SIFF in South Seattle: So Many Movies, So Little Time

SIFF in South Seattle: So Many Movies, So Little Time

For the first time ever, Seattle International Film Festival–the largest and most highly-attended film festival in the United States–is coming to South Seattle.

“Expanding our presence west, north, and south to embrace Ballard, Shoreline, and Columbia City makes perfect sense,” says SIFF’s Artistic Director Carl Spence. “Our new venue partners have embraced this groundbreaking collaboration and will be invaluable ambassadors as we bring the world-class roster of SIFF 2016 films to movie lovers of our region.”

The fun starts this week as the 42nd annual event brings an impressive line-up of 18 films (see list below) to the little neighborhood cinema that could–Ark Lodge Cinemas in the heart of historic Columbia City.

“We are so proud to be able to bring SIFF to your neighborhood movie theater,” said ALC owner David McRae (who credits ALC General Manager Tammy Williams with helping to make it happen). “It’s great to see the line up of 18 films includes a documentary about Sam Choy titled ‘Sam Choy’s Poké to the Max’ just as he and Max have opened their first brick and mortar restaurant right here in Hillman City!”

He says he’s especially looking forward to seeing Anna Rose Holmer’s ‘The Fits’, Stephan Kijak’s hard rock documentary about the 1980’s Japanese rock band X in ‘We are X’ and one more.

“The highlight for me will be to have director Bob Hercules attending to present his documentary ‘Maya Angelou and Still I Rise’ on June 9 at 6:30 pm,” he says.

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Made over a four-year period, and featuring interviews with the iconic writer herself, “Maya Angelou and Still I Rise” uses an effective chronological approach to celebrate the beloved poet and her work.

SIFF 2016 at Ark Lodge Cinemas in Columbia City:

Tanzania | 2015 | 112 minutes | Chande Omar
When a Tanzanian businesswoman experiences a brutal attack upon returning to her home village, she discovers that friends and family are willing to turn a blind eye to the abuse that women suffer and decides to fight for justice no matter the consequence. (June 5 at 6 pm)

Battle of Sevastopol
Bitva za Sebastopol
Ukraine | 2015 | 122 minutes | Sergey Mokritskiy
An epic war biopic about Ukrainian sharpshooter Lyudmila Pavlichenko, who earned the nickname “Lady Death” for her prowess in battle, was sent by Joseph Stalin in 1942 to convince the U.S. to join the war, and formed a lasting friendship with Eleanor Roosevelt. (June 5 at 3:30 pm)

Battledream Chronicle
Martinique | 2015 | 108 minutes | Alain Bidard
In a futuristic world where humans have been reduced to virtual-reality slaves, a young woman fights for her freedom in a dazzling and inventive sci-fi adventure, the first feature-length animated film from the Caribbean island of Martinique. (June 6 at 6:30 pm)

The Black Hen
Kalo Pothi
Nepal | 2015 | 90 minutes | Min Bahadur Bham
In a Nepalese village ravaged by civil war, two boys from different castes become close friends while bonding over raising an egg-laying hen, but find their plans derailed and their lives upended as they become caught in a clash between fighting forces. (June 7 at 9 pm)

The Complexity of Happiness
La felicità è un sistema complesso
Italy | 2015 | 117 minutes | Gianni Zanasi
Enrico is a persuasive “fixer” who’ll do whatever it takes to convince incompetent executives to quit their jobs before they sink their own companies, until he meets a pair of teenage orphans who make him question his choices. (June 4 at 5:30 pm)

Family Film
Rodinny Film
Czech Republic | 2015 | 95 minutes | Olmo Omerzu
The members of a Czech family find themselves lost at sea, literally and figuratively, when a couple leave their children alone to go on vacation in this droll black comedy where everyone, even the family dog, must face the dangers of independence. (June 9 at 9:15 pm)

The Fits
USA | 2015 | 72 minutes | Anna Rose Holmer
Toni is a young tomboy in a black Cincinnati neighborhood who joins an elite after-school dance with a peculiar rite of passage known as “the fits,” mysterious outbreaks of fainting and swooning spells that make Toni question how far she will go to fit in. (June 8 at 6:30 pm)

Free in Deed
USA | 2015 | 98 minutes | Jake Mahaffy
This provocative drama, winner of Best Film in the Horizons competition at the Venice International Film Festival, takes place in the rarely seen world of Memphis’ storefront churches, where a single mother and a faith healer struggle to cure her autistic son. (June 7 at 6:30 pm)

The High Sun
Croatia | 2015 | 123 minutes | Dalibor Matani
Three separate romances take place over three decades in a pair of war-torn Balkan villages, with the same actors changing characters for each story, for a moving illustration of the fragility, and enduring strength, of love. (June 6 at 9 pm)

Insatiable: The Homaro Cantu Story
USA | 2016 | 98 minutes | Brett A. Schwartz
Follow the journey of famed chef, inventor, and food activist Homaro Cantu, who rose from a childhood of poverty and abuse to open his first restaurant, Chicago’s Moto, at age 27, revolutionizing molecular gastronomy. (June 3 at 6:30 pm)

Ethiopia | 2015 | 94 minutes | Yared Zeleke
After he is sent to live with his uncle in a small farming village, 9-year-old Ephraim must protect his beloved pet lamb from a traditional holiday sacrifice. Meanwhile, his headstrong female cousin challenges customs in her own way. (June 8 at 8:30 pm)

The Land
USA | 2016 | 97 minutes | Steven Caple Jr.
Yearning to escape the mean streets of Cleveland, four teenage skateboarders turn to petty crime only to run afoul of a local drug queenpin. Featuring supporting work from Michael Kenneth Williams (“The Wire”) and Grammy-winning singer Erykah Badu. (June 3 at 9 pm)

Maya Angelou and Still I Rise
USA | 2016 | 115 minutes | Bob Hercules, Rita Coburn Whack
Made over a four-year period, and featuring interviews with the iconic writer herself, this inspirational and informative documentary uses an effective chronological approach to celebrate beloved poet Maya Angelou and her work. (June 9 at 6:30 pm)

Australia | 2015 | 93 minutes | Stuart McDonald
When a wild penguin sanctuary is threatened by hungry foxes, their only chance for survival might be an eccentric chicken farmer and his mischievous sheep dog in this Down Under family delight. Recommended for ages 5+ (mild language and doggy mayhem). (June 5 at 1 pm)

Ovarian Psycos
USA | 2016 | 72 minutes | Joanna Sokolowski, Kate Trumbull-LaValle
The Ovarian Psycos Cycle Brigade, a new generation of women of color in East Los Angeles, confront the violence in their lives, redefine identity, and build community by putting their feminist ideals in motion with raucous, irreverent activism. (June 4 at 8 pm)

The Pretty Ones
Las Lindas
Argentina | 2016 | 77 minutes | Melisa Liebenthal
24-year-old filmmaker Melisa Liebenthal gathers her friends to reflect on modern societal pressures concerning beauty, friendship, and their uncomfortable relationships with their appearance and sexuality—especially in the age of selfies and social media. (June 4 at 3 pm)

Sam Choy’s Poké to the Max
USA | 2016 | 40 minutes | Terrence Jeffrey Santos
Poké is a Hawaiian fish dish known around the world thanks to the “Godfather of Poké,” Food Network chef Sam Choy, who was born to a family of cooks and turned his passion into a craze that is about to take over Seattle with a wave of food trucks. (June 4 at 1 pm)

We Are X
USA | 2016 | 89 minutes | Stephen Kijak
Hugely influential in Japan, but relatively unknown in the U.S., flamboyant hard rock band X Japan ignited a musical revolution in the late ’80s, known as Visual-Kei, before ending in a tragedy-fueled split. Now enigmatic leader Yoshiki is staging a comeback. (June 5 at 8:30 pm)

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