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Before she was Seattle’s cinematic darling, Lynn Sheltonwas just another stiff at SIFF, an aspiring filmmaker attending “three or four films a day.”

So she had no qualms about getting up at the “Sips for SIFF” fundraiser at the Chihuly Boathouse the other night and reminding people of the impact the Seattle International Film Festival has on all of us.

“(SIFF) is a conduit, a way for filmmakers to find their audience and for audiences to find their filmmakers, and for them to fall in love with each other,” Shelton said. “And it really is this matchmaker for filmmakers and audiences. Like a yenta. A beautiful yenta.”

A yenta, with thousands of matches made.

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This is a record year for SIFF, said board President Michelle Quisenberry. Some 150,000 people bought tickets and attended screenings.

It didn’t hurt that director Joss Whedonbrought the cast of his “Much Ado About Nothing” to Seattle for the opening-night gala.

“That sold out in six hours,” Quisenberry said, “and really set the tone for the whole festival.”

These days, the SIFF staff is getting ready for its French Film Festival, kicking off Oct. 24. SIFF will celebrate its 40th anniversary next year.

The recent fundraiser was a sellout, and a big smile for artistic director Carl Spenceand managing director Mary Bacarella.

In the crowd was chef Kathy Casey, back from Dubai, where her Liquid Kitchen concept is taking off. “They’re big fans of American things,” she told me. “But not bacon.”

And here’s a tip: If you go to Dubai, Casey warned, don’t wear the “crazy high heels” that click-clacked all around us.

“Those are worn by the hookers,” she said. Good to know.

Shelton just spent a week with the editor of her upcoming film, “Laggies,” about a woman who lies to her fiancé about going on a retreat. Keira Knightley and Sam Rockwell star in the film, to be released next year.

“I’m trying to get the picture locked,” Shelton said.

For this, the fourth annual Sips for SIFF, four local bartenders competed for the honor of Best Cocktail made with a vermouth base, since hard liquor is apparently prohibited at Dale Chihuly’s Lake Union showplace. (Who knew?)

Dan’l Mershonof Mistral Kitchen concocted something that tasted like Christmas. Jim Romdall, late of recently defunct Vessel, used apricot eau-de-vie and rubbed each glass with mint leaves. Elmer Dullaof Bar Sajor made a “Huckleberry Shrub.” But it was Jamie Boudreau of Canon who took the custom piece of Chihuly glass with his carbonated combination of vermouth, bitter blood orange, citrus and juniper, served in mini soda bottles.

“I didn’t name it,” he told me. “So we’ll call it ‘The Winner.’ ”

Model behavior

I was sitting in the lobby of the Bellevue Hyatt, minding my own business, when seven male models came over and sat down around me.

No male-magnet am I. Turns out that Dean Stetz,
Sheehan Osborn, Colin Owens,
Charlie Shades, James Davenport, Austin Millerand Brian Govewere about to walk in the Nordstrom Men’s Shop and GQ Fall 2013 Runway Show.

Also walking: Michael Gspurningand Andy Roseof the Seattle Sounders; former Husky basketball star and current Sacramento King
Isaiah Thomas; Seahawks kicker Steve Hauschka; KING 5 anchor Mark Wright
; Brian and J.P. Canlis; Dan Savage and Terry Miller;and the members of the band Campfire OK.

The event was a fundraiser for the Detlef Schrempf Foundation — whose founder wasn’t getting anywhere near a runway.

“I have two left feet,” Schrempf said, adding that he was just three hours back from Nigeria, where he visited an orphanage as part of an NBA charity effort. Somebody get him a chair.

Wright didn’t know from runways, he told me.

“I’m from Ferndale,” he said. “We shopped at Jarvie’s department store, where you could buy overalls or boot-cut jeans.”

So, I asked the Suave 7 for some tips for the wannabes.

“Girls have to have something, but guys … you just go,” said Austin Miller.

“Don’t swing your arms,” Gove said.

“Don’t fall,” said Davenport.

“A guy’s walk is about being strong and masculine,” Owens said. “Girls have to have a posture.”

“If every day isn’t an adventure, then you’re doing something wrong,” said Shades.

No, honey, I meant advice for modeling.

“Oh. Don’t think,” he said. “Just walk.”

Terry Miller, already a model, shared a tip he got from Barneys New York design guru Simon Doonan, who was in town the night before to sign his book, “The Asylum: A Collage of Couture Reminiscences … and Hysteria.”

“You pretend to put your chin on a ledge and say ‘Thursday,’ ” Miller said. “It’s the nicest word, and it gives you a wide smile.”

Said Sounders goalkeeper Gspurning, “When we walk out onto CenturyLink Field, it’s kind of like a runway.”

Added his teammate Rose, “I’d rather walk out in front of 60,000 fans than walk down a runway.”

Nicole Brodeur’s column appears Tuesday and Sunday. Reach her at 206-464-2334 or

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