Seattle International Film Festival 2024 @ SIFF Venues Around Seattle

SIFF turns 50 🎂

📸: Adam Kubota

📆 In theaters: Thursday, May 9th – Sunday, May 19th
🖥️ Online: Monday, May 20th – Monday, May 27th

2024 is a big year for the Seattle International Film Festival. It’s turning the big 5-0

For the past half-century, the film festival has brought Seattle audiences boundary-pushing feature-length movies, shorts, and secret screenings from around the world. (Full disclosure: I served on their Ibero-American jury last year.) SIFF’s history is mythical—they premiered Ridley Scott’s Alien back in 1979, served as Dutch director Paul Verhoeven’s American launching pad, and supported films from Seattle directors like Lynn Shelton and Megan Griffith. (For more history, read this feature from Gemma Wilson at the Seattle Times.)

Although SIFF had to shrink its length and screening schedule, last year’s festival saw a bump in in-person attendance, suggesting people are hungry for IRL movie experiences. Last year, I saw Ira Sach’s chaotically European bisexual drama Passages at SIFF Egyptian. I immediately hopped on a Lime bike to check out the fest’s Pacific Northwest shorts screening at SIFF Uptown. Both were just too good to miss! 

Running in-person from May 9th to 19th this year, SIFF is going all out with their 50th birthday celebrations. The party kicks off on Thursday, May 9th, at the Paramount Theatre, where they’ll be screening Thelma, hosting a tribute for the film’s star June Squibb, and hosting a night of food, drinks, and dancing. Throughout the ten days of IRL SIFF, you can catch director Harmony Korine’s freaky, retina-burning AGGRO DR1FT at SIFF Cinema Downtown or check out experimental horror film I Saw the TV Glow and chat with director Jane Schoenbrun after. The fest’s festivities end with a screening of Greg Kwedar’s luminous drama about a group of imprisoned actors putting on a play, Sing Sing, before a closing night fête at MOHAI. 

Get your planner and look carefully over SIFF’s schedule. There’s lots to see. We recommend:

🥂 Thelma + Opening Night
🌎 Janet Planet
📺 I Saw the TV Glow
🌳 Good One
♦️ Red Rooms
🦉 Porcelain War
🐅 Tiger Stripes
😣 Stress Positions
🖥️ So Unreal
📦 The Box Man
🏆 A Conversation + Screening with Jean Smart
🛹 Dìdi (弟弟)
🎭 Sing Sing

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An author pic of Jas Keimig. They have blue braids.

Jas Keimig

Jas Keimig is an arts and culture writer in Seattle. Their work has previously appeared in The Stranger, i-D, Netflix, and Feast Portland. They won a game show once and have a thing for stickers.