The forty-fourth Seattle International Film Festival, the largest and best-attended film festival in the United States, starts next Thursday, May 17th, and runs through June 10th. We’re delighted to announce that the Northwest Progressive Institute has been accredited to cover the 2018 Festival, which means we’ll be able to bring you reviews of new films from around the world.
Press screenings have already started, so we invite you to come back to the Cascadia Advocate regularly to read our reviews of films participating in SIFF 2018.
There are over four hundred films at the festival this year. I’ll be trying to see as many documentaries as possible. Among the films I’ll be screening are:
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? a heartfelt and nostalgia-inducing documentary about Fred Rogers. Creator, writer, and star of long-running children’s show “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood”, Rogers (a beloved figure in his hometown of Pittsburgh) was committed to giving “an expression of care each day to each child.”
This film makes it clear that the Mister Rogers on the TV show wasn’t a character, as Rogers in his real life was as caring and committed to the message of love and the unique value of each person as he was for children on the show.
Crime + Punishment is about a group of New York City police officers who speak out, risking their careers and lives by exposing the discriminatory quota-based system used across the department.
Local documentary The Most Dangerous Year is one of thirty-five films making its world premiere at SIFF this year. Directed by Vlada Knowlton, this film profiles families with transgender children as they fought discriminatory legislation proposed in Washington State in 2016 (which, thankfully, did not become law).
The Oslo Diaries, which recounts the 1992 Oslo Accords, in which a small group of Palestinians and Israelis met in secret to negotiate a solution for peace, using the personal diaries of the negotiators to give insight into the hidden process.
Silas, which highlights the activism of Silas Kpanan ‘Ayoung Siakor of Liberia as he fights corporations seeking to take over his land and strip it of all the valuable natural resources, devastating African villages.
I am also hoping to screen and review all seven of the films by indigenous filmmakers that SIFF is featuring this year. These films are:
Bee Nation, directed by Lana Šlezic. This documentary profiles participants in Canada’s Inaugural First Nations Provincial Spelling Bee who, with the support of their community, hope to make it to the national competition in Toronto.
Dawnland, directed by Adam Mazo and Ben Pender-Cudlip. Through a focus on the Wabanaki people as they go through a historic truth and reconciliation commission, this documentary examines some of the horrible government-sanctioned activities that have ravaged Native peoples in North America.
Luk’Luk’I, directed by Wayne Wapeemukwa.
This narrative-documentary hybrid gives us a look into the lives of five struggling Vancouver residents during the 2010 Olympic Games.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post, directed by Desiree Akhavan. This drama was winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival. It tells the story of three resilient gay teens who meet at a conversion-therapy camp in the 1990’s.
Sweet Country, directed by Warwick Thornton.
This film is set in the Australian outback and follows an Aboriginal ranch hand facing challenges in divided frontier society.
Waru, directed by Briar Grace-Smith, Awanui Simich-Pene, Katie Wolfe, Renae Maihi, Casey Kaa, Chelsea Winstanley, Paula Whetu Jones, Ainsley Gardiner. This film from New Zealand is made of eight vignettes, each directed by a Maori woman, with each segment focusing on a different woman as she struggles with issues like poverty, child abuse, and hopelessness.
Warrior Women, directed by Elizabeth A. Castle, Christina D. King.
Indigenous and women’s rights activist Madonna Thunder Hawk and her daughter are the subject of this documentary film.
SIFF has an amazing line-up of diverse films this year and we are excited to have the opportunity to provide reviews of many of them!