The 42nd annual Seattle International Film Festival ended yesterday after 25 days of excellent programming, but, even if you attended SIFF screenings every day, chances are you probably missed some of the films. But you're in luck: SIFF just announced their lineup for their Best of SIFF Showcase, which will run from June 17-23. The films are listed below, along with links to watch trailers, see showtimes, and buy tickets—which you're encouraged to do as soon as possible.
This film is the winner of the SIFF 2016 Grand Jury Prize for New American Cinema.
SIFF Says: This hilarious and thrilling Coen Brothers-esque comedy of errors introduces a hapless wannabe comedian (Jim O'Heir, Parks and Recreation) who finds himself caught up in a desert killing spree with an unexpected consequence—it greatly improves his stand-up.
This film is the winner of the SIFF 2016 Golden Space Needle Award for Best Director.
SIFF Says: "In this rollicking sendup of 1960s spy films, sad-sack Adolfo is targeted by a group of thugs, leading him to discover that his sausage-maker father is actually a brilliant secret agent. Adapted from the classic Spanish comic strip by Manuel Vásquez Gallego."
Burn Burn Burn
Lady Edith is the homely, lost sister on Downton Abbey, played by Laura Carmichael. But in this female road-trip movie, Carmichael is Seph, the girl who gets all the action. Seph and Alex (the subtle Chloe Pirrie) are directed around England, Wales, and Scotland by their dead friend, Dan, who died young and suddenly and recorded his last wishes by instructional videos they play at each location. Burn Burn Burn starts out broad but gets better as the miles pass. It culminates, as things do, in the very good use of a trick crucifix. (JEN GRAVES)
Naledi: A Baby Elephant's Tale
Stranger Says: Abu Camp in Botswana is a halfway house for elephants, animals that are orphaned or have been released from captivity. The film contains two stories: One is about humans hand-raising a baby elephant, and the second is about a pan-African aerial survey to check on the health of elephant populations all over the continent. This film is produced by Paul Allen and Vulcan, which is sponsoring the elephant census, and there is a heavy, gruesome emphasis on the dangers that elephants are facing from poaching and human encroachment. However, watching baby Naledi walking around wearing her little blanket will break your heart. (GILLIAN ANDERSON)
This film is the winner of the SIFF 2016 Youth Jury Award in the Best Films4Families Feature category.
SIFF Says: 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.
Stranger Says: This documentary has lots of beautiful shots of the city of Istanbul, the gateway to the East and the gateway to the West. But the subject of the film is not the city itself but its street cats, which appear to be numerous and content with the ways of life their city provides. American street cats look wild, dirty, scrawny. These street cats look the same as domestic ones. And people love them, feed them, pamper them, and tranquilly endure their bad habits and uppity attitudes. One man says: “Dogs think we are gods; cats know we are not gods.” Cat lovers cannot afford to miss this documentary. (CHARLES MUDEDE)
This film is the winner of the SIFF 2016 Grand Jury Prize in the New Directors Competition.
SIFF Says: Two Bedouin women, a teenager and her mother, dare to defy polygamist marital traditions in southern Israel, in this exploration of the complex relationships among women in male-dominated societies, and their revolutionary potential for change.
Stranger Says: All I need to say about this softly sad comedy that is set in the capital of the Spanish-speaking world, Madrid, and concerns two middle-aged friends (one of whom, played by the great Argentinian actor, Ricardo Darin, is dying of cancer), and the dying man’s dog, named Truman, is that it has a really funny and even satisfying ending. It caught me by surprise. (CHARLES MUDEDE)
There will also be a screening of the Best of SIFF Shorts today.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople
SIFF Says: The latest from New Zealand director Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows) is a heartwarming adventure comedy about a "bad egg" foster kid who triggers a manhunt when he escapes into the forest with his cantankerous new guardian (Sam Neill).
This film is the winner of the SIFF 2016 Golden Space Needle Award for best actor (Rolf Lassgård).
A Man Called Ove
Based on the bestselling novel, Sweden's biggest hit of the year is an endearing, crowd-pleasing, and wonderfully curmudgeonly comedy about a grumpy old man who finds his caustic view of the world put to the test when a new family moves in next door.
The Queen of Ireland
Stranger Says: A single speech rocketed Barack Obama to national prominence—his keynote address before the 2004 Democratic National Convention—and that speech would ultimately lead to Obama becoming the first African American president of the United States. A single speech brought the drag queen Panti Bliss to national prominence—her speech at the Abbey Theater—and that speech would ultimately lead to Bliss, aka Rory O’Neill, becoming the first Irish queen of Ireland in who knows how many centuries. (Wiki knows, of course, but I’m not going to look it up.) The Queen of Ireland is a documentary film about an unlikely political force—an outrageous drag queen and outspoken queer-rights activist who Ireland’s professional homophobes made the mistake of trying to silence, a move that backfired spectacularly... A fascinating film about a fascinating queen. (DAN SAVAGE)
This film is the winner of the SIFF 2016 Grand Jury Prize (Official Competition) and the SIFF 2016 Youth Jury Award for Best FutureWave Feature.
SIFF Says: Journey into the absurd, scary, and beautiful heart of a teenage girl's mind after a disastrous 15th-birthday party sends Greta Driscoll into an imaginative dreamworld that is weirdly erotic, a little bit violent, and thoroughly ludicrous.