2018 Seattle International Film Festival preview
The longest film festival in the world is about to kick off! The 44th Seattle International Film Festival is just around the corner - and even though there's still just about two weeks left before the start of the festival, it's never too soon for a deep dive into the festival schedule.
SIFF will unveil its complete festival lineup of events and movies on May 2. But unlike just about any other film festival on Earth, picking and choosing and planning a SIFF itinerary of movies can be a daunting task: the festival screens hundreds and hundreds of films over a 25-day marathon of movie binging. For the 2018 edition of SIFF, the festival will feature 430 total films, crafted by artists from 90 different nations, to create the 168 feature-length films and 164 short films that will pack the SIFF schedule between May 17 through June 10.
SIFF members can buy festival tickets starting 9am on May 2 - the box office opens to the general public on May 3. The full schedule can be found at siff.net.
Because sifting through the dense SIFF festival guide can be a bit overwhelming, here are 10 recommended picks to add to your festival schedule:
Screening: May 20 & 21
Why it's on this list: Co-leads Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams deliver a pair of powerhouse performances in this drama that broaches a faith and sexuality. After world premiering at Toronto, this drama has also screened at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Screening: June 9 & 10
Why it's on this list: Prepare for a film that will dredge up all the painful memories of middle school. Rocking a 100 percent score on RottenTomatoes coming into SIFF, director Bo Burnham's painfully authentic drama is being called THE definitive coming-of-age flick of 2018. After debuting at Sundance (where it was nominated for the Dramatic grand jury prize), "Eighth Grade" has ridden the festival circuit through SXSW and San Francisco International Film Festival (where it won the Best Narrative Feature audience award). The fact that A24 ("Lady Bird," "The Florida Project") picked the film up for distribution is itself a seal of approval.
Screening: May 18 & 25
Why it's on this list: The premise alone is compelling - that fact that this is another film rocking a 100 percent score on RottenTomatoes is the cherry on the top. This claustrophobic thriller is an intense emotional roller coaster - an especially impressive feat given that the film entirely takes place inside an emergency dispatch phone center. "The Guilty" has won awards at Sundance and Rotterdam International.
Screening: May 19 & 20
Why it's on this list: Yet another film with an unblemished 100 percent score on RottenTomatoes, "Heart" also comes with the pedigree of director Brett Haley - the filmmaker behind past SIFF favorites "I'll See You In My Dreams" and 'The Hero." The always awesome Nick Offerman is paired with an impressive Kiersey Clemons in this heartwarming and funny father-daughter drama.
Screens: June 1 & 2
Why it's on this list: In addition to its perfect 100 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes (is this a trend?), "Trace" has made quite the festival run this year. The latest from the "Winter's Bone" director debuted at Sundance, and has since screened at Sun Valley, RiverRun and Cannes.
Screens: June 5 & 8
Why it's on this list: Selected by Variety and Rolling Stone as one of Tribeca's most buzzworthy films, the subject matter of the documentary alone is worth the curiousity.
Screens: June 2
Why it's on this list: If the surreal and kinetic energy is only a slight hint at the potential greatness of this absurd looking satire, then make a date for the closing gala feature. The fact that it's being heralded as one of the great science fiction movies of the year only makes it all the more intriguing. The 92 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes just seals the deal.
Screens: May 25 & 26
Why it's on this list: Spain's submission for Best Foreign Language film is a nuanced and intimate winner. Perfectly cast and beautifully executed, "Summer 1993" is too good of a film to be considered one of the great overlooked films of 2018. Oh, and it also has a 100 percent score on RottenTomatoes.
Screens: May 22 & 23
Why it's on this list: Everything about this film sounds unbelievable - and the story only gets more insane with each twist and turn. It is a worthy successor to "Tickled" for the "WTF" documentary of SIFF.
Screens: May 26 & 27
Why it's on this list: The latest film from director Morgan Neville ("The Best of Enemies," "20 Feet From Stardom") was the number one film atop my wish list for SIFF 2018. Neville is the perfect fit for American icon Fred Rogers, a man who symbolizes a warmth and kindness desperately needed in these divisive times. Pro tip: bring a small packet of tissues ... or a box ... or two boxes.