The 45th annual Seattle International Film Festival will open with a familiar face: Seattle filmmaker Lynn Shelton, whose film “Sword of Trust” will kick off the fest with a gala screening May 16 at McCaw Hall. Several of Shelton’s previous films have screened at SIFF, including “Your Sister’s Sister,” which was the festival’s 2011 opener.

“Sword of Trust,” a comedy about two women trying to sell an inherited Civil War sword to a suspicious pawnshop owner, premiered at the SXSW festival last month, and was quickly picked up for distribution by IFC Films. Its theatrical release will be in July. Unlike most of Shelton’s film work, “Sword of Trust” was not filmed in the Northwest; it was shot last year in Birmingham, Alabama. Shelton directed, co-wrote (with Michael Patrick O’Brien) and plays a supporting role in the film.

Shelton and Marc Maron, who stars in the film, are scheduled to attend the opening gala, with other guests announced closer to the date.

This year’s SIFF runs from May 16 through June 9, at locations in Seattle, Shoreline and the Eastside, including McCaw Hall, SIFF Cinema Uptown, SIFF Cinema Egyptian, SIFF Film Center, AMC Pacific Place, Majestic Bay Theatres, Ark Lodge Cinemas, Cinemark Lincoln Square Cinemas, Shoreline Community College and Kirkland Performance Center. Passes and ticket packages are now on sale; the full schedule will be announced May 1, with individual tickets going on sale to the public May 2 (SIFF members can buy May 1). For more information: