Late Night | SIFF 2019 Centerpiece Gala

Loading the player ...

USA | 2019 | 102 minutes | Nisha Ganatra

Emma Thompson stars as a legendary late-night talk show host who, faced with diminishing ratings for her long-running show, is forced to hire her first female staff writer (Mindy Kaling, who also wrote the film’s script).


Recharge your batteries halfway through the festival at our party on Capitol Hill on June 1. Immediately after the screening, make your way over to DAR Rainier Chapter House for music, dancing, hors d'ouevres, desserts, and cocktails.

FILM: SIFF Cinema Egyptian | 5:30 PM
PARTY: DAR Rainier Chapter House (21+)


Additional tickets just released for the Saturday, June 1 screening (5:30 PM at SIFF Cinema Egyptian)!

Buy Film Tickets

Film + Party (SOLD OUT)
Includes admission to the film, entry to the post-film party, and two drink tickets.

  • Non-Members: $30
  • Members: $25

Katherine Newbury (Emma Thompson) is the undisputed "Queen of Late Night"—partly because of the caustic wit she has honed from 28 years on the air, and also because she's the only woman talk-show host in the coveted 11:30 p.m. time slot. As well-respected (and feared) as Katherine is, her show's ratings are steadily losing ground to younger competition. Noticing the show's all-male writing staff, the network decides to inject some new blood. Enter Molly Patel (played by the film's screenwriter, Mindy Kaling), who is not a comedian but an efficiency expert from the corporate world, hired to tighten up the writing and pare down the show's bloated gags. The fact that Molly is also an Indian-American woman who happens to fill two glaring holes in the network's need for diversity with just one salary is also duly noted between the lines of Kaling's snappy satire. Helmed by veteran television director and indie auteur Nisha Ganatra (1999's Chutney Popcorn), Late Night is full of knowing, hilarious references to the rampant sexism in the comedy world; even Katherine herself says she dislikes women writers. But, in addition to mining laughs from the skewering of fragile Hollywood egos, Ganatra is ultimately sympathetic to aging women in entertainment, who see their career options shrink under the intense pressure from fickle, youth-obsessed network executives.

Director Biography
Nisha Ganatra is an actress, film director, film producer, and screenwriter of Indian descent, born in Vancouver in 1974. She received a Golden Globe in 2015 for her work as a director on the television series "Transparent." Ganatra studied film at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, and openly identifies as a lesbian. She actively strives for gender equality in the film industry, and is part of a mentorship program with NBC which seeks to provide talented female directors with the same opportunities as their male counterparts.

Sponsored by Brotherton Cadillac Buick GMC, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Tito's Handmade Vodka

  • Director: Nisha Ganatra
  • Principal Cast: Emma Thompson, Mindy Kaling, John Lithgow, Paul Walter Hauser, Reid Scott, Amy Ryan
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 2019
  • Running Time: 102 minutes
  • Producer: Ben Browning, Howard Klein, Jillian Apfelbaum, Mindy Kaling
  • Screenplay: Mindy Kaling
  • Cinematographers: Matthew Clark
  • Editors: Eleanor Infante, David Rogers
  • Music: Lesley Barber
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: Cake (2005); Chutney Popcorn (1999)
  • Language: English
  • Format: DCP
  • US Distributor: Amazon Studios