After the 2020 fest's cancellation due to the pandemic, Seattle International Film Festival is back this year. It's a little shorter (10 days) and a little earlier than usual, April 8–18, and it's all online via the SIFF Channel. But the globe-encompassing cinema, Q&As, and mix of buzzy indies and little gems abides. Today, the festival announced its lineup, with 93 features and 126 shorts from 69 countries. Passes are on sale now and cost between $350 for all access powers and $75 for a six-pack of vouchers. Tickets go on sale March 25.
Opening night kicks off with world premier The Dry, a murdery noir with Eric Bana. There'll be an Outstanding Achievement in Cinema Award going to Tom Skerritt. There'll be a forum on "Indigenizing Film Industry Spaces" moderated by Tracy Rector. Three movies set in Eastern Washington will have world premiers: All Sorts, All Those Small Things, and East of the Mountains (which stars Skerritt). And the fest will close with Rosa's Wedding, a new movie from Catalan director Icíar Bollaín.
While a certain amount of local movie theaters are opening up—Ark Lodge Cinemas, AMCs, Varsity Theater—SIFF decided a while back to take the festival online, which, while not the same as getting out and commingling, opens up new opportunities. "There this accessibility and this national reach that festivals can really start to have, and it's actually super exciting," Beth Barrett, SIFF's artistic director, says of the virtual shift. "That said, I still cannot wait to go back into a theater and sit down and have the lights go down."