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SIFF Announces Lineup for 2021 Festival; Goes Virtual for the First Time Ever

3/24/2021 |
SIFF Press Contact: Jason Baxter, PR Manager | jason.baxter@siff.net

SIFF Announces Lineup for 2021 Festival; Goes Virtual for the First Time Ever

SEATTLE—Wednesday, March 24, 2021—The Seattle International Film Festival is returning with its first-ever virtual edition. Today, SIFF has announced its complete lineup of programming. The festival will run from Thursday, April 8th to Sunday, April 18th. Ticketing and more information is available at SIFF.net/festival.

This year, audiences will be able to watch the entire lineup from the comfort of their own homes courtesy of the SIFF Channel—available on Roku, FireTV, AndroidTV and Apple TV—or at watch.siff.net. SIFF remains committed to the perseverance of cinema and elevating new and diverse voices in filmmaking. The organization has adapted to the difficult circumstances of our times to ensure that the Festival can endure and cinephiles everywhere can enjoy a communal appreciation of the art form.

The full slate of works includes a grand total of 219 films, including 93 feature length films from 69 countries. Additionally, SIFF will be streaming 126 short films. Twenty-one of these features and shorts are world premieres, 21 are North American premieres, 19 are US premieres, and 2 are works in progress. We are proud to be screening 125 films from female-identifying directors, 61% are films from first- or -second-time filmmakers, and 66% of the films are currently without US distribution.

Read on for more details about SIFF 2021, including events, programming, technical details, and more.

OPENING NIGHT CELEBRATION

SIFF 2021’s Opening Night Celebration begins with a live program including the announcement of the Mayor’s Office Award, tributes to those we lost, and more. The world premiere of Australian director Robert Connelly’s new film The Dry follows. The Dry—based on Jane Harper’s award-winning novel—has been described as a crackling neo-noir murder mystery and stars Eric Bana. A pre-recorded Q&A with Connelly and Bana will be broadcast after the film. The event will begin at 6:30pm Pacific Time on Thursday, April 8th.

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMA AWARD

SIFF is proud to host a tribute to local actor Tom Skerritt. For over fifty years, Tom Skerritt has been captivating audiences worldwide. The acclaimed actor has left an indelible mark on the medium, having crafted some of film and television’s most memorable characters. Skerritt is known for iconic roles in films like M.A.S.H.,Turning Point, Up In Smoke, The Dead Zone, Top Gun, Steel Magnolias, A River Runs Through It, Singles, Contact, Smoke Signals, and, of course, Ridley Scott’s Alien, which made its world premiere at the 4th Annual Seattle International Film Festival in 1979. For his work in the 1993-97 CBS series “Picket Fences,” he was recognized with the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.

Skerritt has been a fixture in the Pacific Northwest since 1988, residing in Madison Park. He is a dedicated patron and benefactor of local arts and serves as a Board Emeritus with SIFF. Recently, Skerritt launched the EVRGRN Channel on the STIRR app, a free streaming service focused exclusively on uplifting Northwest original storytellers and the region’s creative impact on imagination and expression nationwide and abroad.

SIFF’s Outstanding Achievement in Cinema Award presentation will feature a live interview with the renowned actor, moderated by notable film critic Thelma Adams, and a screening of East of the Mountains, by local filmmaker SJ Chiro, based on the novel by local author David Guterson (“Snow Falling on Cedars”). The tribute will begin at 6:30pm Pacific Time on Thursday, April 15th.

CLOSING NIGHT CELEBRATION

The 2021 Seattle International Film Festival wraps with a presentation of our Golden Space Needle Awards winners. At the awards ceremony, the juried and audience awards will be presented live. Afterwards, there will be a screening of Rosa’s Wedding, a new film from SIFF favorite Catalan director Icíar Bollaín (Yuli, 2018; The Olive Tree, 2016). This event starts at 5:00pm Pacific Time on Sunday, April 18th.

COMPETITIONS

SIFF 2021’s competitions are made up of films selected by our Festival programmers and represent the best in their category from all over the world, with winners chosen by a carefully selected jury of industry professionals and film lovers. These include the Official Competition, the New American Cinema Competition, the New Directors Competition, the Ibero-American Competition, the Documentary Competition, and the Short Films Competition. The three winners in the Short Films Competition—Live-Action, Animation, and Documentary—are eligible to be nominated for an Academy Award®.

The Golden Space Needle Awards are selected by SIFF audiences. This year, SIFF will be granting Audience Awards for Best Narrative Film, Best Documentary Film, and Best Short Film.

OFFICIAL COMPETITION

Downstream to Kinshasa (d. Dieudo Hamadi, Democratic Republic of Congo/France/Belgium 2020)
Goddess of the Fireflies (d. Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, Canada (Québec) 2020)
Little Girl (d. Sébastien Lifshitz, France 2020)
Sanremo (d. Miroslav Mandić, Slovenia/Italy 2020)
There Is No Evil (d. Mohammad Rasoulof, Germany/Czech Republic/Iran 2020)
Under the Open Sky (d. Miwa Nishikawa, Japan 2020)
When I’m Done Dying (d. Nisan Dağ, Turkey/Germany 2021)

NEW DIRECTORS COMPETITION

Beans (d. Tracey Deer, Canada 2020)
Bebia, à mon seul désir (d. Juja Dobrachkous, Georgia/United Kingdom 2021)
Charter (d. Amanda Kernell, Sweden 2019)
The Salt In Our Waters (d. Rezwan Shahriar Sumit, Bangladesh/France 2020)
This Is My Desire (d. Arie Esiri, Chuko Esiri, Nigeria 2020)
This Town (d. David White, New Zealand 2020)
Wisdom Tooth (d. Liang MING, China 2019)

NEW AMERICAN CINEMA COMPETITION

I’M FINE (Thanks for Asking) (d. Kelley Kali, Angelique Molina, USA 2021)
Mother’s Milk (d. Larry Powell, Adriana DeGirolami, Kameron Neal, Bianca LaVerne Jones, Shinelle Azoroh, Alex Ander, John MacDonald, Lelund Durond Thompson, USA 2021)
Potato Dreams of America (d. Wes Hurley, USA 2021)
Son of Monarchs (d. Alexis Gambis, USA/Mexico 2021)
Strawberry Mansion (d. Albert Birney, Kentucker Audley, USA 2021)
Topside (d. Celine Held, Logan George, USA 2020)
Waikiki (d. Christopher Kahunahana (Kanaka Maoli), USA 2020)
Wyrm (d. Christopher Winterbauer, USA 2019)

IBERO-AMERICAN COMPETITION

Criollo (d. Pablo Banchero, Uruguay 2019)
Fly So Far (d. Celina Escher, El Salvador/Sweden 2021)
Nudo Mixteco (d. Ángeles Cruz, Mexico 2021)
Rebel Objects (d. Carolina Arias Ortiz, Costa Rica/Colombia 2020)
The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be Quiet (d. Ana Katz, Argentina 2021)
The Pink Cloud (d. Iuli Gerbase, Brazil 2021)
The Song of the Butterflies (d. Núria Frigola Torrent, Peru 2020)
Valentina (d. Cássio Pereira dos Santos, Brazil 2020)

DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION

Captains of Zaatari (d. Ali El Arabi, Egypt 2021)
Chuck Connelly: Into the Light (d. Benjamin Schwartz, USA 2020)
Faya Dayi (d. Jessica Beshir, Ethiopia/USA/Qatar 2021)
The Earth is Blue as an Orange (d. Iryna Tsilyk, Ukraine/Lithuania 2020)
The Return: Life After ISIS (d. Alba Sotorra Clua, Spain/United Kingdom 2021)
Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America (d. Emily Kunstler, Sarah Kunstler, USA 2021)
Writing With Fire (d. Rintu Thomas, Sushmit Ghosh, India/Norway/Finland 2021)

PREMIERES

WORLD PREMIERES

All Sorts (d. J. Rick Castañeda, USA 2021)
All Those Small Things (d. Andrew Hyatt USA/United Kingdom 2021)
East of the Mountains (d. SJ Chiro, USA 2021)
Preman (d. Randolph Zaini, Indonesia 2021)
Too Late (d. D.W. Thomas, USA 2021)

NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERES

Athanor – The Alchemical Furnace (d. Adam Ol’ha, Jan Dañhel, Czech Republic/Slovakia 2020)
Bebia, à mon seul désir (d. Juja Dobrachkous, Georgia/United Kingdom 2021)
Caterpillars (d. Elvis Sabin Ngaïbino, Central African Republic/Argentina 2020)
Conductivity (d. Anna-Karin Grönroos, Finland 2020)
Criollo (d. Pablo Banchero, Uruguay 2019)
Deadly Cuts (d. Rachel Carey, Ireland 2020)
Final Exam (d. Chen-ti Kuo, Taiwan 2021)
Fly So Far (d. Celina Escher, El Salvador/Sweden 2021)
My Missing Valentine (d. Yu-Hsun CHEN, Taiwan 2020)
Rebel Objects (d. Carolina Arias Ortiz, Costa Rica/Colombia 2020)
The Salt In Our Waters (d. Rezwan Shahriar Sumit, Bangladesh/France 2020)
Sanremo (d. Miroslav Mandić, Slovenia/Italy 2020)
Tell Her (d. Alexander Molochnikov, Russia 2021)

US PREMIERES

Goddess of the Fireflies (d. Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, Canada (Québec) 2020)
Riders of Justice (d. Anders Thomas Jensen, Denmark 2020)
The Song of the Butterflies (d. Núria Frigola Torrent, Peru 2020)
This Town (d. David White, New Zealand 2020)
The Translator (d. Rana Kazkaz, Anas Khalaf, Syria/France/Switzerland/Belgium/Qatar 2020)

PROGRAMS

AFRICAN PICTURES

Captains of Zaatari (d. Ali El Arabi, Egypt 2021)
Caterpillars (d. Elvis Sabin Ngaïbino, Central African Republic 2020)
Downstream to Kinshasa (Dieudo Hamadi, Democratic Republic of Congo 2020)
Faya Dayi (d. Jessica Beshir, Ethiopia 2021)
This Is My Desire (d. Arie Esiri, Chuko Esiri, Nigeria 2020)
The Unknown Saint (Alaa Eddine Aljem, Morocco 2019)

ASIAN CROSSROADS

Final Exam (d. Chen-ti Kuo, Taiwan 2021)
Kim Ji-young, Born 1982 (d. KIM Do-young, South Korea 2019)
My Missing Valentine (d. Yu-Hsun CHEN, Taiwan 2020)
Preman (d. Randolph Zaini, Indonesia 2021)
The Salt In Our Waters (d. Rezwan Shahriar Sumit, Bangladesh 2020)
The Shepherdess and the Seven Songs (d. Pushpendra Singh, India 2020)
The Teacher (d. Chen Ming-lang, Taiwan 2019)
Under the Open Sky (d. Miwa Nishikawa, Japan 2020)
Veins of the World (d. Byambasuren Davaa, Germany 2020)
Wisdom Tooth (d. Liang MING, China 2019)

FILMS4FAMILIES

The Bears’ Famous Invasion (d. Lorenzo Mattotti, France 2019)
The Legend of Hei (d. MTJJ, China 2019)
Nahuel & the Magic Book (d. Germán Acuña, Chile 2020)
Too Far Away (d. Sarah Winkenstette, Germany 2019)

NEW AMERICAN CINEMA

I’M FINE (Thanks for Asking) (d. Kelley Kali, Angelique Molina, USA 2021)
Ma Belle, My Beauty (d. Marion Hill, USA 2021)
Mother’s Milk (d. Larry Powell, Adriana DeGirolami, Kameron Neal, Bianca LaVerne Jones, Shinelle Azoroh, Alex Ander, John MacDonald, Lelund Durond Thompson, USA 2021)
Son of Monarchs (d. Alexis Gambis, USA 2021)
Summertime (d. Carlos López Estrada, USA 2020)
Together Together (d. Nikole Beckwith, USA 2021)
Topside (d. Celine Held, Logan George, USA 2020)
Waikiki (d. Christopher Kahunahana (Kanaka Maoli), USA 2020)
Wyrm (d. Christopher Winterbauer, USA 2020)

NORTHWEST CONNECTIONS

All Sorts (d. J. Rick Castañeda, USA 2021)
All Those Small Things (d. Andrew Hyatt, USA 2021)
East of the Mountains (d. SJ Chiro, USA 2021)
Potato Dreams of America (d. Wes Hurley, USA 2021)
Super Frenchie (d. Chase Ogden, USA 2020)

WILD, TERRIFYING, FANTASTIC

Censor (d. Prano Bailey-Bond, United Kingdom 2021)
Get the Hell Out (d. I-Fan Wang, Taiwan 2020)
Strawberry Mansion (d. Albert Birney, Kentucker Audley, USA 2021)
Too Late (d. D.W. Thomas, USA 2021)

WORKS IN PROGRESS

The unique New Works-in-Progress Forum was designed by SIFF as an initiative to nurture emerging voices in world cinema. Unique in its inclusion of the audience voice in the forum, the event brings all partners in cinema together in concert.

Visit our website for a complete list of this year’s programming.

FORUMS AND PANELS

KIN THEORY: INDIGENIZING FILM INDUSTRY SPACES - FESTIVAL FORUM

Indigenous creatives are on the rise, and SIFF and Sundance have been industry leaders in carving out space for them for almost two decades. Now the rest of the industry just needs to catch up, with BIPOC creatives and communities at the table. In this conversation, Managing Director of Nia Tero and multicultural industry leader Tracy Rector (she/her) will moderate a frank and iterative discussion with two of the Sundance Indigenous Program leaders: Japanese/Portuguese/Samoan creative Ianeta Le’i (she/her) and Kiowa/Mohawk filmmaker Adam Piron (he/him). Topics will include the work of the Sundance Institute and how to expand kin relationships to the film industry. What will the future of solidarity connections look like for safe, radically supportive, and innovative Indigenous filmmaking? As with all Kin Theory events, this one will be unapologetically rooted in community, solidarity, and reciprocity. Join us as we indigenize the film industry.

Zoom details will be emailed to ticket registrants shortly before the scheduled event.

Saturday, April 10, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM PT
Presented via Zoom Webinar
FREE with Registration

IGNITING OUR FILM INDUSTRY: BUILDING A SEATTLE FILM COMMISSION FOR THE FUTURE - FESTIVAL FORUM

Join our spirited talk highlighting a year’s worth of work from the Film Task Force, and how you too can be involved in the new Seattle Film Commission to establish Seattle as a premiere place for film production. The forum will be co-hosted by Film Task Force members, Myron Partman and Virginia Bogert. Get your questions ready!

Zoom details will be emailed to ticket registrants shortly before the scheduled event.

Saturday, April 17, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM PT
Presented via Zoom Webinar
FREE with Registration

More to be announced!

ABOUT SIFF

Beginning in 1976 with the annual Seattle International Film Festival, expanding into year-round programming, and our five-screen SIFF Cinema—SIFF creates experiences that bring people together to discover extraordinary films from around the world. Recognized as one of the top film festivals in North America, the Seattle International Film Festival is the longest, most highly attended film festival in the United States, traditionally reaching more than 150,000 annually. Renowned for its wide-ranging and eclectic programming, this year’s Festival is presenting over 200 features, short films, and documentaries from over 69 countries.

For press inquiries, please contact jason.baxter@siff.net.

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