This movie-review critic has been busy: this is the third and last week of SIFF, the Seattle International Film Festival. We in Seattle are very proud of it because it’s the biggest film fest in the United States.
BUT If it’s the biggest festival, I wonder every single year, why isn’t it well known?
After 15 years, I finally found my answer. Moira MacDonald, film critic of the Seattle Times explained it in her blog, “Popcorn and Prejudice.” Here’s what she said (I added the bold):
A reader asked me yesterday how SIFF compares to other North American festivals like Sundance, Toronto, Telluride, and the New York Film Festival — she wondered if SIFF’s vast size (276 feature films this year) corresponds to its clout. [I am that “reader!!!”]
The short answer, I’d say, is no: SIFF is certainly the biggest film festival in North America (for example: by comparison, the Toronto International Film Festival is only ten days long), but it’s more a people’s festival than a prestige fest….Cannes — which overlaps with SIFF …has a more storied reputation. SIFF is also not a marketplace; you won’t hear about late-night distributor bidding wars here, as you do in Sundance and Toronto. Rather, SIFF is known as a friendly, inclusive festival where the locals have no problem getting tickets to whatever they want to see.
That means that the movies could have been shown in earlier film fests. I took immediate action and googled movies that looked interesting and found some reviews. Not only did they help me decide what movie to see, they also gave me fodder for the next post.
I am seeing three movies over the weekend and going to one seminar. Can’t wait!