Six-pack of SIFF: Programmer Consensus
So, the Seattle International Film Festival is nearly upon us, with an aim of nothing short of citywide domination. Starting tomorrow evening, many of Seattle’s most devoted devotees will enter McCaw Hall bright-eyed for the opening night film and then disappear into dark theaters for weeks, only to emerge blinking and zombielike when the festival finally closes shop on June 12th. But what if you like movies, but haven’t committed to the temporary lifestyle of seeing the sky only in rushed trips between screenings or queuing in passholder lines?
A nice way to dip you toe in the SIFF waters is the Cinematic Six Pack. At $57 for the general public and $51 for members, it’s an affordable gateway to experiencing the festival. But how to choose? While SIFF’s pathways (Creative Streak, Face the Music, Love Me, Do!, Make Me Laugh, Open My Eyes, Sci-Fi and Beyond, Spellbinding Stories, Take Me Away, Thrill Me, To the Extreme) are nice, we’ll also be nominating other thematic clusters of films to help you target your filmgoing experience.
For the first of the SunBreak’s Six-packs of SIFF, I looked to the people who know more about the festival than pretty much anyone on the planet: the programmers who watch thousands of films to select a few hundred for the festival. Each, year, while acknowledging that every entry is a beautiful snowflake, they also provide members with an overview of their favorites. This year, 18 SIFF programmers recommended 149 films, but of these, there were some clear favorites, with two films getting five nods and five films getting four.
The “Programmer Consensus” Six-pack
- How to Die in Oregon
- The Green Wave
- Life in a Day
- Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure
With those, you’ve got a charming indie coming-of-age story, an Errol Morris tale of obsession, a possibly life-affirming story about euthanasia, a look at how technology has transformed the way that people make and share art, an eyewitness account to the revolution following the Iranian elections, a crowdsourced view of the whole world, and a documentary about a cassette tape gone viral. Not a bad way to spend the festival, particularly if you like documentaries!
For more recommendations, tune in here, where the SunBreak’s correspondents will update you with the latest SIFF news, make suggestions about films to consider, let you know whether what we’ve been seeing is any good, and share our conversations with festival filmmakers.