Streaming FAQ

Frequently asked questions about SIFF's streaming film festival offerings.

On this page: The Basics | Buying Your Ticket | Accessing Films | Different Devices

The Basics

What devices can I use to watch a film?

Do I have to be in the U.S. to watch a film? Or in Washington?

Most films streaming through SIFF are available only to viewers within the US. If there are any additional restrictions from film distributors, those will be clearly marked in the film descriptions.

Please note: Even if your billing address or mailing address is in the US., your location is determined by your device’s IP address. If your IP address is not in the US., you won’t be able to access your film.

If you have a VPN (virtual private network) set up, we recommend that you disable it, as it may prevent you from accessing the films.

Can virtual films still sell out?

For some films, yes. If a distributor has limited the number of tickets available, a film can still sell out. If there are films you really want to see, it would be best to purchase a ticket as soon as possible when the film opens, or to prioritize watching with your pass. Most films will be available without restrictions.

How much time do I have to watch a film?

For ticket holders, once you start a film, you can view it up to 48 hours from the time you begin watching, as long as it is before the expiration time for that film.

Passholders will be able to view their films at any time on demand, until the film expires. 

For all festivals, including the Seattle International Film Festival, DocFest, and Cinema Italian Style, virtual films will only be available during the dates of the festival. All access will end at midnight on the final day of the festival.

Can I rewind or start a program over?

Yes, with the exception of the previews. You can use the controls in the watch portal to rewind or start a program over.

My streaming ticket/pass/link isn’t working. What do I do?

For customer support, please email us at This email account is monitored Monday through Friday from 10:00am to 5:00pm PT. We will respond as soon as possible.

Buying Your Ticket

How do I purchase a single ticket?

Tickets for individual films are available on each film detail page.

  • Go to and log in to your account. If you’re a new user, you’ll need to create an account.
  • Browse through the films currently playing.
  • Select “Buy Streaming Ticket” on a film’s page to add tickets to your cart.
  • If you are a Member, be sure to be signed in to access your discounted ticket rate.
  • After you’ve selected your tickets, go to your cart and check out.
  • After check out, you will see an order confirmation number and receive an order confirmation email. Once the streaming film is available to watch, a virtual access email will also be sent. Order history and virtual access links can also be viewed by logging in to and navigating to the Account page.

Does each person watching need a separate pass/ticket?

  • If you will be watching with friends and family on a single device, please consider purchasing a Sustainer level ticket.
  • For passholders or anyone else wishing to further support SIFF when watching with friends, please consider making a donation.
  • SIFF is a nonprofit organization and we thank you for your support to sustain our theatres, programming, and community outreach!

Accessing Films

If I have a ticket, how can I watch?

If your virtual event is open for viewing, you’ll be provided a link immediately after purchase, on the order confirmation screen.

If the virtual event opens at a later date and time, you’ll receive a virtual access email when the film is available to watch to the same email you used for purchase. Follow the link to submit your unique voucher code once the film has opened.

If the virtual event is a live event taking place at a specific date and time, you’ll receive a virtual access email (to the same email you used for purchase) one hour before the virtual event begins. Follow the link to submit your unique voucher code at the event start time.

If I have a pass, how can I watch?

Passholders can log in at using the email and password used to purchase the pass. Once logged in, passholders will see all films currently available for their pass type. Passholder access does not require a voucher code.

Where can I find my ticket?

You can find your ticket information in the virtual access email you received, or by logging in to your account at

I am getting an error that I am not in the right location to watch this film. How can I remedy this?

  • Some films may have location-based restrictions. We recommend checking the description of the film for any location restrictions listed and ensure you are located within this area before purchasing a ticket. Please keep in mind, your location is determined by where your internet service provider says you are currently located, not based on your billing address.
  • If you're in the right place to be able to view the film and still encounter issues, check to see if you have a VPN (virtual private network) enabled. If you do, that may prevent you from playing the film. Please disable any VPN before enjoying your film.

Why is my video stalling or not playing smoothly?

Your streaming quality automatically adjusts based on your internet speed. If your internet connection is poor or inconsistent, you may experience problems during playback. If you’re using wifi, try moving closer to your router.

Different Devices

How can I use an HDMI cord to watch on my TV?

What are the system requirements to watch on my computer?

You should be able to watch on any PC running Windows 7+ or on any Mac running OS 10.12+ through

Can I watch on my tablet or smartphone?

  • For iPhone/iPad: You can watch content using Safari on iOS 11.2 or later through Important note: Due to content protection restrictions, the Screen Mirroring feature cannot be used. Additionally, HDMI or other video dongles cannot be connected to your device.
  • For Android phones/tablets: You can watch content using Chrome on Android 6.0 or later through
  • NOTE: Our apps are not available via mobile devices. You can view titles on your phone/tablet's web browsers only.

Can I Chromecast content (Android)?

You can Chromecast from a Firefox (recommended) or Chrome web browser on PC and Mac computers, as well as Android devices, by selecting the cast button in the bottom right-hand side of the player at

Can I use AirPlay (Apple)?

You can AirPlay from most browsers on your Apple device, if you have Apple TV, by selecting the cast button in the bottom right-hand side of the player at

How do I watch films using the Roku channel?

  • First, install the SIFF channel on your Roku – search for “SIFF” on the Roku channel store, or use this link.
  • Ticket Holders: After you’ve purchased your virtual ticket on the SIFF website, your confirmation email will contain a 9-digit code. Enter this code into the SIFF Roku channel to watch.
  • Passholders: Log in using your email address and the password you created to access the SIFF Virtual Portal. Passholder access does not require a voucher code.