Seattle International Film Festival released its full schedule today (scroll through it here). As usual, its raw stats are impressive: 410 films from 86 countries, 147 features, 33 world premieres, and 46 percent of the total movies are directed by women.
SIFF kicks off with its opening night gala on May 16, the yearly bash at McCaw Hall. The opening film is Sword of Trust, the latest movie from Seattleite Lynn Shelton (Humpday, Outside In). It stars Jillian Bell and Michaela Watkins as two women trying to sell an inherited Civl War sword to a "curmudgeonly" pawnshop owner, played by a man born for such a role—Marc Maron. Maron and Shelton are both scheduled to attend.
From there, the festival unfurls in every shade and genre you could imagine. Want Ethiopian Jewish coming of age? Check out Fig Tree. Or maybe a documentary about a German rocket scientist who long ago beat Jeff Bezos to it and created the first private space travel company in the jungles of Zaire in the 1970s? See Fly Rocket Fly.
This year's Centerpiece Gala is the comedy Late Night—Emma Thompson plays a talk show host whose ratings are dropping. She hires her first female staff writer, played by Mindy Kaling, who also wrote the script. And things close on June 9 with The Farewell, which stars Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians) as a woman going home to help keep a secret from her dying grandmother.