Seattle, Wash. (Jan. 25, 2018) — Seattle International Film Festival announced that three of its inaugural 2017 New Works-in-Progress Forum film projects will celebrate world premieres at major festivals in February.
“A Good Week for Democracy”, “Retablo and The Silk” and “The Flame” will premiere at Göteborg International Film Festival, and The Berlinale, the international film festival in Berlin. Each of the three finished projects will also return to the 44th Seattle International Film Festival from May 17 through June 10, 2018 in the official program.
“We are thrilled for the 2017 New Works-in-Progress teams going to Berlin and Göteborg,” said SIFF Artistic Director Beth Barrett. “SIFF is proud to have been part of the development of these amazing stories, offering the Seattle audiences the chance to participate in the filmmaking process. We look forward to presenting the finished films at SIFF 2018.”
“A Good Week for Democracy” (Sweden), directed by Cecilia Björk, produced by Maximilien van Aertryck and Axel Danielson of Plattform Produktion (The Square) will premiere at Göteborg International Film Festival and has been nominated for Best Nordic Documentary at the Festival.
“Participating in the New Works-in-Progress Forum at SIFF was an extremely rewarding experience,” Björk said. “It was key to our understanding of how the film works in an international context. It challenged us to be bolder in our choices regarding central aspects of the film.”
“The New Work-in-Progress Forum was worth the travel from Sweden as it exceeded our expectations,” Aretryck said. “To meet curated film industry people and audiences while still in production was extremely rewarding, and the presented work became so much richer as a result.”
Retablo (Peru), directed by Álvaro Delgado Aparici, and produced by Lasse Scharpen, will premiere in competition in the Berlin Film Festival’s Generation +14 section. The film has already won Best Peruvian Film at Lima International Film Festival.
“We were so lucky to be selected in the SIFF New Works-in-Progress Forum!” Delgado-Aparici said. “To have a carefully curated, safe space for our film’s work-in-progress cut with key people from the industry, audience and film directors, was the best generous experience and learning a filmmaker can have. Their feedback, ideas, emotions and sensations gave us new ways of resonating with the material that helped us find our way”
“The Silk and The Flame” (China), directed by Jordan Schiele, will premiere in competition in Berlin Film Festival’s Panorama section.
“The opportunity to receive guidance and mentorship at a critical stage of completing the film was helpful in numerous ways,” Schiele said. “The New Works-in-Progress Forum at Seattle International Film Festival introduced our documentary team to an audience eager to share ideas both creatively and professionally, an audience whom we may have never met otherwise. It was also a well-spring for inspiration, as we had the chance to bond with filmmakers from all over the world and see films at different stages of production.“
Designed to nurture emerging voices in world cinema, the New Works-in-Progress Forum highlights Seattle International Film Festival’s reputation for discovery of new global film voices and recognizes the festivals’ legendary cinephile tradition by bringing both groups together with film industry veterans for a unique mentoring experience.
“We designed this initiative specifically to capitalize on SIFF’s long reputation for extraordinarily savvy cinema audiences while bringing emerging new film projects into view for global audiences,” said Kathleen McInnis, the New Works-in-Progress Curator. “We are thrilled these festivals will be the launching platforms for our class of 2017!”
SIFF has been a forerunner and supporter of world cinema since it’s inception when festival directors Dan Ireland and Darryl Macdonald started the festival specifically to showcase Dutch New Wave cinema. In 2018, 44 editions later, SIFF will once again stand as vanguard to the diverse, global voices that use cinema as their palette. Four hand-selected film projects will be curated out of new works-in-progress culled from around the globe. Two documentary and two narrative selections will be under the industry & audience microscope over two days during the final week of the festival. Participating industry will include funders, producers and press, while the local audience will be composed of Seattle’s dynamic cinephiles and working filmmakers.
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 largest, most highly attended film festival in the United States, reaching more than 140,000 annually. The 25-day festival is renowned for its wide-ranging and eclectic programming, presenting 400 features, short films, and documentaries from over 80 countries each year. SIFF Cinema exhibits premiere theatrical engagements, repertory, classic, and revival film showings 365 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 13,000 students and youth in the community with free programs each year.