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Captain Fantastic
Captain Fantastic

The 2016 Seattle International Film Festival announced the complete lineup of films, guests, and events for the 42nd annual 25-day Festival taking place May 19 to June 12, 2016.

This year, SIFF will screen 421 films representing 85 countries: 181 features (plus 4 secret films), 75 documentaries, 8 archival films, and 153 shorts. The films include 54 World premieres (29 features, 25 shorts), 56 North American premieres (42 features, 14 shorts), and 27 US premieres (15 features, 12 shorts).

Both Opening and Closing Nights include period comedies: hearkening to the golden 1930s heyday of Hollywood, Opening Night film Café Society from master filmmaker Woody Allen stars Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Steve Carell, and Blake Lively; the 1950s-set Australian revenge comedy-drama The Dressmaker closes SIFF 2016 on Sunday, June 12 with an acclaimed cast including Kate Winslet, Liam Hemsworth, and Hugo Weaving. The emotionally wrenching documentary Gleason, follows Spokane-born NFL star Steve Gleason’s battle with ALS using intimate footage masterfully assembled by director Clay Tweel, and will screen at the Festival’s Centerpiece Gala on Saturday, June 4.

The Northwest premiere of Matt Ross’s Captain Fantastic, filmed in Washington, will screen as part of a tribute presentation to Viggo Mortensen on Saturday, June 11, where the acclaimed actor will be presented with the Festival’s Outstanding Achievement in Acting Award and interviewed on stage at the flagship SIFF Cinema Egyptian. Selections from Mortensen’s rich and diverse career are slated during SIFF 2016 in celebration of his work, including A Walk on the Moon, Eastern Promises, and The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.

Among this year’s 53 World premieres is Seattle native Megan Griffiths’s The Night Stalker, a penetrating psychological thriller centered on the spine-chilling character of Richard Ramirez, California’s most notorious serial killer. Griffiths and star Lou Diamond Phillips will be in attendance at the June 4 screening.


Opening Night Gala
Café Society
Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg star in a sparkling new romantic comedy from Woody Allen about a movie-industry hopeful who arrives in 1930s Hollywood, falls in love, and finds himself swept up in the vibrant café society that defined the age. North American Premiere (d: Woody Allen c: Kristen Stewart, Jesse Eisenberg, Blake Lively, Steve Carell, Parker Posey, Judy Davis, USA 2016, 96 min)

Centerpiece Gala
Director Clay Tweel delivers a bold and moving portrait of beloved Spokane born, former WSU and New Orleans Saints football player Steve Gleason, who at age 34 was diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease and courageously filmed his journey for the public eye. (d: Clay Tweel f: Steve Gleason, Michel Gleason, Rivers Gleason, USA 2016, 110 min)

Closing Night Gala
The Dressmaker
Kate Winslet, Liam Hemsworth, and Judy Davis star in this hysterically madcap adaptation of the beloved novel about a chic 1950s dressmaker who returns from Paris to her small Australian town to right the wrongs of the past and revolutionize the local couture. (d: Jocelyn Moorhouse c: Kate Winslet, Liam Hemsworth, Judy Davis, Hugo Weaving, Australia 2015, 118 min)


Viggo Mortensen
Featuring Captain Fantastic
Plus screenings of A Walk on the Moon, Eastern Promises, and The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

An actor, painter, poet, photographer, and jazz musician, Viggo Mortensen’s combination of rugged exterior and reflective interior have infused his wide range of film roles with equal parts gravitas and compassion—from criminals to cowboys, lovers to lieutenants, post-apocalyptic survivors to sagacious psychoanalysts, and the rightful king of Gondor.

Past honorees of the SIFF Outstanding Achievement in Acting Award include Laura Dern, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kyle MacLachlan, Sir Ben Kingsley, Kevin Bacon, Edward Norton, Sissy Spacek, Joan Allen, and Anthony Hopkins amongst others.

Molly Shannon
Featuring Other People
Plus World Premiere of Miles

Molly Shannon’s penchant for theatrical comedy inspired some of “Saturday Night Live”’s most famous characters from 1995-2001, including Mary Catherine Gallagher and Sally O’Malley. Shannon went on to appear in several films such as Superstar, Wet Hot American Summer, Marie Antoinette, last year’s SIFF favorite Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, and the TV series “Glee” and “Enlightened.” Her ability to shift seamlessly from comic characters to more nuanced dramatic roles is something not many can match. Tonight, SIFF will welcome her to the stage for an interview featuring film clips from her career, followed by a screening of one of Shannon’s latest films, Other People, directed by Chris Kelly. There will also be an opportunity for audience questions following the screening.


Official Competition

Battle of Sevastopol (d: Sergey Mokritskiy, Ukraine/Russia 2015, North American Premiere)

Burn Burn Burn
Burn Burn Burn

Burn Burn Burn (d: Chanya Button, United Kingdom 2015, North American Premiere)
Creepy (d: Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Japan 2016, North American Premiere)
Eternal Summer (d: Andreas Öhman, Sweden 2015, North American Premiere)
Girl Asleep (d: Rosemary Myers, Australia 2016, North American Premiere)
Holding the Man (d: Neil Armfield, Australia 2015, North American Premiere)
Moon in the 12th House (d: Dorit Hakim, Israel 2016, World Premiere)
News From Planet Mars (d: Dominik Moll, France/Belgium 2016, US Premiere)
Radio Dreams (d: Babak Jalali, Iran/USA 2016)
The Scent of Mandarin (d: Gilles Legrand, France 2015, North American Premiere)
The Sound of Trees (d: François Péloquin, Canada (Québec) 2015, US Premiere)
Welcome To Norway! (d: Rune Denstad Langlo, Norway 2016, North American Premiere)

New Directors Competition

Antonia (d: Ferdinando Cito Filomarino, Italy/Greece 2015, North American Premiere)
Before the Streets (d: Chloé Leriche, Canada (Québec) 2016, US Premiere)
Coconut Hero (d: Florian Cossen, Germany/Canada 2015, North American Premiere)
Family Film (d: Olmo Omerzu, Czech Republic/Germany/Slovenia/France/Slovakia 2015, North American Premiere)
The Lure (d: Agnieszka Smoczynska, Poland 2015)
Nakom (d: Kelly Daniela Norris, TW Pittman, Ghana/USA 2016)
The Paradise Suite (d: Joost van Ginkel, Netherlands/Sweden/Bulgaria 2015)
Rara (d: Pepa San Martín, Chile/Argentina 2016, North American Premiere)
Sand Storm (d: Elite Zexer, Israel 2016)

Rúnar Rúnarsson's "Sparrows"

Sparrows (d: Rúnar Rúnarsson, Iceland/Denmark/Croatia 2015)
The Violators (d: Helen Walsh, United Kingdom 2015)
Where Have All the Good Men Gone (d: René Frelle Petersen, Denmark 2016, World Premiere)

Ibero-American Competition

Awaiting (d: Daniela Fejerman, Spain/Lithuania 2015, North American Premiere)
Deconstructing Dani García (d: Iñigo Ruiz, Alfonso Cortés-Cavanillas, Spain 2015, North American Premiere)
How Most Things Work (d: Fernando Salem, Argentina 2015, US Premiere)
Nueva Venecia (d: Emiliano Mazza de Luca, Colombia/Mexico/Uruguay 2016, US Premiere)
The Pretty Ones (d: Melisa Liebenthal, Argentina 2016, North American Premiere)
Red Gringo (d: Miguel Ángel Vidaurre, Chile 2016, North American Premiere)
Warehoused (d: Jack Zagha, Mexico 2015, US Premiere)
You’ll Never Be Alone (d: Alex Anwandter, Chile 2016, US Premiere)

New American Cinema Competition

11:55 (d: Ari Issler, Ben Snyder, USA 2016)
All the Birds Have Flown South (d: Joshua H. Miller, Miles B. Miller, USA 2016, World Premiere)
Americana (d: Zachary Shedd, USA 2016, World Premiere)
The Architect (d: Jonathan Parker, USA 2016, World Premiere)
As You Are (d: Miles Joris-Peyrafitte, USA 2016)
Claire in Motion (d: Lisa Robinson, Annie J. Howell, USA 2016)
Free In Deed (d: Jake Mahaffy, USA/New Zealand 2015)
Middle Man (d: Ned Crowley, USA 2016, World Premiere)
The Night Stalker (d: Megan Griffiths, USA 2016, World Premiere)
Transpecos (d: Greg Kwedar, USA 2016)

Documentary Competition

The 1,000 Eyes of Dr. Maddin
The 1,000 Eyes of Dr. Maddin

The 1,000 Eyes of Dr. Maddin (d: Yves Montmayeur, France 2015, US Premiere)
Action Comandante (d: Nadine Angel Cloete, South Africa/Lesotho 2016, World Premiere)
Death By a Thousand Cuts (d: Juan Mejia Botero, Jake Kheel, USA 2016, US Premiere)
Death by Design (d: Sue Williams, China/Ireland 2016, World Premiere)
Finding Babel (d: David Novack, USA/Ukraine/Russia/France 2015, North American Premiere)
The IF Project (d: Kathlyn Horan, USA 2016, World Premiere)
Mr. Gaga (d: Tomer Heymann, Israel/Sweden/Germany/Netherlands 2015)
Naledi: A Baby Elephant’s Tale (d: Ben Bowie, Geoff Luck, USA/Botswana 2016, World Premiere)
The Queen of Ireland (d: Conor Horgan, Ireland 2015, North American Premiere)
The Revolution Won’t Be Televised (d: Rama Thiaw, Senegal 2016, US Premiere)
Tsukiji Wonderland (d: Naotaro Endo, Japan 2016, World Premiere)
We the People 2.0 (d: Leila Conners, USA 2016, World Premiere)

Shorts Competition
All short films shown at the Festival are eligible for both the Golden Space Needle Audience Award and Jury Award. Jurors will choose winners in the Narrative, Animation, and Documentary categories. Each jury winner will receive $2,500 and winners in any of the three categories may also qualify to enter the respective Short Film category of the Academy Awards® for the concurrent season without the theatrical run.

Golden Space Needle Awards
For the past 30 years, SIFF has celebrated its most popular films and filmmakers with the Golden Space Needle Audience Award. Awards by Festival audiences are given in five categories: Best Film, Best Documentary, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Short Film.



African Pictures showcases the best filmmaking happening in and about Africa today. This program, made possible through the generous support of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, will bring shorts and features, documentaries and fiction films to American audiences who might never have the chance to see them otherwise. This is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to experience innovative and inspiring filmmaking from across the continent.

Action Comandante
Action Comandante

Action Comandante (d: Nadine Angel Cloete, South Africa/Lesotho 2016, 90 min)

Aisha (d: Chande Omar c: Godliver Gordian, Adarusi Walii, Flora Nicholas, Juma Madenge, Tanzania 2015, 112 min)

As I Open My Eyes (d: Leyla Bouzid c: Baya Medhaffer, Ghalia Benali, Montassar Ayari, Aymen Omrani, Lassaad Jamoussi, Tunisia/France/ Belgium/ United Arab Emirates 2015, 102 min)

Atlantic Heart (d: Robbie McCallum c: Elton Medina, Aurizania Monteiro, Julio Brito, Christian Neves, José ‘Bana’ Delgado, Cape Verde/United Kingdom 2016, 87 min)

Checks and Balances (d: Malek Bensmaïl f: Omar Belhouchet, Hacène Ouali, Hassene Moali, Mustapha Benfodil, Ali Benyahia, Algeria/France 2015, 97 min)

Eye of the Storm (d: Sékou Traoré c: Maïmouna N’Diaye, Fargass Assandé, Abidine Dioari, Issaka Sawadogo, Burkina Faso/France 2015, 101 min)

Lamb (d: Yared Zeleke c: Redial Amare, Kidist Siyum, Welela Assefa, Rahel Teshome, Surafel Teka, Ethiopia/France/Germany/Norway/Qatar 2015, 94 min)

Much Loved (d: Nabil Ayouch c: Loubna Abidar, Asma Lazrak, Halima Karaouane, Sara Elmhamdi Elalaoui, Abdellah Didane, Morocco/France 2015, 103 min)

Nakom (d: Kelly Daniela Norris, TW Pittman c: Jacob Ayanaba, Grace Ayariga, Justina Kulidu, James Azudago, Felicia Atampuri, Ghana/USA 2016, 90 min

Naledi: A Baby Elephant’s Tale (d: Ben Bowie, Geoff Luck, USA/Botswana 2016, 90 min)

The Revolution Won’t Be Televised (d: Rama Thiaw, Senegal 2016, 110 min)


SIFF is proud to launch the China Stars Showcase series in Seattle during the 42nd annual Seattle International Film Festival, with support from WASA North America Group and Hainan Airlines. With the purpose of fostering cross-cultural exchange and artistic vision, SIFF has collaborated with WASA North America Group to select five wonderful feature films from mainland China to screen as part of the 2016 showcase series. These films will screen before audiences in Seattle, Renton, Shoreline, and on the Eastside at Bellevue’s Lincoln Square.

The Big Road (d: Sun Yu c: Chen Yanyan, Zheng Junli, Li Lili, Liu Qiong, Jin Yan, China 1935, 104 min)

Death by Design (d: Sue Williams f: Ted Smith, Ma Jun, Kyle Wiens, Luke Soules, Paul Maher, China/Ireland 2016, 73 min)

The Final Master (d: Xu Haofeng c: Liao Fan, Song Jia, Jiang Wenli, Jin Shijie, Song Yang, China 2015, 109 min)

Mountains May Depart (d: Jia Zhangke c: Zhao Tao, Zhang Yi, Liang Jin Dong, Dong Zijian, Sylvia Chang, China/Japan/France 2015, 131 min)

Paths of the Soul (d: Zhang Yang c: Yang Pei, Nyima Zadui, Tsewang Dolkar, Tsring Chodron, Seba Jiangcuo, China 2015, 115 min)


Popcorn is no longer king as the phenomenon of food culture has exploded into cinema. We’ve selected 9 extraordinary films that explore different aspects of taste and the senses for the cinematically inclined.

Ants on a Shrimp (d: Maurice Dekkers f: René Redzepi, Lars Williams, Rosio Sanchez, Thomas Frebel, Dan Giusti, Netherlands 2016, 88 min)

Bugs (d: Andreas Johnsen f: Ben Reade, Josh Evans, Roberto Flore, Denmark 2016, 76 min)

Ceviche’s DNA (d: Orlando Arriagada f: José Antonio del Castillo, Victor Pimentel, Ulla Holmquist, Valentín Paso Purisaca, Santiago Uceda Castillo, Canada/Peru 2015, 85 min)

Deconstructing Dani García (d: Iñigo Ruiz, Alfonso Cortés-Cavanillas, Spain 2015, 72 min)

Hummus (d: Oren Rosenfeld f: Eliyahu Shmueli, Suheila Al Hindi, Jalil Dabit, Israel 2016, 70 min)

Insatiable: The Homaro Cantu Story (d: Brett A. Schwartz f: Homaro Cantu, Richie Farina, Angela Cantu-Reeder, Trevor Rose-Hamblin, Mark Caro, Scott Trotter, USA 2016, 98 min)

Sam Choy’s Poké to the Max screens with Harlem on My Plate (28 minutes) (d: Terrence Jeffrey Santos f: Sam Choy, Geo Quibuyen, Yuji Okumoto, Max Heigh, USA 2016, 40 min)

Sustainable (d: Matt Wechsler f: Marty Travis, Greg Wade, Rick Bayless, Mark Bittman, John Ikerd, USA 2016, 96 min)

Tsukiji Wonderland (d: Naotaro Endo f: Jiro Ono, Rene Redzepi, Theodore C. Bestor, Japan 2016, 110 min)


Four out of five SIFF programmers agree that regular exposure to music and film are essential to your overall well-being. With that in mind, this year’s Face the Music program has been specifically designed to provide a holistic regimen for your audio-visual health. Taken together, these remedies are guaranteed to expand your visual and sonic parameters, as well as set you on the righteous path to living a more audio-visually conscious lifestyle, with optimal aural performance.

BANG! The Bert Berns Story

BANG! The Bert Berns Story (d: Brett Berns, Bob Sarles f: Paul McCartney, Van Morrison, Ronald Isley, Solomon Burke, Ben E. King, USA 2016, 94 min)

Concerto – A Beethoven Journey (d: Phil Grabsky f: Leif Ove Andsnes, Gustavo Dudamel, United Kingdom 2015, 92 min)

Contemporary Color (d: Bill Ross IV, Turner Ross f: David Byrne, Lucius, Nico Muhly, Ira Glass, Nelly Furtado, St.Vincent, Devonte Hynes, How To Dress Well, Zola Jesus, AD-
Rock, Money Mark, tUnE-yArDs, USA 2016, 96 min)

The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble (d: Morgan Neville f: Yo-Yo Ma, Wu Man, Kinan Azmeh, Kayhan Kalhor, Cristina Pato, USA 2015, 96 min)

Presenting Princess Shaw (d: Ido Haar f: Kutiman, Samantha Montgomery, Israel 2015, 80 min)

The Prince Sing Along

Red Gringo (d: Miguel Ángel Vidaurre f: Dean Reed, José Roman, Gonzalo Planet, Chile 2016, 67 min)

A Song For You: The Austin City Limits Story (d: Keith Maitland f: Willie Nelson, Townes Van Zandt, Steve Ray Vaughan, Matthew McConaughey, Johnny Cash, Bonnie Raitt, Beck, Ray Charles, Emmylou Harris, Buddy Guy, USA 2016, 91 min)

We Are X (d: Stephen Kijak f: Yoshiki, Toshi, Pata, Hiroshi, USA/Japan/United Kingdom 2016, 89 min)


Seattleites see more films per capita than the residents of any other American city, and a growing number of these selections have their roots in the fertile Pacific Northwest film community. Each year, SIFF honors the many ways in which the Puget Sound region contributes to the world of cinema, whether as an evocative location for outside filmmakers or as inspiration for local filmmakers ready to strut their stuff.

The Architect (d: Jonathan Parker c: Parker Posey, Eric McCormack, James Frain, John Carroll Lynch, USA 2016, 95 min)

Big Sonia (d: Leah Warshawski, Todd Soliday f: Sonia Warshawski, USA 2016, 90 min)

Finding Kim (d: Aaron Bear f: Kim B, Dan Savage, Buck Angel, Carmen Carrera, Calpernia Addams, Jamison Green, Dr. Tony Mangubat, USA 2016, 82 min)

Finding October (d: Nick Terry c: Michael Ward, Karin Terry, Nick Terry, Delaney Berreth, Ryan Woodyard, USA 2016, 77 min)

Full Court: The Spencer Haywood Story (d: Martin Spirit f: Spencer Haywood, Charles Barkley, Pat Riley, Lenny Wilkens, Chuck D, USA 2016, 90 min)

Gold Balls (d: Kate Dandel f: John Powless, Ron Tonidandel, Bob Sherman, George McCabe, Marcus Freeman, Steve Tignor, USA 2016, 85 min)

The IF Project (d: Kathlyn Horan f: Kim Bogucki, Renata Abramson, Tiffany Doll, Angela Vargas, LaKeisha “”KeWee”” Hamilton, USA 2016, 88 min)

If There’s a Hell Below (d: Nathan Williams c: Carol Roscoe, Conner Marx, Mark Carr, Paul Budraitis, USA 2016, 94 min)

The Memory of Fish (d: Jennifer Galvin, Sachi Cunningham Narrated by Lili Taylor, USA 2016, 54 min)

A New High (d: Samuel Miron, Stephen Scott Scarpulla USA 2015, 100 min)

Paralytic (d: Joey Johnson c: David S. Hogan, Darlene Sellers, Angela DiMarco, D’Angelo Midili, Richard Carmen, USA 2016, 87 min)

Tiny: The Life of Erin Blackwell (d: Martin Bell f: Erin Blackwell, Mary Ellen Mark, USA 2016, 86 min)

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