By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire April 29, 2010 at 7:47AM
The 36th edition of the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) promises to lay claim to holding the title as the largest and most highly attended event of its kind in the US. Running from May 20 through June 13, SIFF will present 256 features (both documentary and narrative) and 150 short films at 11 venues throughout Seattle.
Akin to the Nantucket Film Festival, "The Extra Man" from directing duo Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini ("American Splendor") will kick SIFF off. SIFF's Closing Night Gala will feature a screening of Aaron Schneider's drama "Get Low," starring Robert Duvall, Bill Murray and Sissy Spacek, following generally favorable reviews at Sundance and TIFF. In between these two high profile screenings, SIFF's Centerpiece Gala will feature Christian Carion's ("Joyeux Noel") new film "Farewell," which is drawing comparisons to "The Lives of Others."
This year's Juried Competition sections include the New Directors Showcase, Documentary, Shorts (Live Action, Animation, Documentary) and New American Cinema, exclusively juried by FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics. Outside of the competition 25 films will be making their world premieres including John Jeffcoat's "Amplified Seattle," Tim Cox's "Miss Nobody" and Marc Evans "Patagonia." Out of the 36 North American premieres Pang Ho-Cheung's "Love in a Puff" will screen, as well as Christopher Thompson's rocker comedy "Bus Palladium."
For their annual spotlight focus, SIFF will highlight films hailing from Spain in the series, Ambiente: New Spanish Cinema. Selections from the 18 features and nine shorts include Alejandro Amenabar's "Agora," Isaki Lacuesta's "The Damned" and Fernando Trubea's "The Dancer and the Thief," which served as Spain's official Academy Awards submission for Best Foreign Film.
Another program at this year's SIFF is Face the Music 2010, which features eight musical documentaries that span reggae and ska, to gospel and soul, along with two live musical events. In addition, another featured program, FutureWave: Expanding Cinema Through Education, will screen short and narrative films crated by youth from six countries.
For more of SIFF's lineup be sure to visit their website.