Tickets go on sale Thursday, April 30, for the 41st annual Seattle International Film Festival.
Ready for a three-and-a-half week film buffet? The 41st annual Seattle International Film Festival gets under way May 14 with the Melissa McCarthy comedy “Spy,” with director Paul Feig (“Bridesmaids”) in attendance for a gala screening at McCaw Hall. It continues through June 7, with 287 features and 166 short films along the way. Individual tickets go on sale Thursday, April 30, for the sprawling festival, which once again includes locations in downtown Seattle, Capitol Hill, Queen Anne, Bellevue, Kirkland and Renton.
SIFF’s Centerpiece Gala will be “The End of the Tour,” based on journalist David Lipsky’s book tour with author David Foster Wallace; Lipsky and Wallace are played, respectively, by Jesse Eisenberg and Jason Segel. James Ponsoldt (“The Spectacular Now”) directed the film, which will screen May 30 at the Egyptian. The festival will close June 7 at Cinerama, with a film not yet announced at presstime.
Confirmed festival guests include filmmakers Peter Greenaway, who’ll be here with “Eisenstein in Guanajuato” (June 6); Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, attending with his Sundance hit “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” (May 16); and Pixar veteran Pete Docter, an Oscar winner for “Up,” with the animated comedy “Inside Out” (June 4). Actor Jemaine Clement (TV’s “Flight of the Conchords”) will attend with the comedy “People, Places, Things” (May 23), in which he plays a graphic novelist facing single parenthood.
Seattle International Film Festival
May 14-June 7 at various locations; for ticket information, see siff.net or 206-324-9996.
SIFF this year is again emphasizing films from Africa in its third annual African Pictures program, which contains 14 feature films; among them the restored 1966 first feature, “Black Girl,” from Senegalese master Ousmane Sembene. And the festival celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Film Foundation (a nonprofit founded by Martin Scorsese, with the purpose of preserving and protecting motion picture history) with a host of archival films. Among them: a 1916 silent version of “Sherlock Holmes”; the 1948 Technicolor masterpiece “The Red Shoes”; the 1927 silent Chinese film “Cave of Spider Woman,” with accompaniment by musician Donald Sosin; and Rudolph Valentino in the 1926 adventure “The Song of the Sheik,” with live accompaniment from the Alloy Orchestra.
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The recently shuttered Harvard Exit will reopen for a last cinematic hurrah, hosting films throughout the duration of SIFF; as will the Egyptian, Pacific Place, Uptown and SIFF Film Center. The Renton IKEA Performing Arts Center will screen SIFF films May 21 through 27; Lincoln Square in Bellevue will join SIFF May 15 through 31; and the Kirkland Performance Center presents SIFF programming June 1-7.
Advance ticket sales begin Thursday, April 30 at siff.net or 206-324-9996, or in-person at the Uptown, SIFF Film Center and Egyptian. Starting May 14, tickets can be purchased at any SIFF venue, one hour in advance of the day’s first screening. Individual tickets are $13 for most regular screenings; $11 for SIFF members, $12 for seniors and $8 students (day of show in-person purchases only, with valid ID). Matinees are $11 ($9 SIFF members). A variety of ticket packages and passes are available, including the Cinematic Six-Pack ($60 for six tickets).