AND whether they can represent you and your script.  They want to know that you can write to deadline, that you generate a lot of excellent material, that you are a solid writer, that you pitch well, are good in a room, and that you can hustle and get your script out there.  A great writer will tailor their pitch so that it suits the person they are pitching, and fits with what they are looking for.

MI: Tell us about the panels and your special guests this year. 

We are thrilled to be offering classes to help writers improve their creativity, their characters, and their story arcs. We have plenty of pitch classes and classes on writers’ legal rights and strategies for them to market themselves.

 And, of course, we are honored to have working screenwriters join us. Steve Oedekerk (Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Bruce Almighty, Kung Pow: Enter The Fist) will be there to talk about his career in comedy and animation, and Oscar Winner Dustin Lance Black will be joining us as well.  


MI:  You also have a LONDON GAPF.  Can you tell us about that event and how it works.

The Great British PitchFest is part of the London Screenwriters’ Festival. The market for screenplays – the film industry as a whole, really – is a global phenomenon. Our mission to help writers means ALL writers. Not just American writers, and not just writers of a certain age or financial status. Our outreach includes scholarships to high school writers from low-income areas, special rates for veterans. We have taught screenwriting all over the world: The USA, Canada, Sweden, Romania… the list goes on.

The GAFP can be followed on TWITTER and IG while passes can be purchased at their website www.scriptfest.com


SHORT FILM SPOTLIGHT – Writer/Director Kat Green’s ‘THE BIG SWIM’

The Big Swim presentation copyWe recently got a chance to sit down with LA based writer, director and singer/songwriter KAT GREEN at the Hollywood Roosevelt to talk about her extraordinary and quite brave journey in the making of her first short film THE BIG SWIM.

Screening at the 2017 IFS Independent Film Festival this weekend on May 7, 2017 @ 7:15pm at the Beverly Hills Music Hall,  the film is about a young women Rachel (Kimberly Leemans) who finds out she might have terminal breast cancer and sets our on an adventure to Cozumel Mexico to face her fears of swimming with sharks and inevidably learning that sharks are not as frightening as falling in love.

After vacationing in Cozumel Mexico, Green was inspired by how beautiful and relatively cheap shooting what would become her first film as writer/director, could be.  Having rallied up a group of mostly unknowns to her in the business with the exception of one dear friend JARED DAY who helped with casting and also appeared in the film as an actor, Kat set out to produce a film that not only offered  an impressive and stunning underwater filming sequence using real live wild sharks, no stunt people or FX, but also did a great job telling an engaging message of hope and courage.

Q: Congrat’s on your success your film The Big Swim! What inspired you to write this story?

A: Well, I knew I wanted to make a romance because that’s what I”m naturally connected to, but I wanted to not just make a fluffy love story but rather make a movie that had something to say.  Something that was inspirational, that had a message and something unique and close to me — fear of sharks and the topic of breast cancer woven together.   I’ve always had a fear of the critters in the ocean and JAWS was one of my favorite movies that scared the heck out of me as a little girl.  I’ve also had a many friends effected by breast cancer over the years and a dear friend in particular that lost her mother to the disease seemed to resonate with me when developing this story.

The Big Swim1

Actress Kimberly Leemans as RACHEL on location in Cozumel, Mexico

Q: Tell us about the casting process.

A:  I asked a dear friend of mine JARED DAY, who also is talented actor (NCIS: New Orleans), to help me cast the film.  We specifically wanted to find our lead actors that both had diving experience.  We read many great actors, but when KIMBERLY LEEMANS (Walking Dead) came in, Jared really liked how she might be a great fit for the part.  When I saw her demo reel she really was a very talented woman and could be a great fit for the lead part. Ironically, she told us that diving with sharks was on her bucket list which also resonated with the actual story.  After we signed Kimberly, we proceeded to build the rest of the cast around her.  Originally the male lead of Luca we were looking for was Mexican and had to have dive experience.  But we didn’t have much luck in LA merging those two and had to reach out to the pool in Mexico City.  But we just didn’t like what we saw in those casting tapes.   Then  Kimberly actually recommend her boyfriend FALK HANTSCHEL who actually was a real life certified dive master and not to mention an incredible actor (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and The Flash)   So it happened to work out just right casting both these amazing actors.

Q: You filmed most of the film on location in Mexico. What was your biggest challenge you faced?

A: With filming in Cozumel, we knew we needed to hire someone on the ground that would be out condiut with gear rental understands the filmmaking logistics with permits, etc. , customs and language.  So we found someone that fit the bill, but sadly ended up going MIA before shooting began. So we quickly had to spring into action and become very creative on how we were going to do all this.  We winded up bringing all our gear in multiple suitcases down to film.  In fact, we had to get much of the crew business class seats because they could bring more bags without additional baggage fees. Speaking of  keeping the challenges under control, we really were blessed to have producer MEGAN WOEPPLE on our team.  She truly was one of the production teams biggest assets.  Not only has she been dive certified since she was 12, but she was a total pro with everything and a brilliant problem solver.     

Q: What kind of camera did you shoot the film on?

A:  Because we needed to be very moblie and low profile, we shot on the A7S Mark ii camera.  Our DP FIORELLA OCCHIPINTI was brought onto the project because her impressive work particularly he awesome ‘run and gun’ style of shooting.  

Q:  What’s the message you are in hopes the audience will walk away with after watching your film.

A:  Don’t wait until it’s too late to live your life–BE BRAVE! Life is about love, relationships and sometimes facing the fear to press on after heartbreaking life experiences.   Don’t be afraid to fall in love.


KAT GREEN also wrote and performed the films song BREATHE ME IN. Her music can be heard HERE

She also partnered with both the NATIONAL BREAST FOUNDATION and SHARK STEWARDS by donating proceeds from the film to these charities.

She can be found on INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK

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Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) announces 2017 Line-up!

SEATTLE — May 3, 2017 — SIFF Press

The Seattle International Film Festival, the largest and most highly attended festival in the United States, announced today the complete lineup of films, guests, and events for the 43rd annual 25-day Festival (May 18 – June 11, 2017).

This year, SIFF will screen 400 films representing 80 countries and will include: 161 features (plus 4 secret films), 58 documentaries, 14 archival films, and 163 shorts. The lineup includes 36 World premieres (14 features, 22 shorts), 34 North American premieres (22 features, 12 shorts), and 20 U.S. premieres (11 features, 19 shorts).

SIFF2017 LArge poster1

Opening night kicks off Friday, May 18 with The Big Sick from Amazon Studios. Starring and written by Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) along with his wife Emily V. Gordon, the film promises to electrify audiences with the smart and complicated romantic story based on the beginnings of their relationship. Nanjiani will be in attendance at the Seattle premiere and Opening Night Gala, along with co-writer Emily V. Gordon and director Michael Showalter (Hello, My Name is Doris and Wet Hot American Summer). Closing this year’s Festival is the North American premiere of The Young Karl Marx, directed by Raoul Peck (I Am Not Your Negro). The story follows 26-year-old Karl Marx (August Diehl) and his wife Jenny in exile in Europe, where they meet a man who provides them with the final piece needed for the foundation of Marxist theory.

At the annual Centerpiece Gala, SIFF will travel to 1990s Manhattan in the slice-of-life comedy, Landline. Director Gillian Robespierre brings back actress-comedienne Jenny Slate following their SIFF 2014 run of Obvious Child. Slate, Robespierre, and new-coming actress Abby Quinn are all scheduled to attend the Seattle premiere taking place on Saturday, June 3.

The World premiere of Theresa Rebeck’s Trouble will screen at Seattle’s historic SIFF Cinema Egyptian as SIFF honors the film’s executive producer and star, Anjelica Huston, with the Career Achievement in Acting Award. In addition to the award presentation and screening, the acclaimed actress is also slated for an on-stage interview at the Wednesday, June 7 event.

Also scheduled is An Afternoon with Sam Elliott, where the festival will pay tribute to the all-American actor. Along with his iconic voice, Elliott makes his way to SIFF on Saturday, May 27th for the Seattle premiere of his newest film The Hero following an onstage discussion that afternoon.

Receiving raving reviews following its’ world premiere at SXSW is Seattle native S.J. Chiro’s first full-length feature, Lane 1974. Drawing off of Chiro’s own childhood experiences as well as those described in Clane Hayward’s memoir “The Hypocrisy of Disco”, SIFF is thrilled to present this 1970s coming-of-age narrative.

One of several interactive events features Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World, a documentary by Catherine Bainbridge celebrating the achievements and contributions of Native Americans in modern American music. Along with the screening of the film, guests will also enjoy Indigenous Centered Perspectives, an exhibit showcasing works by four indigenous artists at the Paramount Theater. The Friday, May 26 event is hosted by SIFF in collaboration with Amazon Video Direct, STG, and Longhouse Media.

“This year’s robust line-up includes a wide variety of programs ranging from heartfelt features from comedy favorites to thought-provoking documentaries, as well as once in a lifetime conversations with Hollywood legends,” says Interim Artistic Director Beth Barrett. “We are thrilled to jump into our 43rd edition and introduce spectacular programming from across the world to over 150,000 film enthusiasts in Seattle over the course of 25 days.”

The 2017 Seattle International Film Festival is presented by SIFF, the non-profit arts organization that reaches more than 350,000 annually through SIFF Cinema, SIFF Education, and the annual flagship Festival.

Festival Box office opens May 4 online at www.siff.net and in person at any SIFF venue box office.

View the full public program Here:  https://www.siff.net/festival


Opening Night Gala
The Big Sick
Director Michael Showalter, co-writer / actor Kumail Nanjiani, and co-writer Emily V. Gordon scheduled to attend

The hilarious, romantic, and moving true story of the cross-cultural courtship between Pakistan-born comedian Kumail Nanjiani (“Silicon Valley”) and his wife Emily (Zoe Kazan) comes to life in this utterly delightful comedy from director Michael Showalter and producer Judd Apatow.
(d: Michael Showalter c: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano, Anupam Kher, USA 2017, 119 min)

Centerpiece Gala
Director Gillian Robespierre and stars Jenny Slate and Abby Quinn scheduled to attend

The director and star of Obvious Child reunite for this uproarious slice-of- life story about two sisters (Jenny Slate and breakout star Abby Quinn) in pre-cell-phone 1990s Manhattan who discover that their father is having an affair, and conspire to expose him. (d: Gillian Robespierre c: Jenny Slate, John Turturro, Edie Falco, Abby Quinn, Jay Duplass, Finn Wittrock, USA 2017, 93 min)

Closing Night Gala
The Young Karl Marx
North American Premiere

Director Raoul Peck (I Am Not Your Negro) presents a lush period drama that joins 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. (d: Raoul Peck
c: August Diehl, Stefan Konarske, Vicky Krieps, Hannah Steele, Olivier Gourmet, France/Germany/ Belgium 2016, 118 min)


Anjelica Huston
Featuring Trouble
Plus screenings of The Grifters and The Witches

Anjelica Huston is a powerhouse of a woman whose career has spanned over 50 years:
through modeling, film, television, and on the page. Born into the family of renowned
film director John Huston and legendary grandfather Walter Huston, Anjelica was sure
to make a splash in the industry with both her unique beauty and strong presence.
Her penchant for and exquisite skill in portraying tenacious, crafty, emotionally strong
women has undoubtedly made her among the greatest actresses of our time.

Past honorees of the SIFF Outstanding Achievement in Acting Award include Laura Dern, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Viggo Mortensen, Kyle MacLachlan, Sir Ben Kingsley, Kevin Bacon, Edward Norton, Sissy Spacek, Joan Allen, and Anthony Hopkins amongst others.

Sam Elliott
Featuring The Hero

He of the gruff baritone voice and the luxuriant mustache, Sam Elliott is the quintessential portrait of the American cowboy, a quality he’s drawn on since he first appeared onscreen in the 1969 Oscar® winner Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. From Tombstone to Gettysburg, The Big Lebowski to Mask, Road House to Thank You for Smoking, ad campaigns for Coors and the American Beef Council, and TV work ranging from “Mission: Impossible” to “Justified,” his rugged, commanding presence is an unmistakable gift to American pop culture and any genre lucky enough to have him.


World (14)

Crazywise (d: Phil Borges, Kevin Tomlinson f: Adam Gentry, Ekhaya Esima, Angeles Arrien, Phil Borges, Carroll Dunham, USA 2017, 82 min)

Entanglement (d: Jason James c: Thomas Middleditch, Jess Weixler, Diana Bang, Canada 2017, 85 min)

Escape Room (d: Will Wernick c: Evan Williams, Annabelle Stephenson, Elisabeth Hower, Dan J. Johnson,  John Ierardi, Kelly Delson, Billy Flynn, USA 2017, 81 min)

Fermented (d: Jonathan Cianfrani f: Edward Lee, USA 2017, 67 min)

Kakehashi: A Portrait of Chef Nobuo Fukuda (d: Andrew Gooi f: Nobuo Fukuda, Sarah Fukuda, Kazuko Fukuda, Japan 2017, 46 min)

Lives with Flavor (d: Pablo Gasca Gollas f: Ricardo Muñoz Zurita, Marco Beteta, Martha Ortiz, Israel Ronzon, Mexico 2017, 52 min)

Rocketmen (d: Webster Crowell c: Alycia Delmore, Basil Harris, Christopher Dietz, Ian Fraser, Ben Laurance, USA 2017, 67 min)

Say You Will (d: Nick Naveda c: Travis Tope, Katherine Hughes, Michelle Forbes, Sam Trammell, Israel Broussard, Adam Hagenbuch, Morgan Krantz, USA 2017, 97 min)

The Fabulous Allan Carr (d: Jeffrey Schwarz f: Allan Carr, Robert Osborne, Maxwell Caulfield, Steve Guttenberg, Randal Kleiser, USA 2017, 90 min)

The Feels (d: Jenée LaMarque c: Constance Wu, Angela Trimbur, Jenée LaMarque, Lauren Parks, Ever Mainard, Josh  Fadem, Kárin Tatoyan, Doug Purdy, USA 2017, 90 min)

Time Trap (d: Ben Foster c: Cassidy Gifford, Reiley McClendon, Brianne Howey, Olivia  Draguicevich, Max Wright, Andrew Wilson, USA 2017, 90 min)

Trouble (d: Theresa Rebeck c: Anjelica Huston, Bill Pullman, David Morse, Julie Stiles, Jim Parrack, Brian d’Arcy James, USA 2017, 90 min)

Wallflower (d: Jagger Gravning c: David Call, Atsuko Okatsuka, Conner Marx, USA 2017, 84 min)

North American (22)

7 Minutes (d: Michele Placido c: Ottavia Piccolo, Ambra Angiolini, Cristiana Capotondi, Fiorella Mannoia, Maria Nazionale, Violante Placido, Italy 2016, 92 min)

The Bloom of Yesterday (d: Chris Kraus c: Lars Eidinger, Adèle Haenel, Jan Josef Liefers, Hannah Herzsprung, Germany 2016, 125 min)

Borders (d: Apolline Traoré c: Amelie Mbaye, Naky Sy Savane, Burkina Faso 2017, 90 min)

Chameleon (d: Jorge Riquelme Serrano c: Gastón Salgado, Paula Zúñiga, Paulina Urrutia, Alejandro Goic, Chile 2016, 81 min)

Come, Together (d: SHIN Dong-il c: LEE Hye-eun, IM Hyeong-gook, CHAE Bin, KIM Jae-rok, HAN Kyung-hyun, South Korea 2016, 122 min)

The Door (d: LIANG Dong c: JIANG Wu, JIANG Qingin, ZHU Xu, FU Ying, LI Naiwen, China 2017, 104 min)

God of War (d: Gordon Chan c: Sammo Hung, Vincent Zhao, Regina Wan, Yasuaki Kurata, Keisuke Koide, China 2017, 130 min)

Have a Nice Day (d: Liu Jian c: Yang Siming, Cao Kou, Ma Xiaofeng, Zhu Changlong, China 2017, 77 min)

The Inland Road (d: Jackie Van Beek c: Gloria Popata, David Elliot, Chelsie Preston Crayford, New Zealand 2017, 79 min)

I Was a Dreamer (d: Michele Vannucci c: Mirko Frezza, Alessandro Borghi, Vittorio Viviani, Milena Mancini, Ivana Lotito, Ginevra De Carolis, Italy 2016, 100 min)

In Syria (d: Philippe Van Leeuw c: Hiam Abbass, Diamand Abou Abboud, Juliette Navis, Mohsen Abbas, Moustapha Al Kar, Alissar Kaghadou, Ninar Halabi, Mohammas, Jihad Sleik, Lebanon 2017, 85 min)

Investigating Paradise (d: Merzak Allouache f: Salima Abada, Younès Sabeur Chérif, France 2017, 135 min)

Ivan (d: Alyona Davydova c: Kirill Polukhin, Polina Gukhman, Anastasia Melnikova, Russia 2017, 94 min)

Paris Prestige (d: Hamé Bourokba c: Reda Kateb, Slimane Dazi, Yassine Azzouz, Elisa Bachir Bey, Mylene Bude, France 2016, 106 min)

Pavlensky – Man and Might (d: Irene Langemann, Germany 2016, 99 min)

Roberto Bolle – The Art of Dance (d: Francesca Pedroni f: Roberto Bolle, Nicoletta Manni, Melissa Hamilton, Eric Underwood, Matthew Golding, Jiři and Otto Bubeníček, Anna Tsygankova Maria Kochetkova, Joan Boada, Alexandre Riabko, Italy 2016, 105 min)

The Smuggler and Her Charges (d: Michaël Prazan, France 2016, 81 min)

Those Shocking Shaking Days (d: Selma Doborac c: Steve Crilley,  Paul Kraker, Austria 2016, 88 min)

Those Who Remain (d: Eliane Raheb f: Haykal Mikhael, Lebanon 2016, 95 min)

Two Irenes (d: Fabio Meira c: Priscila Bittencourt, Isabela Torres, Marco Ricca, Inês Peixoto, Brazil 2017, 89 min)

The Young Karl Marx (d: Raoul Peck c: August Diehl, Stefan Konarske, Vicky Krieps, Hannah Steele, Olivier Gourmet, France 2016, 118 min)

U.S. (11)

Becoming Who I Was (d: MOON Chang-yong c: Angdu Padma, Rigzin Urgain, South Korea 2016, 95 min)

Close Relations (d: Vitaly Mansky, Germany 2016, 114 min)

Devil’s Freedom (d: Everardo González, Mexico 2017, 74 min)

Emma’ (Mother) (d: Riri Riza c: Cut Mini, Christoffer Nelwan, Arman Dewarti, Jajang C. Noer, Indonesia 2016, 77 min)

Ghost Hunting (d: Raed Andoni c: Nakhane Mahlakahlaka, Niza Jay Ncoyini, Bongile Mantsai, Palestine 2016, 90 min)

Quit Staring at My Plate (d: Hana Jušić c: Mia Petričević, Nikša Butijer, Arijana Čulina, Zlatko Burić, Croatia 2016, 105 min)

Small Town Killers (d: Ole Borndal c: Ulrich Thomsen, Nicolas Bro, Lene Mara Christiansen, Mia Lyhne, Denmark 2017, 90 min)

Suffering of Ninko (d: Norihiro Niwatsukino c: Masato Tsujioka, Miho Wakabayashi, Hideta Iwahashi, Yukino Arimoto, Japan 2016, 70 min)

Susanne Bartsch: On Top (d: Anthony Caronna c: Susanne Bartsch, USA 2017, 84 min)

The Song of Cotton (d: ZHU Yuancheng c: YAN Bingyan, WANG Deshun, China 2016, 90 min)

Vampire Cleanup Department (d: YAN Pak Wing c: CHOI Babyjohn,  LIN Min Chen, CHIN Siu Ho, NG Richard, Hong Kong 2017, 94 min)


Official Competition
Juried by a team of international industry members, the Official Competition recognizes distinct and resonant voices in filmmaking from around the world. The Grand Jury Prize Winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize.

2017 Entries:
7 Minutes (d. Michele Placido, Italy/France/Switzerland 2016, North American Premiere)
Bad Influence (d: Claudia Huaiqimilla, Chile 2016)
Beach Rats (d: Eliza Hittman, USA 2016)
Have A Nice Day (d: LIU Jian, China/Hong Kong 2017, North American Premiere)
Hedi (d: Mohamed Ben Attia, Tunisia/Belgium/France/Qatar/Uae 2016)
My Happy Family (d: Nana Ekvtimishvili, Simon Gross, Georgia/Germany/France 2017)
Sami Blood (d: Amanda Kernell, Sweden/Norway/Denmark 2016)
Zoology (d: Ivan I. Tverdovsky, Russia/France/Germany 2016)

New Directors Competition
Festival programmers select 10 films remarkable for their original scripts, innovative cinematography, and unique insights into people, places, and story. To be eligible, films must be a director’s first or second feature and without U.S. distribution at the time of their selection. The Grand Jury Prize Winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize.

2017 Entries:
Anishoara (d: Ana-Felicia Scutelnicu, Germany 2016)
Boundaries (d: Chloé Robichaud, Canada (Québec) 2016)
Diamond Island (d: Davy Chou, France 2016)
The Inland Road (d: Jackie Van Beek, New Zealand 2017, North American Premiere)
I Was A Dreamer (d: Michele Vannucci, Italy 2016, North American Premiere)
Kati Kati (d: Mbithi Masya, Kenya 2016)
The Man (d: Charlotte Sieling, Denmark 2017)
Paris Prestige (d: Hamé Bourokba, Ekoué Labitey, France 2016)
Quit Staring at My Plate (d: Hana Jušić, Croatia 2016)
Struggle for Life (d: Antonin Peretjatko, Belgium 2016)

Ibero-American Competition
The Ibero-American Competition selects 8 outstanding films from Latin America, Spain, and Portugal to highlight the increasing power, creativity, and influence of storytelling in the region. To be eligible, films must be making their U.S. premiere at the Festival and be without U.S. distribution at the time of their selection. The Grand Jury Prize Winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize.

2017 Entries:
Chameleon (d: Jorge Riquelme Serrano, Chile 2016, North American Premiere)
Devil’s Freedom (d: Everardo González, Mexico 2017, US Premiere)
May God Save Us (d: Rodrigo Sorogoyen, Spain 2016)
Pendular (d: Julia Murat, Brazil/Argentina/France 2017)
Santa & Andres (d: Carlos Lechuga, Cuba/Colombia/France 2016)
Two Irenes (d: Fabio Meira, Brazil 2017, North American Premiere)
The Winter (d: Emiliano Torres, Argentina/France 2016)
Woodpeckers (d: José María Cabral, Dominican Republic 2017)

New American Cinema Competition
Each of these films has found a champion in the SIFF programming team and was selected for its potential to capture the hearts of audiences looking to explore the exciting vanguard of New American Cinema. Jury is comprised of 3 members from the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI). The Grand Jury Prize Winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize.

2017 Entries:
American Folk (d: David Heinz, USA 2017)
Columbus (d: Kogonada USA 2017)
Dara Ju (d: Anthony Onah, USA/Nigeria 2017)
The Feels (d: Jenée Lamarque, USA 2017, World Premiere)
In The Radiant City (d: Rachel Lambert, USA 2016)
The Landing (d: Mark Dodson and David Dodson, USA 2016)
Lane 1974 (d: SJ Chiro, USA 2017)
Say You Will (d: Nick Naveda, USA 2017, World Premiere)

Documentary Competition
For the documentarian, the world around us provides a seemingly inexhaustible source of material. From the ridiculous to the sublime and everything in between, documentary art is about showing the world how it is, how it was, and how it could be. The Grand Jury Prize Winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize.

2017 Entries:
Becoming Who I Was (d: Moon Chang-Yong, Jeon Jin, South Korea 2016, US Premiere)
Close Relations (d: Vitaly Mansky, Germany/Latvia/Estonia/Ukraine 2016, US Premiere)
The Farthest (d: Emer Reynolds, Ireland 2017)
Ghost Hunting (d: Raed Andoni, Palestine/France/Switzerland 2016 US Premiere)
The Reagan Show (d: Pacho Velez, Sierra Pattengill, USA 2017)
Roberto Bolle ― The Art Of Dance (d: Francesca Pedroni, Italy 2016, North American Premiere)
Those Who Remain (d: Eliane Raheb, Lebanon/Uae 2016, North American Premiere)
What Lies Upstream (d: Cullen Hoback, USA 2017)
Winnie (d: Pascale Lamche, France/Netherlands/South Africa 2017)

Shorts Competition
All short films shown at the Festival are eligible for both the Golden Space Needle Audience Award and Jury Award. Jurors will choose winners in the Narrative, Animation, and Documentary categories. Each jury winner will receive $2,500 and winners in any of the three categories may also qualify to enter the respective Short Film category of the Academy Awards® for the concurrent season without the theatrical run.

Golden Space Needle Awards
For the past 30 years, SIFF has celebrated its most popular films and filmmakers with the Golden Space Needle Audience Award. Awards by Festival audiences are given in five categories: Best Film, Best Documentary, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Short Film.


Wednesday ∙ May 24 ∙ 7:00 PM
SIFF Cinema Egyptian

Life is a cabaret, old chum! Dress in your finest Cabaret-style duds and join us for an evening inside the fabled Kit Kat Klub as Seattle drag icon Robbie Turner (“RuPaul’s Drag Race”) presents an original Cabaret-inspired revue followed by a screening of Bob Fosse’s Academy Award®- winning 1972 film.
(d: Bob Fosse c: Liza Minnelli, Joel Grey, Michael York, Helmut Griem, 1972, 124 min)

Friday ∙ May 26 ∙ 9:00 PM – 1:00 AM
The Neptune

Join us for this epic party celebrating a “totally rad” decade! Show off your ‘80s duds, compete
in our Yearbook Challenge, sing along to the decade’s best movie anthems, laugh along with staged recreations of classic scenes performed by Ian Bell’s Brown Derby Series, and dance the night away with live music from ‘80s Invasion.

Friday ∙ May 26 ∙ 7:00 PM
The Paramount
Repeat Screening:
Saturday ∙ May 27 ∙ 11:30 AM
SIFF Cinema Uptown

The contributions of Native Americans in modern American music―from Link Wray to Robbie
Robertson, Charlie Patton to Buffy Sainte-Marie―get a much-deserved showcase in this celebratory exposé of the indigenous influence on the soundtrack of popular culture.
(d: Catherine Bainbridge f: Robbie Robertson, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Martin Scorsese, Tony Bennett, Steven, Tyler, Iggy Pop, Canada 2017, 103 min)

Thursday ∙ June 1 ∙ 7:00 PM
The Triple Door

The dark-surf, girl-group noir sounds of Seattle’s Prom Queen meets some of our favorite visuals from the catalogue of beloved exploitation film archivists Something Weird video, creating a unique new experience of B-movie indulgence. Co-presented by Northwest Film Forum’s Puget Soundtrack series and Capitol Hill Block Party.

Monday ∙ June 5 ∙ 6:30 PM
SIFF Cinema Egyptian

In visionary effects artist Douglas Trumbull’s utterly mind-bending 1983 film, a pair of scientists (Louise Fletcher and Christopher Walken) invent an experimental brain-recording alternate-reality device and must fight to keep it out of the hands of the military. Post-screening discussion to follow.
(d: Douglas Trumbull c: Christopher Walken, Natalie Wood, Louise Fletcher, Cliff Robertson, USA 1983, 106 min)

Tuesday ∙ June 6 ∙ 6:00 PM
SIFF Cinema Uptown

Chinese silent film icon Ruan Lingyu, frequently called the Greta Garbo of Shanghai, stars in this newly restored edition of one of the biggest films of early Chinese cinema, a decades-spanning romantic drama about a woman who pays dearly for following her heart. With live accompaniment by Donald Sosin.
(d: Bu Wancang c: Chen Yen Yen, Jin Yan, Ruan Lingyu, China 1931, 153 min)

With live soundtrack by The Invincible Czars 

Thursday ∙ June 8 ∙ 7:00 PM
The Triple Door

After more than a decade of silent film scores that beautifully blend rock and orchestral music, Austin band the Invincible Czars now unleash their spooky sonic reimagining of the classic silent adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s iconic tale starring the legendary John Barrymore.
(d: John S. Robertson c: John Barrymore, Brandon Hurst, Martha Mansfield, Charles Lane, Cecil Clovelly, USA 1920, 79 min)


Opening Night Gala
The Big Sick

THURSDAY, MAY 18, 7:00 P.M.
Party to follow screening

The hilarious, romantic, and moving true story of the cross-cultural courtship between Pakistan-born comedian Kumail Nanjiani (“Silicon Valley”) and his wife Emily (Zoe Kazan) comes to life in this utterly delightful comedy from director Michael Showalter and producer Judd Apatow.
(d: Michael Showalter c: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano, Anupam Kher, USA 2017, 119 min)

Centerpiece Gala


The director and star of Obvious Child reunite for this uproarious slice-of-life story about two sisters (Jenny Slate and breakout star Abby Quinn) in pre-cell-phone 1990s Manhattan who discover that their father is having an affair, and conspire to expose him.
(d: Gillian Robespierre c: Jenny Slate, John Turturro, Edie Falco, Abby Quinn, Jay Duplass, Finn Wittrock, USA 2017, 93 min)

Closing Night Gala
The Young Karl Marx
North American Premiere

SUNDAY, JUNE 11, 6:00 P.M.

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels meet and talk and lay the foundation for political revolution, compellingly, in Raoul Peck’s follow-up to his Oscar®-nominated doc I Am Not Your Negro.
(d: Raoul Peck c: August Diehl, Stefan Konarske, Vicky Krieps, Hannah Steele, Olivier Gourmet, France/Germany/ Belgium 2016, 118 min)

Saturday Film and Party #1
The Trip to Spain

SATURDAY, MAY 20, 7:00 P.M.

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon reunite with director Michael Winterbottom for another chapter in their hilarious road-trip series. This time, on a tour through picturesque Spain, Coogan and Brydon trade comic observations on fame and friendship as dry as the finest Spanish wine.
(d: Michael Winterbottom c: Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon)

Saturday Film and Party #2
The Little Hours

SATURDAY, MAY 27, 7:00 P.M.

Aubrey Plaza, Alison Brie, and Kate Micucci star as a group of hilariously profane and emotionally unstable nuns all competing to seduce the convent’s virile new servant (Dave Franco) in this bawdy, subversive comedy that turns the Middle Ages upside down.
(d: Jeff Baena c: Alison Brie, Dave Franco, Kate Micucci, Aubrey Plaza, John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon, Fred Armisen, Nick Offerman, USA/Italy 2017, 90 min)

Kirkland Opening Night


La La Land meets Norma Rae with a pinch of Jacques Demy in this toe-tapping working-class musical comedy with a social conscience about a young woman who gets her dream job at a luxury shoe factory, only to become enmeshed in a labor strike.
(d: Kostia Testut, Paul Calori c: Pauline Etienne, Olivier Chantreau, Francois Morel, France 2016, 90 min)

Susanne Bartsch: On Top


Meet the irrepressible driving force behind New York City’s nightlife scene for the past 30 years: event promoter and muse Susanne Bartsch, whose lavish, theatrical, trend-setting parties have embraced all walks of life and attracted a who’s-who of the fashion underground.
(d: Anthony Caronna, Alexander Smith f: Susanne Bartsch, USA 2017, 84 min)


African Pictures showcases the best filmmaking happening in and about Africa today. This is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to experience innovative and inspiring filmmaking from across the continent.

Borders (d: Apolline Traoré c: Amelie Mbaye, Naky Sy Savane, Burkina Faso 2017, 90 min, North American Premiere)

Hedi (d: Mohamed Ben Attia c: Majd Mastoura, Rym Ben Messaoud, Sabah Bouzouita, Hakim Boumessoudi, Ombia Ben Ghali, Tunisia 2016, 89 min)

Investigating Paradise (d: Merzak Allouache c: Salima Abada, Younès Sabeur Chérif, France 2017, 135 min, North American Premiere)

Kalushi (d: Mandla Dube c: Thabo Rametsi, Thabo Malema, Welile Nzuza, Jafta Mamabolo, Pearl Thusi, Gcina Mhlophe, South Africa 2016, 107 min)

The Nile Hilton Incident (d: Tarik Saleh c: Fares Fares, Mari Malek, Mohamed Yousry, Yasser Ali Maher, Ahmed Selim, Hania Amar, Sweden 2017, 106 min)

The Wedding Party (d: Kemi Adetiba c: Adesua Etomi, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Banky Wellington, Nigeria 2016, 110 min)

Winnie (d: Pascale Lamche, France 2017, 98 min)

Wùlu (d: Daouda Coulibaly c: Ibrahim Koma, Inna Modja, Ismael Ndiaye, Jean-Marie Traore, Dembele Habib, Mariame Ndiaye, Quim Gutierrez, Oliver Rabourdin, France 2016, 95 min)


SIFF is proud to present the second year of our China Stars Showcase series during the 43rd annual Seattle International Film Festival, with support from WASA North America Group and Hainan Airlines.

Collaborating with WASA North America Group to foster cross-cultural exchange and artistic vision, we are pleased to present 10 feature films from mainland China. SIFF also reached out to the Beijing Film Academy, and we are thrilled to present five short films from BFA students. These films will play prior to the Chinese feature films, and we know you will enjoy the creativity of the student filmmakers.

This year we are pleased to announce our inaugural China Stars awards. On Friday, June 9 at the Pan Pacific Hotel, SIFF will honor the talented Qin Yi with a Lifetime Achievement Award; we will present the Director of The Door, Dong Liang, with our China Stars Emerging Artist Award, and SIFF will present the China Stars Film Award to Wanda Film Group.

The SIFF China Stars showcase series is curated in part by Mr. Eugene Zhang of WASA North America Group.

The Beautiful Kokonor Lake (d. XING-HAO Shen c: Qin Yi, Jiang Ping, Jennifer Shu Chang. Huang Hong, Tony Rui-Xin, China 2017, 98 min)

The Door (d. XING-HAO Shen c: JIANG Wu, JIANG Qingin, ZHU Xu, FU Ying, LI Naiwen, China 2017, 98 min, North American Premiere)

Free and Easy (d. JUN Geng c: ZU Gang, ZHANG Zhiyong, XUE Baohe, WANG Xuxu, GU Benbin, ZHANG Xun, YUAN Liguo China 2016, 99 min)

God of War (d. Gordon Chan c: Sammo Hung, Vincent Zhao, Regina Wan, Yasuaki Kurata, Keisuke Koide, China 2017, 130 min)

Have a Nice Day (d. LIU Jian c: Yang Siming, Cao Kou, Ma Xiaofeng, Zhu Changlong, China 2017, 77 min)

Knife in the Clear Water (d. WANG Xuebo c: YANG Shengcang, ZHOU Jinhua, YANG Fan, YANG Xue, China 2016, 93 min, US Premiere)

Love and Duty (d. WANCANG Bu c: RUAN Lingyu, JIN Yan, China 1931, 153 min)

The Song of Cotton (d. ZHU Yuancheng c: YAN Bingyan, WANG Deshun, China 2016, 90 min)

Soul on a String (d. ZHANG Yang c: Kimba, Quni Ciren, Siano Dudiom Zahi, Solange Nima, China 2016, 142 min)

Tea Pets (d. Gary Wang v: SHI Lei, YUAN Zeyu, JI Guanlin, China 2017, 93 min)

Short films from the Beijing Film Academy:
Bloom (d. SUN Yiran and XU Jiyao c: Yiran SUN, Jiyao XU, China 2017, 8 min)
Elephant King (d. FU Yan and FU Chao c: Wang Naizhen, Fan Meng, Fu Yan, Fu Yongcha, China 2017, 11 min)
Free Throw Line (d. ZHANG Yixin China 2017, 7 min)
I Come From Prairie (d. Nuhan Arisbek, China 2017, 8 min)
The Sea (d. LI Yifan, China 2017 c: Jinshan Wang Feiyu Chen, Yihao Qian, 7 min)


Popcorn is no longer king as the phenomenon of food culture has exploded into cinema. We’ve selected some extraordinary films that explore different aspects of taste and the senses for the cinematically inclined.

Cook Up a Storm (d: Raymond Yip Wai Man c: Alberto Calvet Gonzalez, You Ge, Yong-hwa Jung, Barbora Mottlová, Yan Tang, USA 2017, 97 min)

Fermented (d: Jonathan Cianfrani c: Edward Lee, USA 2017, 67 min, World Premiere)

Food Evolution (d: Scott Hamilton Kennedy c: Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye, Michael Pollan, Charles Benbrook, USA 2016, 92 min)

Kakehashi: A Portrait of Chef Nobuo Fukuda (d: Andrew Gooi c: Nobuo Fukuda, Sarah Fukuda, Kazuko Fukuda, Japan 2017, 46 min, World Premiere)

Lives with Flavor (d: Pablo Gasca Gollas c: Ricardo Muñoz Zurita, Marco Beteta,Martha Ortiz,Israel Ronzon, Alberto Albarran, Patricia Muñoz Zurita, Salomé Freixas, Gonzalo Serrano, Mexico 2017, 52 min, World Premiere)

New Chefs on the Block (d: Dustin Harrison-Atlas c: Frank Linn,  Aaron Silverman, Kate Diamond, Michel Richard, Danny Meyer, Mike Isabella, Tim Carman, Emily Sprissler, USA 2016, 96 min)

The Turkish Way (d: Luis Gonzalez c: Joan Roca, Josep Roca, Jordi Roca, Sabiha Apaydin,  Maksut Askar, Mehmet  Gurs, Sina Sucuka, Spain 2016, 120 min)


Four out of five SIFF programmers agree that regular exposure to music and film are essential to your overall well-being. With that in mind, this year’s Face the Music program has been specifically designed to provide a holistic regimen for your audio-visual health.

Behind the Curtain: Todrick Hall (d: Katherine Fairfax Wright f: Todrick Hall, Teresa Stanley, Wayne Brady, Chester Lockhart, Jesse Pattison, Brenda Cornish, Vonzell Solomon, Jenni Thomasson, Jazlyn Nicole Miller, USA 2017, 105 min)

Bill Frisell, A Portrait (d: Emma Franz f: Bill Frisell, Paul Motian, Jim Hall, Mike Gibbs, Jason Moran, Jim Woodring, Joey Baron, Tony Scherr, Kenny Wollesen, John Zorn, Australia 2017, 114 min)

Chavela (d: Catherine Gund f: Chavela Vargas, Pedro Almodóvar, USA 2017, 90 min)

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with live soundtrack by The Invincible Czars (d: John S. Robertson c: John Barrymore, Brandon Hurst, Martha Mansfield, Charles Lane, Cecil Clovelly, USA 1920, 79 min)

Give Me Future (d: Austin Peters, USA 2017, 85 min)

A Life in Waves (d: Brett Whitcomb f: Suzanne Ciani, Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, Kitaro, Peter Baumann, Dorit Chrysler, Sarah Davachi, Don Buchla, USA 2016, 75 min)

On the Road (d: Michael Winterbottom f: Wolf Alice, James McArdle, Leah Harvey, Swim Deep, Bloody Knees, United Kingdom 2016, 112 min)

The Paris Opera (d: Jean-Stéphane Bron f: Stéphane Lissner, Benjamin Millepied, France 2016, 110 min)


Seattleites see more films per capita than the residents of any other American city, and a growing number of these selections have their roots in the fertile Pacific Northwest film community. Each year, SIFF honors the many ways in which the Puget Sound region contributes to the world of cinema, whether as an evocative location for outside filmmakers or as inspiration for local filmmakers ready to strut their stuff.

The Cage Fighter (d: Jeff Unay f: Callie Carman, Joe Carman, Delanee Carman, Vernon Beach, USA 2017, 83 min)

Crazywise (d: Phil Borges, Kevin Tomlinson f: Adam Gentry, Ekhaya Esima, Angeles Arrien, Phil Borges, Carroll Dunham, USA 2017, 82 min, World Premiere)

Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey (d: Dave O’Leske, USA 2017, 96 min)

Lane 1974 (d: SJ Chiro c: Sophia Mitri Schloss, Katherine Moennig, Annette Toutonghi, Sara Coates, USA 2017, 80 min)

Pow Wow (d: Robinson Devor, USA 2016, 75 min)

Rocketmen (d: Webster Crowell c: Alycia Delmore, Basil Harris, Christopher Dietz, Ian Fraser, Ben Laurance, USA 2017, 67 min, World Premiere)

Wallflower (d: Jagger Gravning c: David Call, Atsuko Okatsuka, Conner Marx, USA 2017, 84 min, World Premiere)


Weekends from Friday, May 19 – Saturday, June 10
Passholder Happy Hours and Festival Forums times
SIFF Lounge, presented by Vulcan Productions

While the emerging tech behind-the-scenes of virtual reality and 360˚ have been evolving over the past few years, 360˚ filmmakers and VR content creators have been organically evolving a new language and tools for storytelling in this space. WonderTek Labs has curated a selection of some of the best in 360˚ storytelling from creators from the Seattle region and around the globe, showcased on Google Daydream headsets, that highlight a spectrum of where 360˚ storytelling is today.

Selections will include a work-in-progress cut of Seattle-based Mechanical Dreams’ Potato Dreams, the VR companion to SIFF’s short-film selection Little Potato; a reprise presentation of “The Stranger” Genius Award winner Tracy Rector’s Eagle Bone; Madrid-based Future Lighthouse’s groundbreaking branded storytelling piece Beefeater XO (a top-10 finalist for the Tribeca X Prize); an interactive VR episode for Spanish hit television series “El Ministerio Del Tiempo”; a selection of the best work to come out of the four SIXR Cinematic VR Hackathons; and other content TBD.

Saturday, June 10 8:30 AM – 1:00 PM
SIFF Film Center

Are you a filmmaker who wants to learn more about transitioning to 360˚/VR, or a VR dev who wants to connect with filmmakers? Do you have a 360˚ or VR project in mind and want to connect with other folks interested in working on projects? Do you have expertise to share, or things you want to learn? The 360˚/VR Storytelling PlayTank is a hand-on, interactive event intended to bring together the Seattle 360˚/VR and filmmaking communities for a morning of topical small-group breakout conversations, hands-on demos and workshops, and informal opportunities to connect like-minded creatives, show personal projects and demos, and learn about emerging technologies.

The PlayTank will kick off with a Geekout Breakout Session Breakfast, where participants will join small, mentor-facilitated, small-group breakout sessions on topics including Spatial Audio, 360˚ Production and Post Production, Branching Narrative in 360˚ Storytelling, 360˚ Documentary Storytelling, and Ethics in Developing 360˚/VR Content.

Mettle CEO Chris Bobotis will be on hand to present a hands-on workshop for Mettle’s 360˚ editing plug-ins for Adobe Premiere. Bring your laptop to participate (you must have Adobe Premiere; you can download a free 30-day trial version if you don’t own Premiere). Participants will receive a free temporary license to use Mettle’s products as a part of this workshop. Upstairs in the PlayTank, participants will explore hands-on demos and workshops, and grab another coffee and connect organically with others in the community. The PlayTank is an open and collaborative space. Participants are encouraged to bring their own laptops and demos to share.


SIFF offers three programs during Festival: FutureWave, Films4Families, and Forums.

SIFF has programs curated to make the Festival more accessible to younger audiences. FutureWave features are a great place for our cinema-savvy teen audience to find their love of world cinema and Films4Families is the perfect way for younger children (and the young at heart) to have a fabulous experience at SIFF. Both programs also have Youth Juries comprised of youth from their age bracket to watch all the films and present the Youth Jury Award in their respective categories.

Where audiences and filmmakers come together to learn about and experience making movies. Unless otherwise noted, Festival forums and panels are held at the SIFF Lounge, presented by Vulcan Productions. A complete list of this year’s forums and panels can be found here: www.siff.net/festival


SIFF Cinema Uptown, SIFF Cinema Egyptian, SIFF Film Center, AMC Pacific Place 11, McCaw Hall, Cinerama, Majestic Bay Theatres, Ark Lodge Cinemas, The Neptune, The Triple Door, The Paramount, and SIFF Lounge, presented by Vulcan Productions

Lincoln Square Cinemas

Kirkland Performance Center

Renton IKEA Performing Arts Center

Shoreline Community College


400 Films
80 Countries
161 Features
58 Documentaries
14 Archival
163 Short Films
4 Secret Films
36 World Premieres (14 Features, 22 Shorts)
34 North American Premieres (22 Features, 12 Shorts)
20 US Premieres (11 Features, 9 Shorts)
50% 1st and 2nd time filmmakers
70% without US Distribution
30% Women Filmmakers (45% of Feature Competition films are Women directed)

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