SEATTLE (April 18, 2018) — SIFF is excited to shine its spotlight on the 44th annual Seattle International Film Festival’s Opening Night film and gala celebrating Isabel Coixet’s The Bookshop onThursday, May 17, 2018. The 2018 Festival, the longest and most highly attended film festival in North America, runs May 17 through June 10 at venues in Seattle and surrounding cities.
Written and directed by the acclaimed Spanish filmmaker Isabel Coixet (Learning to Drive, Elegy) and based on the bestselling novel by Penelope Fitzgerald, the film stars Emily Mortimer (Mary Poppins Returns, The Newsroom), Bill Nighy (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Love Actually) and Patricia Clarkson (House of Cards, The Maze Runner). The film played as a Special Gala selection at the 2018 Berlin Film Festival and was the winner of three Goya Awards in Spain, including Best Film, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay.
The Bookshop is Coixet’s follow-up to the indie hit Learning to Drive and is set in a seaside village in England where a grieving widow (Mortimer) pursues her lifelong dream of opening a bookshop. As she introduces the townsfolk to the world’s best literature and stirs a cultural awakening, her efforts are ruthlessly opposed by a powerful local (Clarkson) causing a reclusive resident (Nighy) to join the fight to keep the bookshop open.
“The raw and delicate relationship between tradition and change comes head to head between the two woman characters,” said SIFF Artistic Director Beth Barrett. “It’s a gem of a film with incredible performances from the lead actresses, and a celebration of women who persist.”
SIFF’s Opening Night Red Carpet and screening takes place at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall at Seattle Center with a celebratory party to follow at Fisher Pavilion.
Tickets for the Opening Night Gala of SIFF 2018 are available online at SIFF.net and in person at SIFF Cinema locations (Film Center, Uptown, Egyptian). Opening Night access ranges from the festive, see-it-all Film + Party Ticket to the exclusive VIP Red Carpet Experience.
The complete Festival lineup will be announced on May 3, 2018. Individual ticket sales begin Wednesday, May 2 with special advance access to SIFF members, and Thursday, May 3 to the general public with the official SIFF 2018 Box Office open. Purchases can be made online or in person.
The 44th annual Seattle International Film Festival Opening Night is presented in part by: Alaska Airlines – the Official Airline of SIFF, Brotherton Cadillac Buick GMC in Renton – the Official Automotive Sponsor of SIFF, Wells Fargo Commercial and Private Banking, and Red Element Studios.
Additional support for Opening Night comes from AV Factory, Hollywood Lights, Music Man, Butler Valet, The Capital Grille, Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery, Rosichelli Design, Triumph Expo & Events, Agave Cocina & Tequilas, Capitol Cider, Dilettante Chocolates, Full Tilt Ice Cream, Krave Jerky & barkTHINS, Pel’Meni Dumpling Tzar, RN74, Savor Catering, Sweet Iron Waffles, Swift and Savory, Big Gin, Chloe Wine Collection, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Sparkle Donkey Tequila, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, and Trail’s End Whiskey.
Founded in 1976, SIFF creates experiences that bring people together to discover extraordinary films from around the world with the Seattle International Film Festival, SIFF Cinema, and SIFF Education. Recognized as one of the top film festivals in North America, the Seattle International Film Festival is the longest, most highly attended film festival in the United States, reaching more than 145,000 annually. The 25-day festival is renowned for its wide-ranging and eclectic programming, presenting over 400 features, short films, and documentaries from over 80 countries each year. SIFF Cinema exhibits premiere theatrical engagements, repertory, classic, and revival film showings 363 days a year on five screens at the SIFF Cinema Uptown, SIFF Cinema Egyptian, and SIFF Film Center, reaching more than 175,000 attendees annually. SIFF Education offers educational programs for all audiences serving more than 10,000 students and youth in the community with free programs each year.