Many people are familiar with the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF). The 25-day film festival held every spring offers movie aficionados hundreds of feature-length films, shorts, and documentaries from filmmakers around the world. The festival movies are screened at SIFF Cinema theaters and many other venues throughout the Puget Sound region.
As you may know, for the first time since its beginning in 1976, SIFF Cinema has sadly cancelled the film festival for 2020.
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About SIFF Cinema
SIFF Cinema brings people together through their film programs, fuels the local economy, and provides a platform for local and international filmmakers to share their stories with the world.
What you may not know is that SIFF Cinema also shows films all year long. In additional to regular movie screenings, SIFF movie theaters are home to film festivals, movie premieres, and film series.
In their three Seattle movie theaters, regular screenings include first-run feature films, independent films, and foreign films.
- SIFF Uptown, 511 Queen Anne Ave N
- SIFF Film Center at Seattle Center, the entrance is at Warren and Republican St
- SIFF Egyptian on Capitol Hill, 805 E Pine Street
In addition to screenings, SIFF hosts partner programs, summer camps, film appreciation classes, film development training, and filmmaker workshops.
These screenings and other programs all achieve SIFF’s goal of bringing people together through film.
While the theaters are closed in 2020, SIFF is offering online movie rentals via their newest program, Virtual SIFF Cinema. Read more about this exciting venture below.
Donate to SIFF
Nothing can replicate the movie going experience. However, through this new virtual cinema program, SIFF remains as committed as ever to bring interesting films, conversation, and filmmaking knowledge to their audience.
If you believe in the power of storytelling, please consider making a donation to support the new virtual SIFF cinema and events.
Please give generously if you can. Your support will help to secure SIFF’s stay strong and continue to play a significant role in the Puget Sound region.
SIFF Membership is another way to support the nonprofit organization dedicated to the art of film and storytelling. As a member, you play a part in keeping independent cinema alive in Seattle.
SIFF membership begins at $60 for individuals. Benefits of membership include:
- Punch card for five FREE small popcorns
- Ticket discounts on regularly priced year-round screenings
- Ticket AND Merchandise discounts at the SIFF Festival
- Exclusive member invites to FREE preview screenings and events
- Discounts and offers from partner organizations
- 12-month membership from the time of purchase
Did we mention the FREE popcorn?
Virtual SIFF Cinema & Events
Virtual SIFF Cinema is offering movie rentals of new independent arthouse films, encores of successful presentations, and an ever-rotating selection of films you can enjoy from home. SIFF Movie Club special screenings include a Q&A session after the movie–just as they are done IRL.
Movie rentals cost $1 to $12, depending on the film and download or streaming method. On each film’s description page, you’ll find a link to the distributor’s screening portal where you’ll be able to rent the film and begin watching.
Part of the rental fee goes directly back to SIFF to support this new program. You have to pop your own corn and pour a beverage. They’ll do the rest.
In addition, there are new classes about various aspects of filmmaking and live discussion events with industry professionals, also presented virtually.
Virtual movies & events at SIFF
A few films currently screening at SIFF are listed below. For a complete list of movies screening on SIFF Virtual Cinema, visit: https://www.siff.net/virtual/virtual-siff-cinema
Nail-biter documentary “The Wild”
The people of Alaska’s Bristol Bay, home to the world’s largest wild salmon runs, face devastation if the massive Pebble copper mine is constructed. The sudden dismantling of the safeguards enacted by the EPA to protect the salmon, water, and people of Bristol Bay, by the current political regime in the United States has revived the mining corporation’s relentless pursuit of receiving a permit in 2020 to build North America’s largest open-pit copper mine—directly in the headwaters of the most prodigious wild sockeye salmon run in the world. “The Wild” is a race against time. At stake is the survival of a keystone species that feeds 137 different creatures—including us—in a wild place that is the last of its kind on Earth. Featuring the vibrant characters from Bristol Bay; Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard; Seattle Chef Tom Douglas; Celebrity chef Tom Colicchio; Yupik artist Apayu’q Moore; Actor Mark Harmon; Actor and activist Adrian Grenier; and many more. Opens June 5, 2020, with post-screening discussion with Director Mark Titus; cast members Seattle Chef Tom Douglas and Owner of Kvichak Fish Amanda Wlaysewski; and other special guests. More info: https://www.siff.net/virtual/virtual-siff-cinema/the-wild
Marona’s Fantastic Tale
This poetic and touching animation from director Anca Damian is a dazzling expressionistic view of the world through the eyes of a stray dog, who wants nothing more than love and a bone. Delivered alongside dazzlingly colorful, sweeping designs produced in part by acclaimed artist Brecht Evens, Marona’s Fantastic Tale is a life-affirming tale and reminds us that happiness is a small thing. Opens June 12, 2020. More info: https://www.siff.net/virtual/virtual-siff-cinema/maronas-fantastic-tale
Up From the Streets
A feature-length documentary that looks at the culture of New Orleans through the lens of music. New Orleans has a distinct history as a result of its political and social history. There is a thread that runs through the city that can be heard from the drumming at Congo Square in the 1700’s through to today’s vibrant music scene. The music of this city is a powerful form of expression. It was a vehicle to communicate a desire for freedom, express frustration of the injustices of segregation and Jim Crow laws, a healing force that helped bring the city back from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, and is still a vital form of expression against ongoing cultural and racial biases. Executive Producer Terence Blanchard and Director Michael Murphy show how the culture of the city is reflected in its music, how music impacts culture; and how even in the darkest of times, music lifts and unites. Opens June 12, 2020. More info: https://www.siff.net/virtual/virtual-siff-cinema/up-from-the-streets
One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk
In 1961, Noah Piugattuk and his band of nomadic Inuit hunters are approached by a brutish white man known as “Boss” who pressures them to abandon their traditional way of life and move into settlement housing. The movie illustrates the tragic humor of Inuit-settler relationships. Opens June 19, 2020. More info: https://www.siff.net/virtual/virtual-siff-cinema/one-day-in-the-life-of-noah-piugattuk
Ella: Just One of Those Things
Ella Fitzgerald was a 15 year-old street kid when she won a talent contest in 1934 at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem. Within months she was a star. This documentary, “Ella: Just One of Those Things” follows her extraordinary journey over six decades. The film uses never-before-seen images and unheard interviews to bring Ella Fitzgerald to life and to tell the story of her music. Her sublime voice transforms the tragedies of her own life and the troubles of her times into joy. Opens June 26, 2020. More info: https://www.siff.net/virtual/virtual-siff-cinema/ella-fitzgerald-just-one-of-those-things
John Lewis: Good Trouble
An in-depth and inspiring portrait of the legendary civil rights activist and Democratic Representative from Georgia, John Lewis. With rare footage and interviews, Dawn Porter’s chronicle covers more that 60 years of his social activism and legislative action on civil rights, voting rights, gun control, health-care reform, and immigration. Using present-day interviews with Lewis, now 80 years old, Porter explores his childhood experiences, his inspiring family and his fateful meeting with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1957. In addition to her interviews with Lewis and his family, Porter’s primarily cinéma verité film also includes interviews with political leaders, Congressional colleagues, and other people who figure prominently in his life. Opens July 3, 2020. More info: https://www.siff.net/virtual/virtual-siff-cinema/john-lewis-good-trouble
Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets
In the shadows of the bright lights of Las Vegas, it’s last call for a beloved dive bar known as the Roaring 20s. the bars regular customers are a cross section of American life. They form a community-tight-knit yet forged in happenstance, teetering between dignity and debauchery, reckoning with the past as they face an uncertain future. That’s the premise, at least–the reality is as unreal as the world they’re escaping from. “Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets” is a mosaic of disparate lives adrift in a failed society—disillusioned and reeling, singing while their ship goes down. See the film before its full virtual release (beginning July 24) with a sneak peek screening on July 8 in support of National Dive Bar Day* and benefitting the US Bar Guild Foundation’s Bartender Emergency Assistance Program COVID-19 Relief Fund. The rental includes director intro, 99 min. feature film, and post-film Q&A with cast/crew. Sneak Preview: July 8, 2020. Opens July 24, 2020. Ticket: $10. More info: https://www.siff.net/virtual/virtual-siff-cinema/bloody-nose-empty-pockets
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Upcoming Film Festivals & Movie Screenings
Listed below are upcoming film festivals and special movie screenings–virtual and live. We update this list on a rolling basis throughout the year, when organizers announce dates for their next events. You might also like our big list of movie theaters in the Puget Sound region.
Thursday, July 9, 2020
Friday, July 10, 2020
Saturday, July 11, 2020
Sunday, July 12, 2020
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Thursday, July 16, 2020
Friday, July 17, 2020
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Thursday, July 23, 2020
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Tuesday, July 28, 2020
Thursday, July 30, 2020
Friday, July 31, 2020
Saturday, August 1, 2020
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Thursday, August 6, 2020
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Tuesday, August 11, 2020
Thursday, August 13, 2020
Friday, August 14, 2020
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Thursday, August 20, 2020
Friday, August 21, 2020
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Thursday, August 27, 2020
Friday, August 28, 2020
Thursday, September 3, 2020
Tuesday, September 8, 2020
Thursday, September 10, 2020
Friday, September 11, 2020
Saturday, September 12, 2020
Sunday, September 13, 2020
Thursday, September 17, 2020
Friday, September 18, 2020
Saturday, September 19, 2020
Sunday, September 20, 2020
Thursday, September 24, 2020
Thursday, October 1, 2020
Friday, October 2, 2020
Saturday, October 3, 2020
Sunday, October 4, 2020
Monday, October 5, 2020
Tuesday, October 6, 2020
But wait, there’s more!
- Enjoy more movies, films, and documentaries
- Find free and cheap things to do every day on the Greater Seattle on the Cheap event calendar.
- Visit the Greater Seattle on the Cheap home page and choose from a menu of free and cheap activities in the Puget Sound region.
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