Seattle 2018: Documentary Overview

The 44th Seattle International Film Festival

May 17-June 10

The largest and most attended festival in the US offers audiences approximately 65 feature docs among a lineup presenting more than 400 features and shorts.


The fest’s Documentary Competition includes eight titles, among them Elizabeth A Castle and Christina D King’s WARRIOR WOMEN, focused on two fierce indigenous activists; and Charles Officer’s UNARMED VERSES, about an at-risk pre-teen expressing herself through a music program. Northwest Connections, a spotlight on local filmmaking, includes Vlada Knowlton’s THE MOST DANGEROUS YEAR, about Washington State parents of trans kids who fought against discriminatory legislation; Eric Becker’s RETURN TO MOUNT KENNEDY, following the sons of the first men to summit the titular Yukon mountain as they retrace their fathers’ steps; David Wiesehan’s THE FACES OF ZANDRA RHODES, a portrait of the colorful designer.


Thematic strands include Asian Crossroads, which includes Malene Choi’s hybrid THE RETURN, following Danish-Korean adoptees as they seek out their roots in South Korea, and Tung-yen Chou’s LOOKING FOR?, an exploration of contemporary gay dating in an era of apps like Grindr; Indigenous Stories, with films like Wayne Wapeemukwa’s hybrid LUK’LUK’L, about marginalized lives in the shadow of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics; and Culinary Cinema, with films like Rasmus Dinesen’s MICHELIN STARS: TALES FROM THE KITCHEN, on the famed culinary ranking system, and Andrew Peat’s SCOTCH – A GOLDEN DREAM, an indepth look at the history of producing Scotch whiskey.


Additional nonfiction programming includes: Steven Cantor’s BALLET NOW, which follows NYC Ballet super star Tiler Peck as she curates and performs in a massive dance event; Michael McNamara and Aaron Hancox’s CATWALK: TALES FROM THE CAT SHOW CIRCUIT, a behind-the-scenes look at Canada’s cat show competition circuit; Joshua Riehl’s THE RUSSIAN FIVE, on the 1980s defection of several Russian hockey stars to America; and Lorena Luciano and Filippo Piscopo’s IT WILL BE CHAOS, which follows refugees from Eritrea and Syria as they seek asylum.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Overviews, Recommendations

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