SIFF buys Uptown Theatre, becomes permanent Queen Anne resident

SIFF Uptown signThe Seattle International Film Festival has purchased the SIFF Cinema Uptown, becoming a permanent resident of Lower Queen Anne/Uptown. SIFF announced the purchase, with funding from its “Angels of the Uptown,” David and Linda Cornfield, at the 40th Seattle International Film Festival.

SIFF has leased the Uptown Theatre, built in 1926, for the past two and a half years. Since opening night, SIFF has been a key fixture in Lower Queen Anne – and it’s drawn new customers to neighboring businesses. SIFF estimates it has brought over 500,000 people to the area, exposing them to both new cinematic experiences and the neighborhood.

According to SIFF:

“The SIFF Cinema Uptown has now become the heart of lower Queen Anne. The theatre bolsters many lower Queen Anne businesses by raising the profile of the area and bringing in new audiences to experience what local businesses have to offer.”

The cinema has become a fixture on Queen Anne Ave N, and will remain so for years to come, hosting film festivals, arts programs, and regular movie screenings for both residents and visitors to the neighborhood.

Do the chicken dance at SIFF’s Arrested Development tribute this Saturday

Are you an Arrested Development fan? Do you find yourself quoting memorable lines? Yelling out “Steve Holt” or doing the chicken dance? Well, join your fellow fans at the SIFF Film Center this Saturday to celebrate all things Bluth for a special 4-episode screening at SIFF’s Arrested Development: Celebrating TVs Funniest Comedy.

Photo courtesy of SIFF

The SIFF FutureWave Committee will be hosting the event, which will include 4 of their favorite episodes (which ones? show up to find out…) plus trivia, a chicken dance contest, and prizes!

The special celebration will benefit the SIFF FutureWave Committee, and a $5 donation is suggested. FutureWave works with schools and community organizations to provide kids with digital cinematic skills, offering opportunities for students and educators to connect with SIFF and the local filmmaking community. A great cause and a fun event!

If you’re missing Arrested Development, new episodes will be available on Netflix in May – but in the meantime, celebrate Bluth camaraderie at Saturday’s SIFF event. And remember, there’s always money in the banana stand…

Happy Valentine’s day – celebrate with Harold and Maude at SIFF

Hal Ashby’s Harold and Maude… romance, dark comedy, uplifting sentiments, and a Cat Stevens soundtrack – a perfect way to spend Valentine’s Day!

At the special SIFF Valentine’s Day showing, there will be tragic-romantic candy hearts and prizes for the couples with the biggest age gap. And well if you want to sing out, sing out, there’s a pre-show Cat Stevens sing along.

SIFF celebrates those passed over at the Oscar Snubs Movie Marathon

In two weeks, the Oscars will be broadcast live, and if you’re a movie fan you’ll likely be frustrated with the Academy voters for at least one of the nominees. In the past, the Oscar for best picture didn’t go to Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing” (a travesty) and William H. Macy lost Best Actor for “Fargo” to Cuba Gooding Jr. (star of “Snow Dogs”) – but, SIFF recognizes the greatness of these movies and more, and you can spend next Sunday commiserating and celebrating with other film buffs at SIFF’s Oscar Snubs Movie Marathon at SIFF Uptown.

SIFF’s 12-hour marathon showcases six films that the Academy passed over, plus food, drink, and fun! On tap are meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) from Portage Bay Café and Eltana Wood-Fired Bagels, a mid-marathon happy hour, bottomless popcorn, and brews from Ninkasi Brewing. The event is a special fundraiser with all proceeds benefitting SIFF, so they can continue to bring us great films and special events throughout the year.

The film roster is as follows:

A Star is Born, 1954 – Judy Garland’s fierce performance in George Cukor’s remake was overlooked for the Best Actress award in favor of another legendary actress, Grace Kelly, who won for her role in The Country Girl.

Fargo, 1996 – the Best Supporting Actor award was truly botched, overlooking William H. Macy’s tragic performance as misguided Jerry Lundegaard, in favor of Cuba Gooding Jr.’s catch-phrase spouting role in Jerry Maguire.

The Thin Man, 1934 – Nominated for Best Picture, Director, Actor, and Writer, this inebriated mystery-comedy classic went home empty handed.

Do the Right Thing, 1989 – One of the most controversial films of 1989, and one that made director Spike Lee a force to be reckoned with, Do The Right Thing may have been a bit too in-your-face for Academy voters, who instead chose to showcase the film’s polar opposite: Driving Miss Daisy.

Blazing Saddles, 1974 – Many hoped Madeline Khan would break the Academy’s comedy curse after she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress but she lost to Ingrid Bergman, more for legacy than performance, in Murder on the Orient Express.

Secret Snub! – SIFF isn’t divulging this title yet, but they’ve provided a hint: it features one of history’s best-selling soundtrack albums, yet Academy voters didn’t find it worthy of a single Best Song nomination, much less a win.

“Not everyone can always be a winner and with our Oscar Snubs marathon event we salute those films that belong alongside those that actually received a golden statue. Extraordinary, unforgettable and masterful film works that stand the test of time.” – SIFF Artistic Director, Carl Spence

“Oscar winners have been and will always be celebrated, but what about those deserving films, actors and crew members not lucky enough to take home the gold? This year, SIFF’s annual movie marathon examines the history of the Academy Awards, and celebrate some of the famously snubbed films and performances. After all, upsets are often just as – if not more – exciting to discuss than the winners!”  – SIFF programmer, Clinton McClung

Heads up, film buffs – make your plans to spend next Sunday at SIFF, with great movies, food, drink, and fun!

SIFF’s Women in Cinema Festival Kicks Off This Wednesday

SIFF’s Women in Cinema (WIC) festival kicks off this Wednesday at SIFF Uptown, celebrating films from women directors around the world.

Wednesday’s Opening Night features Hannah Arendt, followed by a reception at SAM’s Taste restaurant (note: limited tickets for Taste reception). The festival runs through Sunday, January 27th, featuring a selection of the best new films from women directors. Films will be shown at SIFF Uptown, and a free panel discussion entitled “Beyond the Director” will be held at SIFF Film Center on Saturday. (reserve tickets in advance)

The festival highlight’s SIFF’s “interest in the exceptional contribution of women in the world of cinema” and has curated a range of films for this year’s festival, from documentaries to shorts to feature films, including:

  • Hannah Arendt – Opening Night film
  • The Dandelions
  • Ginger & Rosa
  • Lore
  • Love, Marilyn
  • Midnight’s Children
  • Satellite Boy – director Catriona McKenzie in attendance
  • Vanishing Waves
  • The World Before Her – Skype Q&A with director Nishna Pahuja and President of Friends of the United Nations Population Fund Valerie DeFillipo on Saturday
  • WIC Shorts – a collection of films from women short filmmakers from around the world

SIFF’s official Women in Cinema trailer:

SIFF Uptown Hosts Free Neighborhood Celebration and Awards for “A Story Runs Through It”

As part of the Seattle Center’s Next 50 Civic Action Month, local residents both young and old submitted short films about Seattle neighborhoods for a competition being held this Wednesday, October 17 at the SIFF Uptown. The awards ceremony is free and begins at 7pm.

“A Story Runs Through It: Neighborhood Film Celebration and Awards” features short films (3 minutes or less) that tell stories about Seattle and its neighborhoods from the viewpoint of residents. Filmmakers could showcase any part of Seattle, regardless of which neighborhood they call home.There are 3 categories: Youth Filmmaker, Adult Filmmaker, and additional submissions not up for awards.

All film submissions to “A Story Runs Through It” are available in their entirety online. Awards will be presented for Youth Filmmaker, Adult Filmmaker, Civic Relevance, and Special Recognition.

Courtesy: “Love, Seattle” Megan Leonard, Peter Edlund & Rachel Klein

There’s a wide range of films and neighborhoods highlighted in the submissions – if you’re looking for Queen Anne specific films, check out Mike Clarke’s “Next 50 Project” and for a showcase of Seattle images, including some Queen Anne icons, check out “Love, Seattle”. And, root for your favorite on Wednesday night!