Taking in SIFF 2012 Opening Night from the Red Carpet (Photo Gallery)
SIFF 2012 got off to a customarily splashy start with the Opening Night Gala at McCaw Hall yesterday, and it was a customary pip.
This year’s Opening Night bore special significance, with the evening’s feature, director Lynn Shelton‘s Your Sister’s Sister, making its bow as the first locally-grown feature ever to open SIFF in the Festival’s 38-year history.
The house was packed, and–hometown bias aside–the movie received an enthusiastic reception from the crowd. For my money, it turned out to be SIFF’s best Opening Night feature in the last five years–an off-the-cuff, funny, and surprising romantic dramedy that proved a refreshing change of pace from the earnest middlebrow films that usually occupy that high-profile slot. Shelton joined her movie’s entire crew on the Red Carpet, along with actor Matthew Lillard (director of SIFF feature Fat Kid Rules the World), several members of the Seattle Sounders FC, Mayor Mike McGinn, and Burlesque Queen Shanghai Pearl among others. Sister cinematographer Benjamin Kasulke received The Mayor’s Award for Cinema Achievement during the pre-film ceremony later that night.
It’s the second time I’ve seen Your Sister’s Sister, and happily it holds up to repeated viewings. The key factor that really resonated upon a second look? How laugh-out-loud funny it is, without short-changing the emotional triggers built into the subject matter (and that’s as close to a spoiler as you’re gonna get from this corner). All told, it was a fitting opening to a SIFF that–even more so now than in years past–promises a strong splash of local color.