Posted by Larry Gleeson
SIFF Announces New Work-In-Progress Forum
Invitation-only section to target emerging new work from world and US filmmakers
Festival Forum program to involve visual storytellers, industry and audience in uniquely collaborative setting
The Seattle International Film Festival has announced the creation of a new Work-In-Progress program for its 43rd edition, May 18-June 11, 2017. Designed specifically to capitalize on SIFF’s long reputation for extraordinarily savvy cinema audiences while bringing emerging new film projects into view for the global industry, the new Works-In-Progress will be part of the already highly successful SIFF Filmmakers Forum.
Beth Barrett, SIFF Interim Artistic Director says “Discovering talented filmmakers is at the core of SIFF, and to be able to support those voices during the filmmaking process is crucial (to our mission) right now. Our audiences are among the best in the world and will bring a vital, dynamic component to bear as the filmmakers go through this very in-depth creative journey. It’s exciting to marry our audiences with our filmmakers at such a critical junction.”
SIFF has been a forerunner and supporter of world cinema since its inception when festival directors Dan Ireland and Darryl Macdonald started the festival specifically to showcase Dutch New Wave cinema. Now, 43 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.
Sarah Wilke, SIFF Executive Director says “Building on SIFF’s strong year-round audience feedback programs, the New Work-In-Progress Forum provides the next level of support for filmmakers, giving diverse and independent voices in the field an additional launchpad for their work though access to our greatest asset, our audiences.”
Tapped to head the new section is former SIFF programmer Kathleen McInnis. As an international film strategist/consultant specializing in world cinema, Kathleen McInnis has over 25 years of experience identifying emerging filmmaking talent and bringing them to their audience via the festival circuit.
“I’m thrilled to come back to SIFF with such a dynamic and vital program,” said McInnis. “I feel it is especially important today to help bring global voices to the screen, and it seems a natural, perfect fit to combine SIFF’s legendary audiences with filmmakers and industry in order to do so.”
The submission deadline for New Works-In-Progress Forum is April 15. Click here for further submission details.
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 150,000 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 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.
(Source: Press release provided by Nikki Croney/BWR)