Seattle International Film Festival

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The Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF), held annually in Seattle, Washington is among the top film festivals in North America. Audiences have grown steadily; the 2006 festival had 160,000 attendees.[1] SIFF runs for more than three weeks (24 days) in May-June, and features a diverse assortment of predominantly independent and foreign films and, in recent years, a strong contingent of documentaries.

SIFF 2006 included 300+ films and was the first SIFF to include a venue in neighboring Bellevue, Washington since an ill-fated early attempt. However, in 2008, the festival was back to being entirely in Seattle, and had a slight decrease in the number of feature films. The 2010 festival featured over 400 films, shown primarily in downtown Seattle and its nearby neighborhoods, but also in West Seattle, Everett, Kirkland, and Juanita Beach Park.[2]



The festival began in 1976 at a then-independent cinema, the Moore Egyptian Theater (now back to its earlier name, the Moore Theater, and functioning as a concert venue). When founders Dan Ireland and Darryl Macdonald of the Moore Egyptian lost their lease, they founded the Egyptian theater in a former Masonic Temple on Seattle's Capitol Hill, which remains a prime festival venue to this day, although the festival now typically uses about half a dozen cinemas (including, since 2007, its own SIFF Cinema at Seattle Center), the exact roster varying from year to year.

During the 1980s, SIFF audiences developed a reputation for appreciating films that did not fit standard industry niches, such as Richard Rush's multi-layered The Stunt Man (1980). SIFF was instrumental in the entry of Dutch films into the United States market, including the first major American success for director Paul Verhoeven.[citation needed]

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