The 2016 Seattle International Film Festival is finally here and I have scoured the lineup of almost 500 films (features, shorts, and documentaries) to see which movies are the ones I really need to see. My tastes are pretty diverse and unique when it comes to the festival so you'll find quite a wide variety of films to check out.
I have listed the films alphabetically. Links take you to the corresponding pages on the SIFF website where you will find trailers, show times, and more info. Out of the 24 films, there is a good mix of domestic and international films ranging from romantic comedies to bloody horror films. My picks will definitely give you a good taste of the festival solely based on what I want to see. Enjoy!
A dazzling and inventive sci-fi adventure where humans have been reduced to virtual-reality slaves.
Hong Kong action legend Sammo Hung directs and stars as a retired bodyguard.
Viggo Mortensen stars in a heartfelt story of unconventional family values.
Harrowing psycho-thriller stars Pat Healy (Cheap Thrills) as an unhinged sniper who terrorizes a bank-robbing duo and their hostage.
Darkly humorous and genuinely creepy Polish horror tale based in part on the Jewish legend of the dybbuk.
One of the most influential and magnificent Chinese wuxia films of all time.
An idealistic lawyer reluctantly defends a rebel, and former child soldier, on trial for war crimes.
When a grinning lunatic attacks, a young girl who begins to act on her psychotic impulses.
A lone gunman (Ethan Hawke) and his devoted collie find themselves at odds with the hostile marshal of a small, dusty border town (John Travolta).
Set in the vast snowy wilderness of 11th-century Norway, this epic action adventure is like "Game of Thrones" on skis
This is a special midnight presentation of the Oscar winning film.
A fanciful horror-tinged New Wave rock opera transpires when a pair of bewitching mermaids emerge from the sea to join a Warsaw nightclub act.
The latest from Hong Kong's Herman Yau chronicles the battle for supremacy among five power-hungry gangsters.
13-year-old Morris fancies himself the next Notorious B.I.G. until his single father (Craig Robinson) moves them to Germany.
This tale of an orphaned baby elephant is loaded with edge-of-your-seat moments, eye-opening information, and adorable animal footage.
An inspirational true-life fairy tale about a talented black woman in New Orleans whose a cappella YouTube performances capture the attention of an Israeli music producer.
Winner of the Sundance Grand Jury Prize, Sonita is a feisty teenage refugee and aspiring rapper from Afghanistan who, after her mother announces an arranged marriage, upends the foundations of documentary film making with a bold request to her filmmaker: Will you buy me?
Sad-sack Adolfo is targeted by a group of thugs, leading him to discover that his sausage-maker father is actually a brilliant secret agent.
Gonzo Japanese director Sion Sono's latest starts when a busload of schoolgirls suffer a gruesome, darkly comic demise, sending the sole survivor into a nightmarish world of lake monsters, murderous wind, bloody weddings, and back-flipping pig men.
A trio of directors helmed this noir about three notorious Chinese criminals who cross over into Hong Kong to make their fortune in the days leading up to the 1997 British handover of the territory.
A wise and tender ode to friendship, of man and dog, two middle-aged men reunite in Madrid and spend four days taking unexpected detours, reflecting on loves, losses, triumphs, and regrets.
Spend a day at Tokyo's Tsukiji Market, the biggest wholesale seafood market in the world, for a fascinating out-in-the-open view of the seafood business during the ramshackle 80-year-old complex's last year of operation.
A mother, trapped in her apartment during the chaos and falling bombs, worries that malevolent spirits have taken possession of her daughter.
A former child prodigy reluctantly begins teaching music to youth in a troubled São Paulo neighborhood and discovers the transforming power of music, passion, and purpose.