In the Pacific Northwest, the month of October brings an explosion of film festivals, plus the type of dusk-in-the-afternoon weather that makes going to the movies all the time seem perfectly sensible. This week alone brings the start of two worthy fests.
Now in its eighth year, the Seattle South Asian Film Festival has grown from a one-off screening at Elliott Bay Book Company into something truly huge, filling venues in two cities (SIFF Cinema Uptown and SIFF Film Center in Seattle, Mobius Hall in Bothell) with seven days of films from and about Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Commemorating 100 years of Indian cinema, the 2013 SSAFF is loaded with more stuff than we can enumerate here—find the full schedule (with gorgeous graphics) at ssaff.tasveer.org. Some highlights: Miss Lovely, a dark Indian drama set in the world of Bombay's C-grade "sex horror" film industry of the '80s; Chayiliam, a mythic exploration of "the various shades of red in the feminine"; and The Reluctant Fundamentalist, the latest film by the great Mira Nair, which Charles Mudede described as "a political thriller, an economic critique, and a masterpiece." (Bonus: live chat with Mira Nair after the October 6 screening!)
Now in its fifth year, the Seattle Latino Film Festival has expanded to screens in three cities—Seattle, Tacoma, and Bellevue—with 30 titles from 17 countries and a spotlight on Cuban cinematography. Highlights include the Mexican epic 5 de Mayo: La Batalla (chronicling the events leading up to the 1862 Battle of Puebla); Aquí y Allá (Antonio Méndez Esparza's Cannes-honored drama about a migrant worker's complicated return home); and Chico & Rita, the Oscar-nominated animated feature that Charles Mudede called "a visually stunning... story about what makes great music and art: sex." It's all at slff.org.
The Seattle South Asian Film Festival runs Oct 4–13 in Seattle and Bothell; for full schedule, go to ssaff.tasveer.org. The Seattle Latino Film runs Oct 4–13 in Seattle, Bellevue, and Tacoma; for full schedule, go to slff.org.