Seattle International Film Festival opens today
Among the special events, spectacles and movie stars at this year’s festival, Ewan McGregor is set to receive the Golden Space Need Award for Outstanding Achievement in Acting May 22 at the Egyptian Theatre. The event will also feature a screening of his new film “Beginners,” a U.S. comedic drama by director Mike Mills.
Tickets for the Opening Night Gala can be bought here, which include screening of “The First Grader” and Gala party to follow. “The First Grader” is a UK film shot in Kenya by director Justin Chadwick, who previously directed “The Other Boleyn Girl,” about an 84-year-old Kenyan villager trying to get an education. General admission is $50 and includes two complementary drink tickets, while premium admission is $100 and includes open bar at the post-film reception and preferred entry into the Gala screening.
The festival concludes June 12 with the Closing Night Gala, featuring the UK documentary “Life in a Day,” a mosaic of thousands of individuals from around the globe in a single day by “The Last King of Scotland” director Kevin Macdonald.
This year the festival will feature 441 films, including 257 features and 184 short films, 96 of which will be premiered at SIFF, representing 74 countries, a record for SIFF.
Special to SIFF this year, the new “Pathway” system will be released aimed at assisting moviegoers in finding the kind of films they’re looking to experience. The SIFF website lists the ten Pathways as:
- Love Me, Do! – Romance and love in all its forms, pleasures, and idiosyncrasies.
- Make Me Laugh – Films that make you chuckle and tickle your funny bone.
- Thrill Me – Suspense, thrills, and action. Films with a faster pace that might also surprise you when you least expect it.
- Creative Streak – The exploration of artistic endeavors from all disciplines: literature, film, art, dance, and performance.
- Open My Eyes – Revealing films and documentaries revolving around history, politics, and contemporary events from around the world.
- Sci-Fi and Beyond – Science, technology, environment, the future—and beyond.
- Take Me Away – Be prepared to be taken to another place – from exotic far-off lands to vibrant experiences outside of everyday life.
- Spellbinding Stories – Mesmerizing dramas and documentaries that explore thought-provoking questions, realities, and topics.
- To the Extreme – Explore the outer limits with films that go beyond the edge.
- Face the Music – Films that intersect the world of music on all fronts: from biopics and concert films, to musicals and live events.
Screenings for the films will take place at various venues throughout Seattle, Renton, Everett and Kirkland.
SIFF, the largest and most highly-attended film festival in the United States, will be opening the SIFF Film Center in the Alki Room at Seattle Center this coming fall, “fulfilling its long-standing vision of creating a permanent home where SIFF’s successful film, education, and community outreach programs can thrive,” the organization says on its website.
Find out more about what’s screening at the film festival this year here.
No Queen Anne Movie Guild screening this month
If you were planning to head up the hill this weekend to see what documentary the Queen Anne Movie Guild is screening this month, you’re out of luck. The QAMG is taking a mid-winter hiatus from its Second Saturdays series this month. Usually the organization hosts a free screening of a different documentary monthly at the Queen Anne United Methodist Church, inviting the neighborhood to enjoy good films, snacks and community. The Second Saturdays series will resume next month (February 12).
See “Dirt! The Movie” at the Movie Guild Saturday
It tells the story of Earth’s most valuable and under-appreciated source of fertility–from its miraculous beginning to its crippling degradation.
The opening scenes of the film dive into the wonderment of the soil. Made from the same elements as the stars, plants and animals, and us, “dirt is very much alive.” Though, in modern industrial pursuits and clamor for both profit and natural resources, our human connection to and respect for soil has been disrupted. “Drought, climate change, even war are all directly related to the way we are treating dirt.”
Narrated by Jaime Lee Curtis, Dirt! is described as a “call to action” for the reconnection of humanity to the environment we live in. The film encapsulates the environmental, economic, social and political impact of soil by sharing stories from experts all over the world who “are able to harness the beauty and power of a respectful and mutually beneficial relationship with soil.”
The movie teaches us: “When humans arrived 2 million years ago, everything changed for dirt. And from that moment on, the fate of dirt and humans has been intimately linked…The only remedy for disconnecting people from the natural world is connecting them to it again.” What we’ve destroyed, we can heal.
As always, the QA Movie Guild’s Second Saturday Series is free and open to the public. The screening of Dirt! The Movie will be held at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 10 at the Queen Anne United Methodist Church, located at 1606 5th Ave W (the pink building next to the Queen Anne Library). Movie goers should use the Fellowship Hall entrance located on W Garfield St.