“Ripped from the headlines:” Documentary thriller Navalny to open 48th Seattle International Film Festival

3/17/2022 |
Jaclyn Graham | (805) 952-5104 | Jaclyn@InjoyStudios.com

As Ukraine conflict rages, festival to open with a focus on the attempted assassination of Russian dissident Alexei Navalny.

SEATTLE – SIFF is thrilled to announce that Daniel Roher’s “pulse-pounding” documentary Navalny will open the 48th Seattle International Film Festival. SIFF’s Opening Night screening of Navalny will take place Thursday, April 14 at The Paramount Theatre followed by the Opening Night Gala in the theatre and outdoors on Ninth Avenue.

The film follows Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny as he investigates the 2020 attempt on his life. After becoming deathly ill on a flight, Navalny was evacuated from a Siberian hospital to Berlin, where doctors confirmed that he had been poisoned with Novichok, a nerve agent implicated in attacks on other opponents of the Russian government. 

While President Vladimir Putin denied any involvement, Navalny and his team partnered with the data investigative journalism outlet Bellingcat as well as other international news organizations to investigate his attempted assassination and find proof of the Kremlin’s involvement.

Filmmaker Daniel Roher, in partnership with CNN Films and HBO Max, follows Navalny’s investigation to create a documentary that The Playlist calls, “a rousing tale of standing up for the right thing no matter the cost,” and TimeOut calls, “a pulsing thriller that would give one of the early Bourne movies a run for its money.”

“We are thrilled to be opening the 2022 Seattle International Film Festival with Navalny, a thrilling film that is all-but ripped from the headlines,” said SIFF Artistic Director Beth Barrett. “Film provides us with access to the conversations we need to have about the issues of our time, and with insight into the world around us. Navalny is an ideal example.”

Following the screening, SIFF will hold an Opening Night party in the theatre and on the street outside, where Ninth Avenue will be closed to make room for food trucks and a beer garden with music and dancing indoors. 

Food trucks will include Wood Shop BBQ, Where Ya At Matt, Tutta Bella, and Sugar+Spoon, while Tom Douglas will cater the VIP Reception. DJs Darek Mazzone, Nada Rosa, and Another Magic Music will provide the music.

Tickets for the Opening Night Gala are available online at SIFF.net and in person at SIFF Cinema box offices starting at $75 for SIFF members and $85 for the general public. Opening Night access ranges from the festive, see-it-all Film & Gala Package to the exclusive VIP Red Carpet Experience featuring exclusive pre-film reception, reserved seating at the film screening, and VIP access to the famous after-party.

As one of the largest film festivals in North America, the 2022 Seattle International Film Festival runs April 14-24. The festival will feature more than 250 films from 80 countries/regions with films screened at SIFF theaters and venues throughout the city as well as virtually on the SIFF Channel.

A variety of film and event passes are on sale starting at $250. The SIFF Film Pass includes advanced seating before ticket holders, access to all virtual screenings on the SIFF Channel, as well as select preview screenings. 

Individual tickets go on sale to the public March 31, 2022. Tickets for individual screenings are $15 ($12 for SIFF members and $14 for seniors and students). For information on all event and screening packages and tickets, please visit siff.net/festival/passes-and-tickets.

SIFF would like to thank Ingeniux, Wongdoody, Hyatt Regency Seattle (Official Festival Hotel), Rev (Official Captioning Partner), BECU, Chihuly Studio, The Seattle Times, The Stranger, KEXP, KING 5, Tito's Handmade Vodka, The Walls Vineyards, the Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office of San Francisco, and National Endowment for the Arts for being sponsors of the 2022 Seattle International Film Festival.

For COVID safety policies for this event, visit stgpresents.org/about/reopening.

About SIFF: 

SIFF is known for our international festival that takes place in the late spring each year. For more than 47 years, SIFF has delighted moviegoers with films from all regions of the world and all genres of film. In addition, SIFF offers year-round arthouse screenings, curated mini-festivals, cinema events, and education opportunities - to keep up with them, visit Siff.net.

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Opening Night Schedule:

5:30pm Private VIP Reception for Red Carpet Experience ticket purchasers

6:00pm Doors open for General Admission ticket holders

7:00pm Stage welcome begins

7:30pm Film starts

Following the film: On-stage Q&A followed by party in the theatre and on Ninth Avenue.