New American Cinema

Join us on our journey into storytelling in its most modern, dynamic, and engaging form: the moving image.

When we begin our programming selection process in the fall, the team looks in awe at the sheer volume of films by independent American filmmakers, a category that fields the largest number of submissions by far. Each of these films may not currently have a distributor, but they have a champion on the programming team; someone who fought to have it included in the group that we would eventually present to our audience as the best and brightest work of our country's filmmakers.

All Sorts

USA | 2021 | 93 minutes | J. Rick Castañeda

April 8 - 18, 2021

SIFF Channel

In a comedy that could only have come out of the Pacific Northwest, a lonely data entry clerk discovers a secret door in the office and stumbles upon the world of competitive champion folder filing.

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All Those Small Things

USA | 2021 | 107 minutes | Andrew Hyatt

April 8 - 18, 2021

SIFF Channel

In this strong character piece from Rebel Kat Productions, James Faulkner ("Game of Thrones") stars as a British game show host who, reeling from the death of a close friend, journeys to the Pacific Northwest in search of meaning.

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East of the Mountains

USA | 2021 | 93 minutes | SJ Chiro

April 8 - 18, 2021

SIFF Channel

Local filmmaker SJ Chiro directs Tom Skerritt in this heartrending tale, based on the novel by David Guterson ("Snow Falling on Cedars"), about a terminally ill, retired heart surgeon who journeys back to Eastern Washington to end his life.

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I’M FINE (Thanks for Asking)

USA | 2021 | 90 minutes | Kelley Kali, Angelique Molina

April 8 - 18, 2021

SIFF Channel

A recently widowed mother on the outer edges of Los Angeles works her rollerskating tail off to get her and her eight-year-old daughter off the streets, over one long day of pawn shop negotiations, food app delivery mishaps, and shady landlords.

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Ma Belle, My Beauty

USA | 2021 | 93 minutes | Marion Hill

April 8 - 18, 2021

SIFF Channel

Set in the sun-drenched vineyards of southern France, two newlywed musicians adjusting to their new European life get a sudden visit from Lane, the former third party in their polyamorous relationship back in New Orleans.

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Mother’s Milk

USA | 2021 | 63 minutes | Larry Powell, Nick Ducassi, Adriana DeGirolami, Kameron Neal, Bianca LaVerne Jones, Shinelle Azoroh, Alex Ander, John MacDonald, Lelund Durond Thompson

April 8 - 18, 2021

SIFF Channel

In this collaborative and experimental “film quilt” told in nine parts—individual chapters are made by different filmmaking teams and combined into a visual album—a Black man named Sparrow searches for meaning, self, and home as he leaps through a dying universe.

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Potato Dreams of America

USA | 2021 | 95 minutes | Wes Hurley

April 8 - 18, 2021

SIFF Channel

From Wes Hurley, the creator of famed local webseries “Capitol Hill,” comes an autobiographical coming-of-age dark comedy about a young closeted Russian boy in the disintegrating USSR who moves to Seattle with his prison doctor-turned-mail-order bride single mother.

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Son of Monarchs

USA | 2021 | 97 minutes | Alexis Gambis

April 8 - 18, 2021

SIFF Channel

In this soulful and stunningly shot Sundance prizewinner, a New York-based Mexican biologist dedicated to mapping out the monarch butterfly’s genetics returns to Mexico for his grandmother’s funeral, coming to terms with the repressed trauma of his youth.

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Strawberry Mansion

USA | 2021 | 90 minutes | Albert Birney, Kentucker Audley

April 8 - 18, 2021

SIFF Channel

In this sweet and colorful bit of surrealistic speculative fiction set in the near future, a “dream auditor” on assignment becomes obsessed with an aging eccentric and, while investigating the VHS archive of her subconscious, happens upon a chance at love.

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Summertime

USA | 2020 | 95 minutes | Carlos López Estrada

April 8 - 18, 2021

SIFF Channel

A sprawling portrait of Los Angeles told through the work of spoken word poetry, 25 Angelenos’ aspirations and fears intersect over the course of one long, hot SoCal day in the latest from director Carlos López Estrada (Blindspotting).

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Together Together

USA | 2021 | 90 minutes | Nikole Beckwith

April 8 - 18, 2021

SIFF Channel

Ed Helms (“The Office”) and Patti Harrison (“Shrill”) star in this unconventional, platonic rom-com-dram about the friendship forged between a middle-aged app designer and the twentysomething woman he hires to be a gestational surrogate.

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Too Late

USA | 2021 | 80 minutes | D.W. Thomas

April 8 - 18, 2021

SIFF Channel

Hollywood is a bloodthirsty town, but nobody has it as bad as Violet Fields, a stand-up comedy booker and personal assistant to a famed comic with a monster appetite. Featuring a murderers’ row of alt-comedy mainstays.

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Topside

USA | 2020 | 85 minutes | Celine Held, Logan George

April 8 - 18, 2021

SIFF Channel

An empathetic and eye-opening portrayal of the houseless people who live in New York City’s abandoned subway tunnels, following a drug-addicted mother and her five-year-old daughter who are forced aboveground during a harsh winter.

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Waikiki

USA | 2020 | 77 minutes | Christopher Kahunahana (Kanaka Maoli)

April 8 - 18, 2021

SIFF Channel

In this honest portrayal of the gritty side of paradise, Kanaka Maoli filmmaker Christopher Kahunahana depicts the story of Kea, a part-time Hawaiian teacher, hula dancer, and nightclub hostess, who crashes her beat-up van into a mysterious homeless man in the dead of night. Kea is quickly triggered to face her own past traumas and a new perspective.

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Wyrm

USA | 2019 | 97 minutes | Christopher Winterbauer

April 8 - 18, 2021

SIFF Channel

In an alternative 1990s equal parts Yorgos Lanthimos and Todd Solondz (but gentler), an awkward young teen must complete a school requirement in which students wear electronic collars that detach only upon engaging in their first kiss.

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