The Seattle International Film Festival is no Cannes or Sundance, but judging by this year’s massive and extremely impressive lineup it’s getting there. The festival’s 39th edition will feature 447 (!!!) full-length motion pictures and 175 shorts, out of which there will be 18 absolute world premieres, 38 North American and 6 US.
The opening movie will be Joss Whedon’s black-and-white modern retelling of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing”, while the honor of closing the festivities will fall in Sofia Coppola’s lap. “The Bling Ring”, starring Emma Watson and already set to open the Un Certain Regard section of Cannes, is therefore slowly and unexpectedly making its way on to the Oscar contender list for 2014.
Other relatively high-profile movies to be shown at this year’s SIFF include Jim Rash and Nat Faxon’s “The Way, Way Back”, starring Steve Carrell and Sam Rockwell, David Lowery’s “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”, the recipient of a Palm Springs and Sundance trophy, and “Prince Avalanche”, a dramedy starring Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch.
As usual, all films shown in Seattle will compete for the Golden Space Needle prize, awarded based on audience preferences. Notable previous winners include “Trainspotting” and “Run Lola Run”, while last year’s Best Director recipient has been Benh Zeitlin, for the quadruple Oscar nominated “Beasts of the Southern Wild”.