Celebrated In: United States Of America
SIFF is seeking features, documentaries, short films, and animation for the 39th annual festival. SIFF is the largest and most highly attended film festival in the United States, with more than 250 feature/documentary films and 150 short films presented to an audience of over 155,000 annually. One of the top festivals in North America, SIFF has been cited as one of the best “audience festivals” in the world
he Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF), held annually in Seattle, Washington since 1976, is among the top film festivals in North America. Audiences have grown steadily; the 2006 festival had 160,000 attendees. In recent years, the SIFF has run for more than three weeks (24 days), in May/June, and features a diverse assortment of predominantly independent and foreign films and, in recent years, a strong contingent of documentaries.
SIFF 2006 included 300+ films and was the first SIFF to include a venue in neighboring Bellevue, Washington, after an ill-fated early attempt. However, in 2008, the festival was back to being entirely in Seattle, and had a slight decrease in the number of feature films. The 2010 festival featured over 400 films, shown primarily in downtown Seattle and its nearby neighborhoods, but also in West Seattle, Everett, Kirkland, and Juanita Beach Park.
The festival began in 1976 at a then-independent cinema, the Moore Egyptian Theater, now back under its earlier name as the Moore Theater and functioning as a concert venue. When founders Dan Ireland and Darryl Macdonald of the Moore Egyptian lost their lease, they founded the Egyptian theater in a former Masonic Temple on Seattle's Capitol Hill. The Egyptian theater remains a prime festival venue to this day, although the festival now typically uses about half a dozen cinemas (including, since 2007, its own SIFF Cinema at Seattle Center), with the exact roster varying from year to year.
During the 1980s, SIFF audiences developed a reputation for appreciating films that did not fit standard industry niches, such as Richard Rush's multi-layered The Stunt Man (1980). SIFF was instrumental in the entry of Dutch films into the United States market, including the first major American success for director Paul Verhoeven.