Here is the line-up of annual film festivals in Seattle and around the Puget Sound region. Current festivals are listed below in date order. We review the information on a monthly basis. Once a festival is past, we update when festival organizers announce dates for the next year–which sometimes is just one month prior.
2018 Seattle and Puget Sound Film Festivals
September 15 – 16, 2018. SIFF Issaquah Film Festival at Cinebarre Issaquah. Features some of the world’s best films a—unique combination of family favorites, recent arthouse hits, and new films. Tickets: Single Film Admission: Adult $15, Seniors and Youth $14, SIFF Members $10. Passes: General $150, Members $100. Discounts: SIFF membership includes year-round discount movie tickets, FREE popcorn, and other benefits. SIFF volunteers can earn free movie ticket vouchers. Some programs and films prohibit the use of vouchers.
September 21 – 23, 2018. Port Townsend Film Festival, on the northern tip of the Washington State peninsula, screens more than 90 films in seven venues (offering “something for everyone”), plus a big outdoor dinner for passholders, Q&A and panel discussions with filmmakers, parties, three free community outdoor movies, and free films day and night. Tickets: One-Pass $40 Attend one film at the Festival. Six-Pack $100 First-come, first-served access to six films. Passes: Festival Pass $220 (Most Popular). Concierge Pass $650 with Concierge service ($450 tax deductible). Patron Pass $1500 with Concierge service ($1,300 tax deductible). Discounts: Rush Tickets $15; Cash only. Rush Tickets are sold at any theatre with seats still available 10 minutes before the film begins. No seats are sold after the lights go down.
September 21 – 29, 2018. Local Sightings Film Festival at Northwest Film Forum in Seattle. A curated film festival dedicated to Pacific Northwest films and filmmakers, showcasing new full-length features and shorts from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, the Yukon, and British Columbia. Tickets: $12 general admission, $7 members. Opening night tickets: General $15, member $10. A few screenings are free.
September 22 – 23, 2018. Internet Cat Video Festival at SIFF Cinema Uptown on Lower Queen Anne. Curated by award-winning local filmmaker Will Braden (“Henri le Chat Noir” creator and writer), this film festival features over 85 viral cat videos in one engaging and exciting non-stop parade of **squee!** that will leave you with a smile on your face and a purr in your heart. Will Braden will be on paw to emcee the weekend festivities that includes a cat costume contest, giveaways, and special guests. Tickets: Regular admission $14-15. Discounts: SIFF or PAWS members $9-$10.
September 27 – October 4, 2018. French Cinema Film Festival at SIFF Cinema Uptown in Seattle. The latest in French language cinema from around the world for Francophiles. Tickets: Single Film Admission: Adult $15, Seniors and Youth $14, SIFF Members $10. Passes: General $150, Members $100. Discounts: SIFF membership includes year-round discount movie tickets, FREE popcorn, and other benefits. SIFF volunteers can earn free movie ticket vouchers. Some programs and films prohibit the use of vouchers.
Sept. 28 – Oct. 7, 2018. Tasveer South Asian Film Festival 2017 at multiple venues in the Puget Sound region, including Bellevue, Seattle, Redmond, and Renton. Two words describe Tasveer: Not Bollywood. The largest South Asian film festival in the United States. The Tasveer festival seeks to provide a counterpoint to the images and stories prevalent in Bollywood. The festival include shorts, experimental films, and documentaries on themes related to South Asia in its entirety: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the various diasporas across the world. Founded in Seattle, Tasveer screens dozens of films for thousands of attendees in locations across the U.S. Tickets: Ticket price may vary at each venue. Individual screening: Regular $12, Student/Senior $10. Festival passes are regular $125, senior/student $80. Discounts: Early bird prices through 9/30. Early bird individual screening: $10. Early bird festival pass: $80.
September 29 – October 5, 2018. Manhattan Short Film Festival presents finalists from hundreds of entries and countries around the globe. These short films will not only entertain a global audience but will be judged by them as well. Cinema-goers will become instant film critics as they are handed a ballot upon entry that allows them to vote for the Best Film and Best Actor. Tickets $12.
- September 29 – 30 – Bainbridge Island Museum of Art
- October 5 – Varsity Theater in Seattle’s University District
October 4 – 8, 2018. Orcas Film Festival in the village of Eastsound on Orcas Island focuses on critically acclaimed feature films from around the world and locally created short films, to harness the creative energy of film to build a more inspired and vibrant community in the San Juan Archipelago. The venues are all walking distance from each other as are many of the restaurants and bars that you can enjoy around seeing films. Tickets: Festival Pass: $200. Discounts: Save $25 on early bird Festival Pass before September 1.
October 4 – 11, 2018. Tacoma Film Festival (TFF) at The Grand Cinema in Tacoma gathers the best in new, independent films in a unique blend of audience and industry programming. Visiting festival guests from around the world make for a rich networking and collaborative space where new projects are born and inspiration for future work grows. Tickets: General admission: $10.50. Matinee, students, seniors (62+), children (0-12), or military: $8. Discounts: VIP passes: $150 (includes all screenings, events, parties, free refreshments, and other goodies). Films screenings at the University of Washington Tacoma are free for students and faculty. Grand Cinema members general admission: $8.00. GC members matinee, students, seniors (62+), children 12 and under, or military: $5.50. Annual membership begins at $45; benefits include discount movie tickets, FREE screenings, FREE popcorn, plus other discounts and benefits.
October 5 – 13, 2018. Seattle Latino Film Festival (SLFF) showcases films from dozens of Latino and Hispanic countries. Each year, a different spotlight country is selected. This year SLFF will honor filmmakers from Spain. The festival includes educational workshops and scholar talks with international guests. The Festival opening night gala, includes a special movie showing, Q&A, television media presence, and special guests. Tickets: Individual screening $11, general, $9.50 student & senior. Opening Night Gala $40. Festival Pass $100 GENERAL, $ 70 STUDENT & SENIOR.
November 1 – 4, 7 – 11, 14 – 18, 2018. Hump Film Festival (18+) in Seattle. A new kind of porn, a celebration of creative sexual expression featuring short dirty movies—each less than five minutes—all created by people who aren’t porn stars but want to be one for a weekend. The carefully curated program is a cornucopia of body types, shapes, ages, colors, sexualities, genders, kinks, and fetishes—all united by a shared spirit of sex-positivity. The filmmakers and stars show us what they think is hot and sexy, creative and kinky, their ultimate turn-ons and their craziest fantasies. You will see films that shock you, make you laugh, and turn you on. You may be touched by the sincerity and vulnerability with which these films are lovingly made. HUMP!’s main mission is to change the way America sees—and makes and shares—porn. Tickets: $25. Discounts: Early Bird $20 (until sold out).
November 8 – 15, 2018. SIFF Cinema Italian Style Film Festival at SIFF Cinema Uptown in Seattle. The best in current Italian films with some of the biggest names in Italian cinema today. Tickets: Single Film Admission: Adult $15, Seniors and Youth $14, SIFF Members $10. Passes: General $150, Members $100. Discounts: SIFF membership includes year-round discount movie tickets, FREE popcorn, and other benefits. SIFF volunteers can earn free movie ticket vouchers. Some programs and films prohibit the use of vouchers.
November 9 – 17, 2018. Seattle Turkish Film Festival has become one of the most admired and venerated events of the Turkish American Cultural Association of Washington. The film festival is non-profit, volunteer-driven event, and committed to bringing the best of Turkish films to Seattle in an effort to provide an international platform for talented filmmakers (long form or short) to showcase their work. All films are presented in Turkish, with English subtitles.
November 10 – 11, 2018. Celluloid Bainbridge Film Festival at the Historic Lynwood Theatre on Bainbridge Island showcases films and filmmakers from Bainbridge Island and the greater Pacific Northwest. Tickets: Regular $15, Student $8.
2019 Seattle and Puget Sound Film Festivals
January 21, 2019. The Backcountry Film Festival is a celebration of winter sports and human-powered backcountry adventure, recreation, advocacy, and stewardship. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Tickets: $15 at the door. Discount: advance purchase $12 general public, $10 for Mountaineers members.
January 24 – February 9, 2019. Children’s Film Festival Seattle at Northwest Film Forum in Seattle. The largest and most respected film festival on the West Coast dedicated to children and their families. It’s an opportunity to see films from dozens of countries. Tickets: $12 General Admission; $9 Student, Senior (65+) or Child (12 & under); Festival Passes: $90-$180. Discounts: $7 Film Forum Members. Volunteers get free passes to use for movie screenings at Northwest Film Forum. NWFF Membership: Individual $60, Dual $85, Family $120, Student $35.
February 15 – 16, 2019. Everett Film Festival at the Everett Performing Arts Center features an eclectic mix of entertaining and informative films along with complimentary tastings of Everett’s finest eateries at “Sips N’ Snacks” and a chance to win some fabulous raffle prizes. Ticket pre-sales start in January 2019. Tickets: Friday only $25. Saturday only $30. Festival pass $50. Discounts: Seniors, students, and military $5 off single day tickets; $10 off festival pass.
February 15 – 21, 2019. Noir City at SIFF Cinema Egyptian in Seattle features classic noir films. Tickets: Single Film Admission: $15, $14 Seniors and Youth, $10 SIFF Members. Passes: General $150, $100 Members. Discounts: SIFF membership includes year-round discount movie tickets, FREE popcorn, and other benefits. SIFF volunteers can earn free movie ticket vouchers. Some programs and films prohibit the use of vouchers.
February 21 – 24, 2019. Asian American Film Festival at multiple venues in Seattle features the best in recent independent cinema by and about Asian Americans. Tickets: Individual screening, regular $12, senior/student $10. Opening night film + party, general $18, senior/student $15. Festival Pass $80 (includes opening night party and access to all film screenings and VIP movie lounge).
March 1 – 3, 2019. Nordic Lights Film Festival at SIFF theaters in Seattle. A cutting-edge cinematic festival of Nordic films with a focus on contemporary, award-winning films from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Sápmi. Tickets: Festival passes: $75/General admission. Discount: $65/Members. Individual tickets will be on sale later, if available. Volunteer positions are booked well in advance.
April 5 – 6, 2019. Getaway: Leavenworth Mountain Film Festival (135 miles east of Seattle) showcases the best recent short films with a focus on outdoor pursuits and the natural world. Tickets: $15 at the door, kids (12 and under) $5. Discount: advance purchase Friday/Saturday Combo Tickets.
MAY 18 – 20, 2019. Rainier Independent Film Festival (RIFF) is a cinematic journey, set in the transformative landscape of Mt. Rainier’s forested community, about 80 miles southeast of Seattle. Mixing films, workshops and the laid-back setting of the area, this festival is a great opportunity to meet and mingle with independent filmmakers and film industry people outside of the hustle and bustle typically associated with the business. Tickets: Single screening $5. Opening night $15. Festival passes $15-$35 include screenings, workshops, and more.
Past Seattle and Puget Sound Film Festivals
We update this list on a rolling basis. The last time we checked, the following festivals had not announced their festival dates for next year.
March 9-11, 2018. Animation Show of Shows at SIFF Cinema Uptown in Seattle presents 16 exceptional and inspiring animated shorts from around the world. At a time of increasing social instability and global anxiety about a range of issues, the works in this year’s show present compelling ideas about our place in society and how we fit into the world. Tickets: $14 Regular, $13 Seniors (65+), $9 SIFF Members.
April 18, 2018. The Wild & Scenic Film Festival in Seattle at SIFF Cinema Egyptian. Join Washington Water Trust (WWT) for happy hour, lively conversation and an evening of eye-opening films that directly supports WWT efforts to restore rivers and streams across Washington state and unites communities around a shared goal of healthy and productive waterways. Tickets: $14 Regular, $13 Seniors (65+), $9 SIFF Members.
April 19-22, 2018. Langston Hughes African American Film Festival (LHAAFF) hosts provocative films and works about the Black experience from independent filmmakers. In the heart of Seattle’s historically black neighborhood, the festival features hands-on workshops, discussions, and in-depth chats with filmmakers, industry professionals and local community leaders, housed at the historic Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute. The event is the culmination of a year’s worth of community-building through a series of smaller events that provide audiences with unique cinematic and filmmaking opportunities, resulting in the community-wide film festival. The festival focuses on established names and emerging talent in Black cinema and creating ways for audiences to connect with filmmakers and filmmaking through interactions in and outside the theater. Tickets: Opening night April 19 $20. April 20-22 individual tickets: Adult $12, Youth $7. Festival Pass $90 (includes opening night and saves $50 over individual ticket prices).
April 20, 2018. Short Films at UW Seattle features four-minute films (all genres) from aspiring filmmakers who are competing in the U.W. Maker Summit. Free, but space is limited so register on their website to guarantee your spot.
May 17 – June 10, 2018. The Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF Festival):
July 6 – 8, 2018. Czech film festival at SIFF. Outstanding modern films from the Czech Republic. The annual Czech film festival titled “Czech That Film” was established in 2012. Currently, it is the largest Czech cultural event in the United States. Tickets: $14 Regular, $13 Youth (<=20) and Seniors (65+), $9 SIFF Members.
August 25 – 26, 2018. Himalayan International Film Festival (HIMIFF) in Seattle is a free annual film festival to showcase the work of young Himalayan filmmakers. The films capture the rich and diverse cultures, landscapes, and peoples living across the Himalayan regions of Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan and India. HIMIFF coincides with the Tibet Fest, a cultural festival at Seattle Center. Free admission. Seating is first come first serve.
Labor Day Weekend. August 31 – September 2, 2018. 1 Reel Film Festival at SIFF Film Center in Seattle. During Bumbershoot, audiences can enjoy a selection of many international cinema shorts. Tickets: Single Film Admission: Adult $15, Seniors and Youth $14, SIFF Members $10. Passes: General $150, Members $100. Discounts: SIFF membership includes year-round discount movie tickets, FREE popcorn, and other benefits. SIFF volunteers can earn free movie ticket vouchers. Some programs and films prohibit the use of vouchers.
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