SIFF 2009: A Sneak Peek

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It may still be a few weeks away, but once the Seattle International Film Festival gets rolling, you’ll all know where to find me.

The fest has leaked a few juicy tidbits well in advance (a trend they started last year when they couldn’t keep it to themselves that the Opening Night film was Battle in Seattle). I’ll get more scoops on things like Opening and Closing in a couple days, but in the meantime, they’ve tossed us a couple bones.

As in the past couple years, SIFF is rolling out the red carpet for some exciting big names. Director Spike Lee will receive a special tribute for Outstanding Achievement in Directing, which will include an onstage interview, audience Q&A, and a montage of clips. This will be followed by a screening of his latest film, Passing Strange, Lee’s original visualization of the celebrated Broadway hit.

The other big name announced is Francis Ford Coppola, who will present his latest film Tetro (along with the film’s star Vincent Gallo). Since this isn’t a special tribute, it is not clear how much time Coppola will get with the audience, but still, people will be thrilled just to be in his presence, I’m sure.

Another welcome SIFF announcement is that the fest will get back to its roots, so to speak, with a focus on Northwest film called Northwest Connections, including a Centerpiece Gala of the promising comedy Humpday, from Seattle director Lynn Shelton. Northwest Connections highlights 15 locally-connected features, including the documentary Sweet Crude and World’s Greatest Dad (starring Robin Williams).

I’m rubbing my hands together, waiting to find out what other tidbits will be announced later this week….


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