Seattle International Film Festival opens today

Posted on May 19th, 2011 by master


The 37th Seattle International Film Festival will host its Opening Night Gala at McCaw Hall Thursday at 5:30 p.m., beginning the 25-day film extravaganza.

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 Centerpiece Gala will be held June 4 and will feature the French film “Service Entrance,” a comedy about a Parisian stockbroker directed by Philippe Le Guay.

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.


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