The Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) is a nonprofit arts organization based in Seattle, Washington, United States. Established in 1976, SIFF has evolved into one of the most prestigious and long-standing film festivals in North America. Originally an annual film festival, SIFF has expanded into four year-round cinemas, as well as an education program that includes classes, workshops, and youth camps.
|Location||Seattle, Washington, United States|
Organization History edit
The first five festivals were held at The Moore. When founders Dan Ireland and Darryl Macdonald lost their lease, they founded the Egyptian Theater in a former Masonic Temple on Seattle's Capitol Hill.
In November 2006, it was announced that SIFF would soon have a home and a year-round screening facility in what has been the Nesholm Family Lecture Hall of McCaw Hall, the same building at Seattle Center that houses the Seattle Opera. The city contributed $150,000 to the $350,000 project. This auditorium was a "flagship venue" for SIFF festivals.
In June 2011, SIFF moved its operations to the SIFF Film Center on the Seattle Center campus. The Film Center includes a 90-seat multi-use theater, multi-media classroom, exhibition spaces, archives, and offices.
In October 2011, SIFF Cinema moved from McCaw Hall and assumed a lease at the Uptown Theater.
In May 2014, it was announced that SIFF had purchased the Uptown Theater, and would be leasing and renovating the Egyptian Theater from Seattle Central College. Both were renamed as SIFF Cinema Uptown and SIFF Cinema Egyptian.
SIFF Cinema edit
The year-round venues operated by SIFF contribute to Seattle's vibrant cultural scene and reinforce the organization's commitment to celebrating the art of filmmaking. By offering diverse programming, educational opportunities, and engaging events, these venues play a crucial role in cultivating a dynamic film community that extends beyond the annual Seattle International Film Festival.
SIFF Cinema Uptown edit
SIFF Cinema Uptown, located in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle, serves as a year-round venue for film screenings and special events. Originally built in 1926, the theater underwent renovations and upgrades before becoming a part of SIFF's venues. With its historic charm and modern amenities, SIFF Cinema Uptown offers a diverse selection of films, including classic, independent, and international titles. The venue's central location and comfortable seating make it a popular destination for cinephiles and film enthusiasts.
SIFF Cinema Egyptian edit
SIFF Cinema Egyptian, situated in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, is another iconic year-round venue operated by SIFF. The theater, originally opened in 1915, has a rich history and distinctive architectural style. SIFF acquired and renovated the Egyptian in the late 1980s, transforming it into a hub for film screenings, festivals, and events. The venue's historical significance, combined with its eclectic programming, makes it a beloved destination.
SIFF Film Center edit
SIFF Film Center serves as a versatile year-round venue dedicated to fostering film education, industry discussions, and community engagement. Located in the Seattle Center, the center offers a range of activities, including screenings, workshops, seminars, and networking events.
SIFF Education edit
SIFF not only offers film screenings but also support educational initiatives and community outreach. The organization collaborates with schools, colleges, and community organizations to provide film education programs for diverse audiences. These programs include youth filmmaking workshops, seminars on film history and theory, and opportunities for emerging filmmakers to showcase their work.
Annual Seattle International Film Festival edit
The Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) is renowned for its diverse range of programs that cater to a wide spectrum of cinematic interests. These programs offer a curated selection of films, from groundbreaking international features to thought-provoking documentaries and innovative short films.
During the 1980s, SIFF audiences developed a reputation for appreciating films that did not fit standard industry niches, such as Richard Rush's multi-layered The Stunt Man (1980). SIFF was instrumental in the entry of Dutch films into the United States market, including the first major American debut for director Paul Verhoeven. SIFF has continued to have a reputation as an "audience festival" rather than an "industry festival".
Secret Festival edit
The festival includes a component that is unique among major film festivals: a "Secret Festival". Those who attend the Secret Festival do not know in advance what they will see, and they must sign a legally binding NDA that they will not reveal afterward what they have seen. The Rocky Horror Picture Show was the unnamed secret festival film at the first SIFF in 1976."
Fly Filmmaking Challenge edit
In 2006, Longhouse Media launched the SuperFly Filmmaking Experience, in partnership with the Seattle International Film Festival, which brings youth together from diverse backgrounds to work collaboratively on film projects that promote awareness of indigenous issues and mutual understanding of each other's cultures. Fifty youth from across the United States arrive in Seattle to then travel to a local Pacific Northwest reservation to create 4 films in 36 hours.
Since 1985, the Seattle International Film Festival has awarded the Golden Space Needle award each year to the festival's most popular movie. Ballots are cast by audience members at the end of each movie.
Golden Space Needle (Best Film) and SIFF Awards for Best Short and Documentary edit
SIFF Awards for Best Director and Performances edit
Jury awards edit
|Year||New Director Award||New American Cinema Award||Best Documentary|
|2007||Erik Richter Strand (Sons, Norway)||Shotgun Stories (Jeff Nichols, USA)||Harald Freidl, (Out of Time, Austria)|
|Year||Short film awards -
|Short film awards -
|Short film awards -|
|2007||Wigald, Timon Modersohn (Germany)||Everything Will Be OK, Don Hertzfeldt (USA)||Chocolate Country, Robin Blotnick (Dominican Republic / USA)|
Among the films that have received North American or world premieres at SIFF are:
- Alien – Ridley Scott (1979, World premiere)
- Arafat, My Brother – Rashid Masharawi (2005, North American premiere)
- Banlieue 13 – Pierre Morel (2005, North American premiere)
- Burning in the Wind – Silvio Soldoni (2003, World premiere)
- Cafe Society – Woody Allen (2016, North American premiere)
- Creature – Parris Patton (1999, World premiere)
- Ghost World – Terry Zwigoff (2001, World premiere)
- I Murder Seriously – Antonio Urrutia (2003, North American premiere)
- Inlaws & Outlaws - Drew Emery (2005, World Premiere)
- Joshua Tree, 1951: A Portrait of James Dean – Matthew Mishory (2012, World Premiere)
- Last Days – Gus Van Sant (2005, North American premiere)
- Mars – Anna Melikian (2005, North American premiere)
- Mongolian Ping Pong – Ning Hao (2005, North American premiere)
- Monster House – Gil Kenan (2006, North American premiere)
- Nate Dogg – Thomas Farone (2003, World premiere)
- PTU – Johnny To (2003, North American premiere)
- Time Trap – Mark Dennis & Ben Foster (2017, World Premiere)
- Tomorrow's Weather – Jerzy Stuhr (2003, North American premiere)
- Twice in a Lifetime (1985, world premiere)
Gala Event films edit
|2010||The Over the Hill Band (dir. Geoffrey Enthoven, Belgium)|
|2011||Bon Appétit (dir. David Pinillos, Spain)|
|2012||Starbuck (dir. Ken Scott, Canada)|
|2013||Papadopoulos & Sons (dir. Marcus Markou, UK)|
|2014||The Grand Seduction (dir. Don McKellar, Canada)|
|2015||Good Ol' Boy (dir. Frank Lotito, USA)|
|2016||Paul à Québec (dir. François Bouvier, Canada)|
|2017||Footnotes (Sur quel pied danser) (dir. Kostia Testut, Paul Calori, France)|
|2018||The Drummer and the Keeper (dir. Nick Kelly, Ireland)|
|2019||Non-Fiction (Doubles vies) (dir. Olivier Assayas, France)|
|2011||Redemption Road (original title: Black White and Blues) (dir. Mario Van Peebles, USA)|
|2012||Fat Kid Rules the World (dir. Matthew Lillard, USA)|
|2013||Touchy Feely (dir. Lynn Shelton, USA)|
|2014||Lucky Them (dir. Megan Griffiths, USA)|
|2015||The Second Mother (dir. Anna Muylaert, Brazil)|
|2016||My Blind Brother (dir. Sophie Goodhart, USA)|
See also edit
- "SIFF to Create New Home for Great Films at Seattle Center". www.siff.net (press release). November 28, 2006. Archived from the original on February 12, 2007.
- "ORA: SIFF Film Center". Retrieved June 2, 2014.
- Paul Constant, SIFF To Renovate and Reopen the Egyptian Theatre, slog.thestranger.com (blog of Seattle alternative weekly The Stranger, 2014-05-15.) Accessed online 2014-05-17.
- Schlosser, Kurt (May 12, 2023). "Cinerama is saved! Seattle film nonprofit SIFF acquires historic theater from Paul Allen estate". GeekWire. Retrieved May 12, 2023.
- Franklin, McKinley (May 12, 2023). "Seattle International Film Festival Acquires Seattle Cinerama Theater From Paul G. Allen's Estate". Variety. Retrieved May 12, 2023.
- "Twenty-five years of SIFF". Seattle Weekly. October 9, 2006. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
- Lynn Jacobson, Locals swarm huge Seattle fest. Variety, June 19, 2005
- "First Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) opens at Moore Egyptian Theatre on May 14, 1976". www.historylink.org. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
- Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF): History and Winners. liveabout.com website.
- Sears, Abbie. (2019). Film 25YL: The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. filmobsessive.com website.
- Reel News (SIFF), Autumn 2007, p. 5.
- 1979 SIFF program (guide/booklet) states this is the World Premiere of Alien
- News in 2005, SIFF. Accessed November 23, 2006.
- Burning in the Wind, SIFF, Accessed November 23, 2006.
- "SIFF 2016 to open with Woody Allen's comedy 'Café Society'". The Seattle Times. April 21, 2016. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
- Hunter, David (January 14, 2000). "'Creature'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved August 22, 2014.
- Press release, SIFF. Accessed November 23, 2006.
- Newton, Alistair (May 2, 2012). "Joshua Tree, 1951: A Portrait of James Dean". Xtra Magazine. Archived from the original on April 27, 2023. Retrieved April 27, 2023.
- "Monster House | 2006 Seattle International Film Festival | Gil Kenan | USA". Archived from the original on September 27, 2007.
- Erbland, Kate (May 19, 2017). "Time Trap Trailer: First Look at Mind-Bending New Sci-Fi Adventure". www.indiewire.com. Retrieved May 28, 2017.
- Tomorrow's Weather, SIFF, Accessed November 23, 2006.
- Twice in a Lifetime at the American Film Institute Catalog