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Stars in Seattle: Inside SIFF

A+poster+for+the+esteemed+festival.%0ACredit%3A+seattlefilm.com
A poster for the esteemed festival.
Credit: seattlefilm.com

A poster for the esteemed festival. Credit: seattlefilm.com

A poster for the esteemed festival. Credit: seattlefilm.com

Emily Nina, Staff Writer

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For those less familiar with the SIFF, it is a collection of over 400 films from 80 different countries, all premiered one after the other at various SIFF-owned theaters around the Seattle area. It has often been referred to as a “marathon, not a sprint” and “not for the faint of heart.”

And after one night of cocktail parties, speeches, awards, q&a’s with directors and actors, but after a month I can certainly see how it could feel like a marathon. And a tiring one at that. However, it’s well worth it. Here’s what it was like once my Uber deposited me right in front of the red carpet itself.

Outside the main entrance was the famous red carpet. The press took photos, a crowd of people chatted, got directions, and overall enjoyed the excitement of so many cultures colliding at one big festival.

As high school student attending the SIFF gala, I can say that it is very elegant, but left me feeling sorely out of place. Though welcoming, I’m sure I was the youngest person there, and the mix of casual to black tie attire was an odd addition to the mood of the night. I think it accurately reflects the culture of Seattle. Guests poured into the McCaw Hall foyer for a quiet but exciting reception prior to the screening of the feature film, The Big Sick. The movie will be released June 18th, and though I cannot write anymore about it, I will say it was well worth the trip to see it on the big screen (in a grand opera house with 2,900 other people).

As the producers, writers, filmmakers, actors and moviegoers meandered through the lobby and slowly filled the seats, people became more and more comfortable, chatting with neighbors and sharing their love of film. SIFF board members spoke to the excitement at the beginning of the festival. The mayor of Seattle and his husband made an appearance and gave a speech laced with humor and subtle civic engagement message. All the while, the introduction kept folks laughing and intrigued. The writers, director and stars of The Big Sick were the last to appear before the movie began, and gave us a small dose of the witty humor and candor that would come in the next few hours of the movie.

All in all, the opening night gala was a night to remember. It was a luxurious, humorous event with an odd but friendly mix of age, attire and status. And I will definitely be back for more SIFF screenings as soon as I can get my hands on some tickets.

 

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Stars in Seattle: Inside SIFF