49th annual Seattle International Film Festival to open with A24’s Past Lives from Celine Song

4/4/2023 |
SIFF Press | press@siff.net

The film will be followed by a Q&A with Writer/Director Celine Song & Opening Night Gala at the Paramount Theatre

SEATTLE – SIFF announced today that the 49th Seattle International Film Festival will open with Celine Song’s heartrending modern romance Past Lives from A24. SIFF’s Opening Night screening will take place Thursday, May 11 at The Paramount Theatre followed by a party inside the theatre and outdoors on Ninth Avenue.

The film, which premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, follows Nora (Greta Lee) and Hae Sung (Teo Yoo), two deeply connected childhood friends who are torn apart after Nora’s family emigrates from South Korea to Canada. Two decades later, they are reunited in New York for one fateful week as they confront notions of destiny, love, and the choices that make a life.

“At this year’s festival, SIFF is celebrating the joy of discovering new worlds through cinema,” said SIFF Artistic Director Beth Barrett. “We’re honored to start that journey with Celine Song’s achingly beautiful debut feature film Past Lives, which embraces the connections that happen at specific times, for specific reasons, and can help us understand the people we are, and who we will become.”

Writer and director Celine Song will be in attendance and participate in a Q&A after the screening. Song’s play “Endlings” received its world premiere in 2019 at American Repertory Theater and had its New York premiere in 2020 at New York Theatre Workshop. She has been a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and a semifinalist for the American Playwriting Foundation's Relentless Award. Past Lives is her debut feature film.

Following the screening and Q&A, SIFF will hold a party at the Paramount Theatre and on Ninth Avenue with an outdoor beer garden; food trucks from Wood Shop BBQ, Where Ya At Matt, Tutta Bella, and Full Tilt Ice Cream; live music from C89.5 DJs; and libations from The Walls, Georgetown Brewing, Tito's Handmade Vodka, Jiant Hard Kombucha and Pathfinder Non-Alcoholic Spirits.

Tickets for Opening Night Film & Gala are available online at siff.net and in person at SIFF Cinema box offices and are $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 Red Carpet Experience featuring a walk down the red carpet into a pre-film reception, a swag bag, reserved seating at the film screening, and VIP bar and lounge at the famous after-party.

The Paramount Theatre
Opening Night Gala Film & Party
May 11, 2023

5:00 pm - Private VIP Reception for Red Carpet Experience ticket purchasers
6:00 pm - Doors open for General Admission ticket holders
7:00 pm - SIFF Welcome & Opening Night film Past Lives begins

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

The 49th annual Seattle International Film Festival returns in person May 11–21, 2023 taking Seattle moviegoers on a cinematic odyssey at venues across the city, followed by a week of select films streaming on the SIFF Channel May 22–28.

Passes and ticket packages are on sale now at siff.net. Individual tickets will go on sale to SIFF members on April 26, and to the general public on April 27, 2023.

PRESS CONTACT: For more information, please contact Ryan Davis at ryan@smarthousecreative.com or 206.491.3738.

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About SIFF:
Known for the international festival that takes place in the late spring each year, SIFF has delighted moviegoers for more than 49 years with films from all regions of the world, fostering an informed, aware, and vibrant community of film lovers. SIFF offers year-round arthouse screenings, curated mini-festivals, cinema events, and educational programs - to keep up with us, visit siff.net and find SIFF on Instagram, Twitter, Letterboxd and Facebook.