Festival Spotlight: New Works-In-Progress Forum

The New Works-in-Progress Forum lineup includes two documentary and two narrative features, and six industry mentors from across the globe.

New Works-In-Progress Forum

The 2019 Film Teams and Industry Mentor lineup has been announced for our New Works-in-Progress (WIP) Forum. As per the Forum parameters, four feature films—two documentary and two narratives—have been invited from across the globe to participate in the structured, interactive event.

"The mission of the New Works-in-Progress Forum is to bring together the three vital parts of the cinema experience at a critical junction before the film has locked picture: filmmaker (as artist), industry (as conduit), and audience," said WIP Curator Kathleen McInnis. "We create a safe intersection near the end of the creative journey and just at the beginning of the road-to-audience for filmmakers to discover how their films engage on the global stage."


Hope's Journey

Hope's Journey

USA/Mexico | Yolanda Cruz

Hope arrives in Oaxaca angry, out of place and afraid. Others have come in celebration, making the annual pilgrimage to La Virgen de Juquila, the region's patron saint, but it isn't until Hope befriends Soledad that a sense of origin begins to emerge.

A Loss of Something Ever Felt

A Loss of Something Ever Felt

Estonia/Colombia | Carlos E. Lesmes

At the request of her mother Hille, Eeva arrives from Estonia to Bogotá, Colombia to look for her drug addict and alcoholic half brother Lauri. In her quest to find Lauri, Eeva manages to rediscover and reconnect with the fragile love she and her brother once shared.


Lina From Lima

Lina From Lima

Chile/Argentina/Peru | Maria Paz González

It's Christmas time. Ten years have passed since Lina (40) traveled to Chile to work as a housekeeper leaving behind her son who lives with his grandmother in Peru. This holiday season, Lina will find herself yearning to rest from the weight of her obligations to think, even for a brief moment, first about herself.

The Paths of My Father

The Paths of My Father

Brazil/Poland | Mauricio Osaki

When 11-year Nhi's grandma is hospitalized, she is forced to join her absent father, a truck driver, on a journey around Vietnam. Nhi wants to escape to her hometown and reconnect with her roots, while the father sees it as a chance to give her away.


The New Works-in-Progress Industry Mentors are intentionally chosen from across industry disciplines.

Documentary Mentors:

  • Programmer/Curator Dorota Lech (HOT DOCS Forum Producer; TIFF International and Lead Programmer, Discovery section) 
  • Producer/Director/Writer Greg Rhem (previously Director of Development HBO Documentary Films)
  • Executive Director Simon Kilmurry (International Documentary Association)

Narrative Mentors:

  • International Programmer Jane Schoettle (previously TIFF, Palm Springs)
  • Distributor Sandro Florin (FiGa Films)
  • Film Critic/Writer/Producer Thelma Adams (New York Film Critics Circle, New York Post, Us Weekly)

"This unique opportunity for our WIP filmmakers has proven remarkably important in bringing their stories closer to their audience," said Beth Barrett, SIFF Artistic Director. "The impact of introducing industry and our SIFF audiences to the filmmakers during this critical time has yielded stronger films that have gone on to premiere at acclaimed festivals and win awards from all over the world."

SIFF New Works-in-Progress Forum Projects from 2018 are now award-winning films having successfully premiered at major film festivals around the world. The 2018 SIFF New Works-in-Progress film, The Dive (Israel) from Writer/Director/Actor Yona Rozenkier, premiered at Locarno, Jerusalem, and Toronto International Film Festivals last fall and will now screen at SIFF 2019 as part of the main festival lineup.

Individual tickets for SIFF 2019 screenings and special events go on sale next Wednesday, May 1 to SIFF Members and May 2 to the general public.

The SIFF New Works-in-Progress Forum is supported in part by Vulcan Productions and Starbucks Roastery.

SIFF would like to thank Ingeniux; Brotherton Cadillac Buick GMC in Renton; Encore; Hyatt Regency Seattle, the Official Hotel of the Festival; Amazon Prime Video; The Boeing Company; and Wongdoody for their support of the 2019 Seattle International Film Festival.