SIFF 2018: Opening Night Gala:The Bookshop

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United Kingdom | 2017 | 110 minutes | Isabel Coixet

Spanish director Isabel Coixet heads to the English coast circa 1959, where a headstrong widow (Emily Mortimer) opens a bookstore in a sleepy village and encounters both pride and prejudice from the provincial locals. Winner of Best Film, Director, and Screenplay at Spain's Goya Awards.

"Its subversive undercurrent, embodied in fine performances by Emily Mortimer and Bill Nighy, is what makes it really interesting." Jonathan Holland - The Hollywood Reporter


Start the Festival right by attending the Opening Night Gala, the best party of the year, at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall. The kick-off event is always a fabulous time, with hors d'oeuvres, desserts, and cocktails immediately following the screening.

General Admission:  $75 | $65 Members
Includes admission to the film, entry to the Opening Night Party, and two drink tickets.

Red Carpet Experience: $275 Members/Non-Members
Includes admission to the film with valet parking, reserved section seating, a premium gift bag, entry to the Opening Night Party, and unlimited drinks. *This is a fundraiser for SIFF*

FILM: Marion Oliver McCaw Hall
PARTY: Fisher Pavillion (21+)

Who thought opening a bookstore would be so difficult, catering to small-town conservative British folks who aren't too enthusiastic about reading? Set in 1959, Isabel Coixet's The Bookshop centers on Florence Green (Emily Mortimer), a  widow who decides to open a bookstore in the town of Hardborough, Suffolk. The location of the shop is an old abandoned house that local bigwig Violet Gamart (Patricia Clarkson, ice-cold and endlessly calculating) wants to turn into an arts center. Despite the mild-mannered but ruthless opposition she faces from Violet and other stubborn townsfolk, Florence presses on with her underdog business, also striking up a friendship with the local recluse Mr. Brundish (the delightful Bill Nighy), who becomes her best client. Restrained but quietly subversive and bolstered by strong lead performances, The Bookshop is a melancholic celebration of bibliophilia, based on Penelope Fitzgerald's 1978 novel of the same name, with a strong resonance of the world today, suggesating that a world without books is a nasty place to live.

Director Biography

Isabel Coixet has directed 12 films since the start of her career in 1988, making her one of the most prolific filmmakers in contemporary Spanish cinema. Coixet studied 18th and 19th century history at the University of Barcelona before briefly working in advertising and copywriting. Her first feature, Demasiado viego para morir joven (1989) earned her a Goya Award nomination for Best New Director.

Sponsored by Wells Fargo, Wells Fargo Private Bank, Alaska Airlines, Brotherton Cadillac Buick GMC in Renton, Red Element Studios

  • Director: Isabel Coixet
  • Principal Cast: Emily Mortimer, Bill Nighy, Patricia Clarkson, Julie Christie
  • Premiere Status: Seattle
  • Country: United Kingdom, Spain, Germany
  • Year: 2017
  • Running Time: 110 minutes
  • Producer: Jaume Banacolocha, Joan Bas, Adolfo Blanco, Chris Curling
  • Screenplay: Isabel Coixet
  • Cinematographers: Jean-Claude Larrieu
  • Editors: Bernat Aragonés
  • Music: Alfonso de Vilallonga
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: Goya 2018 (Best Film, Director, Adapted Screenplay)
  • Filmography: Proyecto tiempo (2017); El Espiritu de la Pintura (2017); Spain in a Day (2016); Endless Night (2015); Learning to Drive (2014); Another Me (2013); Yesterday Never Ends (2013); Listening to the Judge (2011); Map of the Sounds of Tokyo (2009); The Secret Life of Words (2005); My Life Without Me (2003); Those Who Love (1998); Things I Never Told You (1996)
  • Language: English
  • Format: DCP
  • US Distributor: Greenwich Entertainment
  • International Sales: Celcius Entertainment