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Sunday, July 1, 2018

TwoOhSix Recap: 2018 Seattle International Film Festival

Twenty five festival days, forty one movies, four interviews, and countless kernels of popcorn. Covering my home town film festival is always a major highlight of my year. Being immersed in film, film fans, and film makers is an experience well worth the late nights, popcorn dinners, and utter exhaustion by the time it's all said and done. This recap includes four sections: capsule reviews, full reviews, interviews, and my top ten favorite films from this year's festival.

Film maker interviews are one of my favorite parts of covering film festivals and the four people I talked to this year were all fantastic in their own unique ways. What I love most is the creative energy and enthusiasm they each bring to the table which makes it easy to have great conversations about their films.

The movie posters above are in alphabetical order. Below, I have ranked this list in descending order down to my absolute number one favorite film of this year's festival. Believe me when I say this was no easy task as each film that made the list is a fantastically entertaining piece of art.
  1. Mutafukaz
  2. Tigers Are Not Afraid
  3. Bee Nation
  4. Champions
  5. Revenge
  6. Supa Modo
  7. Bodied
  8. Fake Tattoos
  9. C'est la vie!
  10. Blindspotting

Actor: Daveed Diggs / Blindspotting
Daveed Diggs quite honestly deserves Academy Award consideration for his performance in this movie. What he puts on screen is truly unprecedented with a level of talent, emotion, and versatility that was shockingly real. His ability to connect his character to me on a very fundamental and personal level was frighteningly impressive and is something I won't forget any time soon.

Actress: Matilda Lutz / Revenge
Matilda Lutz gave everything to her performance and the result is one of the most iconic genre characters we've seen in a long time. Her transformation from selfie taking socialite to revenge seeking death machine was amazing to watch unfold and was a brilliant way to kick off this year's festival.

On Screen Duo: Anthony Therrien and Rose-Marie Perreault / Fake Tattoos
Théo and Mag share the same space as Jesse and Celine in Before Midnight. When they look at each other, you see them slowly falling in love. You can feel the awkward tension and nervous energy melting away with each touch or playful joke. They just get each other.

I'm Not Crying, You're Crying!
These seven movies brought tears to my eyes because of emotions.
  • Bee Nation
  • Blindspotting
  • C'est la vie!
  • Champions
  • Fake Tattoos
  • The Last Suit
  • Supa Modo

Director: Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano / C'est la vie
I have to give these co directors all the applause I could ever muster for holding together so many plot threads and story details and coming up with an outrageously funny movie that is such a heart warming delight to watch. I love how themes and jokes and story lines are revisited throughout the entire movie and every single arc has a payoff which makes for a most satisfying experience.

Documentary: Bee Nation / Directed by Lana Šlezic
Bee Nation is a must watch documentary. It is inspiring, it is heartwarming, it is entertaining, and the messages of hope, family, and youthful optimism will stick with you for a long time.

Narrative Feature: Blindspotting directed by Carlos López Estrada
Blindspotting is a modern day Do the Right Thing. It's Boyz n tha Hood flipped upside down. The story really hit home for me in a lot of different ways and by the end I was an emotional mess. It just feels so raw and real even while director Carlos López Estrada adds some very distinct and creative stylizations to the production. Blindspotting is an early contender for my year end top 10 list.

One thing about this year's festival was the unprecedented level of diversity with women front and center taking up 43% of the total film maker tally. The festival featured 35 world premieres, 46 North American premieres, and there were 90 different countries represented. My award winners include men and women from four different countries including the United States, Italy, France, and Canada.

Below is a list of and links to every movie I watched and reviewed during this yer's festival. The final total of 41 films is a new personal record that eclipsed last year's total of 32.

A capsule review is when you are given a maximum of 75 words to talk about a movie.

Thank you for following along during this year's festival and please take a look at the other festivals and events that I cover over the course of the year.

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