SIFF 2018 Edition: The SIFFening



Image courtesy of SIFF

After a one-year hiatus, I’m back with my coverage of SIFF! It’s good I didn’t report on the festival last year: otherwise, you would’ve had to hear me complain the entire time about not-quite-meeting Kore-eda Hirokazu (he has another movie in this year’s festival, but no plans yet to attend). Besides, that means I’ve been able to store up my sass for 25 days of festival chronicling (not including an additional 2 1/2 weeks of press screenings)!


You try that sass on me, young man…. (Highlander photo courtesy of SIFF, and yes, you want to click on that link)

Notice I wrote “chronicling,” not “reporting.” Yes, I have a press pass this year (the last time I had one, one of my posts received over 400 views…in one day!). But if you’ve followed either of my blogs for any period of time, you’ve noticed that I’m not content to just “report” on what’s happening, but to give you a sense of being at whatever event I’m covering. I plan to continue the trend this year, along with my assessment of this year’s crop of films (at least the ones I’m able to see). Speaking of which, this is the ninth Seattle International Film Festival I’ve attended, so maybe I’ll do something special for the tenth (despite not covering last year, because “reasons”).

But back to this year: the press launch was on May 1. One wonders if having rich donors and press personnel lining up outside the Egyptian Theatre on May Day was the best of ideas, but luckily, the anarchists didn’t find us! Though I did see a SWAT van and a wagon full of cops in riot gear go by (and a phalanx of cop cyclists on the way to the theater).

This was the first year that donors and journalists had a combined event, and we got to cut them in line! Okay, so we had our own line and it was shorter than the donor line, so that might’ve been the reason why we got in ahead of them. There was food, but I’d eaten just before. And drinks. No mimosas, but this event was at night, not during the day.

I only took three photos at the press launch.  Besides the familiar-looking one on the left, the one on the top right lists some statistics about the films at this year’s festival (for example, this year there are 433 films from 90 countries), while the one below it is a list of all the programmers. The woman in both photos is Beth Barrett, SIFF’S Artistic Director. Crews were introduced, people talked, trailers played, more people talked, more trailers played, and then it was over, at which point, I walked over to Everyday Music and bought two Berlioz CDs. Because I am a nerd.

Besides this blog, I’ll be posting on Twitter from the festival @salvatorespeak under #SIFF2018, so be sure to follow me there for quick blurbs I might not include here. Embargoed reviews may not appear until after festival.

Happy viewing!

The festival opens with The Bookshop tonight at 7 at McCaw Hall