Sleepless in … You Know Where: The Seattle International Film Festival 2011

It felt so good to be on the road again, even if it was just for a long weekend, and the Seattle International Film Festival which runs from 19 May until 12 June 2011, was the perfect excuse for it. My long weekend was actually a lot like a good road movie. There was a road map (of sorts) to start with, tricky challenges to overcome (like using Seattle public transport and finding movie theatres), a lot of random intriguing encounters and, ultimately, it was a hell of a fun ride!

Both of my volunteer shifts were at the SIFF cinema in the Seattle Center district. I’m always curious about how each festival runs their logistics and SIFF is definitely on the more organised side. There were quite a few sold out shows and we had pass holder, ticket holder and rush lines outside as well as a will call/box office desk inside. Line managing the rush line on a sold out show can be quite a challenge as no one wants to be disappointed, of course. I was in luck though. When I was on duty each person impatiently waiting in line ended up getting into the screening. Phew!

After I was done with my shifts I checked out a few of the other cinemas and watched Cairo 678 in Pacific Place (turned out to be an excellent choice, there was even clapping during a particular scene), Perfect Sense with Ewan McGregor at the Egyptian (thought it was so so, unless you’re a fan I guess) and Without from local filmmaker Mark Jackson (quite haunting) at the Harvard Exit cinema.

In between all the movie action I managed to squeeze in various other fun things like a visit to the Green Festival, lunch at Elliott Bay Books Cafe and latte at both Bauhaus Coffee and Roy St Coffee & Tea. I also ran into a lot of interesting people everywhere I went, on the bus, over breakfast at the hostel, in the line-up for films: couchsurfers, filmmakers, music bloggers and various other interesting randomers. All in all it was the kind of weekend that turned out even better than expected. Especially, of course, as the predicted apocalpyse didn’t happen after all. Well, not outside movie theatres anyway.


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