50th Seattle International Film Festival to open with Magnolia Pictures’ Thelma from Josh Margolin

3/27/2024 |
Madison Zimmerman | press@siff.net

Lead actress June Squibb to be honored with the 2024 Golden Space Needle Award for Outstanding Contribution to Cinema

SEATTLE – The 50th Seattle International Film Festival will open with Josh Margolin’s action comedy Thelma from Magnolia Pictures and honor lead June Squibb with the 2024 Golden Space Needle Award for Outstanding Contribution to Cinema. The Festival’s Opening Night Film & Party will take place Thursday, May 9 at The Paramount Theatre followed by a party inside the theater and outdoors on Ninth Avenue.

Thelma, which premiered at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival, follows 93-year-old Thelma Post (June Squibb) as she sets out on a treacherous quest across the city to reclaim what was taken from her after being duped by a phone scammer pretending to be her grandson. Thelma is an action comedy exploring aging, family, and autonomy based on a real-life experience of writer and director Josh Margolin’s grandmother and marks 94-year-old Squibb’s first leading film role.

“SIFF is ecstatic to celebrate June Squibb’s work by presenting her with the 2024 Seattle International Film Festival’s Golden Space Needle Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinema” says Beth Barrett, SIFF’s Artistic Director, “Over her decades-long career, Squibb has cultivated exceptional skill in her craft. Her magnetism and charisma shines through her many memorable roles and her work in Thelma is no exception.”

Writer and director Josh Margolin will also be in attendance and participate in a Q&A after the screening along with Thelma producers Zoë Worth and Chris Kaye, and Tribute recipient June Squibb. Following the screening and Q&A, SIFF will hold a party onstage at the Paramount Theatre and on Ninth Avenue with an outdoor block party with live music, food trucks from Kottu, Where Ya At Matt, Piroshky Piroshky, & Tutta Bella; live music from C89.5 DJs; and libations from The Walls, Black Raven Brewing, Westland Distillery, The Pathfinder & Tito's Handmade Vodka.

Tickets for Opening Night Film & Party are available now online at siff.net/passes and in person at SIFF Cinema box offices and are $76.50 for SIFF members and $86.50 for the general public. Opening Night access ranges from the see-it-all Film & Party Package to the exclusive Red Carpet Experience featuring a pre-film reception, swag bag, reserved seating at the film screening, and dedicated bar and lounge at the famous after-party.

A Tribute event honoring June Squibb including a conversation moderated by Variety's Jenelle Riley and questions from the audience will be held Saturday, May 11 at SIFF Cinema Downtown, preceded by an Honoree Brunch with Squibb at Palace Kitchen. Tickets for the tribute event and Honoree Brunch are sold separately and on sale now.

Opening Night Film & Party
Paramount Theatre
May 9, 2024

5:00pm - Red Carpet Experience pre-reception at Seattle Convention Center rooftop terrace

6:00pm - Paramount doors open for Film & Party ticket holders

7:00pm - SIFF Welcome & Opening Night film Thelma begins

Following the film: On-stage Q&A followed by a party in the Paramount Theatre and outdoors on Ninth Avenue.

Tribute Event to June Squibb
SIFF Cinema Downtown & Palace Kitchen
May 11, 2024

10:00am - Honoree Brunch with June Squibb at Palace Kitchen

12:30pm - Tribute event at SIFF Cinema Downtown

The 50th Seattle International Film Festival returns in person May 9–19, 2024 inviting Seattle moviegoers to ring in our golden anniversary with us at venues across the city, followed by a week of select films streaming on the SIFF Channel May 20–27.

Passes and ticket packages are on sale now at siff.net/passes. Individual tickets will go on sale to SIFF members on April 17, and to the general public on April 18, 2024.


Press inquiries, materials, and interview requests can be made at press@siff.net. SIFF is accepting press accreditation applications for the 50th Seattle International Film Festival now through Monday, April 1

# # #

About SIFF: 
Beginning in 1976 with the annual Seattle International Film Festival, then expanding into year-round programming, SIFF is a 501c3 cultural arts organization whose mission is to create experiences that bring people together to discover extraordinary films from around the world. It is through the art of cinema that SIFF fosters a community that is more informed, aware and alive.

In its four theaters, SIFF offers year-round screenings, Film Talks and a series of spotlight festivals throughout the year. SIFF also serves the community through educational programs and SIFFsupports, a partnership program that hosts and provides technical support to a variety of special screenings and festivals.

For showtimes and event updates, visit siff.net.