Shifting SIFF

How the Seattle International Film Festival went from being yet another festival dominated by male directors to a place at the leading edge of parity in programming.

This year’s edition of the Seattle International Film Festival features more than four hundred films from ninety different countries. It’s the largest film festival in the U.S.—and nearly half of the films featured this year were made by women. This is a big deal when compared with the lineups from most every other festival out there, including the SIFF numbers from just a few years ago. What are the organizers at SIFF doing differently? Seattleland sits down with executive director Sarah Wilke and artistic director Beth Barrett to find out. We talk about gender, representation, and power in Hollywood and how much of SIFF’s new look is intentional and how much is simply a reflection of an industry that, for a number of reasons, is seeing more work from women come to the big screen.

Featuring interviews with Beth Barrett and Sarah Wilke.

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Music by Leeni Ramadan, Jesse Spillane, BOPD, Mystery Mammal, and Kevin MacLeod.

This week’s cover photo was taken by Amy Kowalenko and is courtesy of SIFF.