5/29/2014 | SIFF Festivals
Rachel Eggers | 206.315.0683 |

SEATTLE -- May 29, 2014 -- Now in its third year, the Catalyst program kicks off this weekend at the 40th annual Seattle International Film Festival. The program includes six films and four panels over the course of one trailblazing weekend. As crowdfunding platforms and new digitial technologies pave the way for more storytellers, both film festivals and distributors often still serve as the primary filter between these new films and their prospective audiences; the Catalyst program aims to change that by connecting filmmakers and their films directly with their audience.

Carl Spence, SIFF's Artistic Director, says, "The Catalyst program is still relatively new to the Festival, but it's only becoming more relevant and revelatory. I'm thrilled to welcome these directors to the Festival and share their new voices with our cinema-loving audience."

This year's program includes something for everyone, including the North American premiere of Bradley King's complex time travel thriller, Time Lapse. SIFF 2012 FIPRESCI-winning writer/director Keith Miller returns with his stunning sophomore effort, Five Star, and we welcome Slamdance co-founder Lise Raven's taut period mystery Kinderwald, the second in a three-part series. Catalyst 2014 is also proud to present three World premieres: Scott Cohen's Antarctica-set relationship piece Red Knot (starring Vincent Kartheiser and Olivia Thirlby), debut director Joshua Caldwell's kinetic French-language drama Layover, and producer-turned-director Sean Mullin's (Recalled, SIFF 2012) nuanced multicultural romance Sam & Amira.

 The Catalyst program also offers a full day of inspiring panels, including the highly anticipated filmmaker panel - featuring all six Catalyst directors - and a keynote address from Emily Best, the founder and CEO of Seed&Spark. Following the Catalyst panels will be a Happy Hour at 4:00 PM.  

By supporting the next generation of independent storytellers through film screenings and panels, the Catalyst program hopes to remove some of the barriers that exist between filmmakers and audiences. A sea change is coming in the indie film world, and the SIFF Catalyst program offers a front row seat to the new normal.  

Brad Wilke, the SIFF programmer who spearheads the Catalyst program, says, "SIFF developed the Catalyst program to support the discovery, cultivation, and development of new voices in independent film. We accomplish this both through our year-round educational offerings, such as our monthly First Draft live script-reading series, as well as the six-film Festival program (and day of industry panels). I'm really excited about this year's incredible lineup!"

Lineup of 2014 Catalyst films & events

About SIFF

Founded in 1976, SIFF creates experiences that bring people together to discover extraordinary films from around the world with the Seattle International Film Festival, SIFF Cinema, and SIFF Education. Recognized as one of the top film festivals in North America, the Seattle International Film Festival is the largest, most highly attended film festival in the United States, reaching more than 150,000 annually. The 25-day festival is renowned for its wide-ranging and eclectic programming, presenting over 450 features, short films, and documentaries from over 70 countries each year. SIFF Cinema exhibits premiere theatrical engagements, repertory, classic, and revival film showings 365 days a year on four screens at the SIFF Film Center and the historic SIFF Cinema Uptown, reaching more than 120,000 attendees annually. SIFF Education offers educational programs for all audiences serving more than 13,000 students and youth in the community with free programs each year.