About the festival
What? Seattle International Film Festival
When? 17 May – 10 June 2018
Where? Seattle, United States
Directed by Malene Choi Jensen
Starring Thomas Hwan, Karoline Sofie Lee, Seong In-ja
In this unique combination of drama and documentary, two Danish-Korean adoptees return to their native country of South Korea for the first time to find out more about their origins. An immersive experience based in part on director Malene Choi Jensen’s own personal experiences.
Directed by Gustav Moller
Starring Jakob Cedergren, Jessica Dinnage, Omar Shargawi, Johan Olsen, Jacob Hauberg
Winner of the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival, this innovative, claustrophobic thriller takes place in an emergency call center, where a dispatcher receives a panicked distress call from a woman, leading to a frantic rescue mission with a phone as the only resource.
THE CHARMER / CHARMØREN
Directed by Milad Alami
Starring Ardalan Esmaili, Lars Brygmann, Morten Hee Andersen, Stine Fischer Christensen, Boie Kratfeldt
Esmail, a handsome and charming Iranian migrant, desperately cruises the nightclubs of Copenhagen, seducing a series of Danish women in an effort to secure his citizenship in this tightly wound psychological thriller that also demonstrates the workings of an unjust immigration system.
Directed by Annika Berg
Starring Eja Penelope Roepstorff, Ida Glitre, Maja Leth Bang, Mathilde Linnea Daugaard Jensen, Elise Pedersen
Director Annika Berg combines raw documentary footage with stylized pop culture visuals to create the ultimate punk coming-of-age film in which eight rebels, all found on social media, play themselves and explore their artistry and expression while managing painful realities.
MICHELIN STARS: TALES FROM THE KITCHEN
Directed by Rasmus Dinesen
Starring Guy Savoy, Alain Ducasse, Andoni Luis Aduriz, Victor Arguinzoniz, Rene Redzepi
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All chefs dream of the distinction of receiving the coveted Michelin star, but who decides this peculiar rating and what is the criteria for obtaining one? More than a baker’s dozen of the world’s top-rated chefs dish on the pros and cons of the punishing star system that has given them extreme joy-and nervous breakdowns.
THE ETERNAL ROAD / IKITIE
Directed by Antti Jussi Annila
Starring Tommi Korpela, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Irina Bjorklund, Hannu-Pekka Bjorkman, Ville Virtanen
When a Finnish farmer in the 1930s is violently transported across the border into the USSR, he is forced by Soviet intelligence to infiltrate a farm collective and inform his handlers of any suspicious anti-communist activity in this epic story of one man’s struggle to survive.
MOOMINS AND THE WINTER WONDERLAND
Directed by Ira Carpelan, Jakub Wronski, Bartosz Wierzbieta
Starring Bill Skarsgard, Alicia Vikander, Stellan Skarsgard
Sweden’s beloved Rankin/Bass-style stop motion Christmas special features the adorable fuzzy hippopotamus-like creatures the Moomins, who wake one morning to discover that winter has come to their peaceful valley. This new English-language version features the voices of Alicia Vikander and Bill and Stellan Skarsgård.
A MOMENT IN THE REEDS
Directed by Mikko Makela
Starring Janne Puustinen, Boodi Kabbani, Mika Melender
When literature student Leevi arrives at his father’s summer home, he meets Syrian refugee Tareq who is working on the house. Their weekend affair exposes generational and cultural chasms in an outwardly peaceful setting in Finland’s first gay romantic feature.
UNDER THE TREE / UNDIR TRENU
Directed by Hafsteinn Gunar Sigurðsson
Starring Steinþór Hróar Steinþórsson, Edda Björgvinsdóttir, Sigurður Sigurjónsson, Lára Jóhanna Jónsdóttir, Þorsteinn Bachmann
Middle-aged Inga and Baldvin live next door to Konrad and his younger second wife Eybjorg. Though the couples engage in general societal niceties, there is one thing that Konrad and Eybjorg cannot stand—a tree that casts a shadow on their sundeck, something especially heinous now that’s it’s summertime.
WHAT WILL PEOPLE SAY / HVA VIL FOLK SI
Directed by Iram Haq
Starring Maria Mozhdah, Adil Hussain, Rohit Saraf, Ekavali Khanna, Ali Arfan, Sheeba Chaddha
Caught between her immigrant family’s strict adherence to Pakistani tradition and the hedonistic allure of teenage life in Oslo, 16-year-old Nisha is eventually caught living this double life by her family. Facing ostracism from fellow migrants, her parents take drastic measures to curtail her embrace of perceived Western vices.
VALLEY OF SHADOWS / SKYGGENES DAL
Directed by Jonas Matzow Gulbrandsen
Starring Adam Ekeli, Katherine Fagerland, John Olav Nilsen, Jone Hope Larsen, Jorgen Langhelle
A young boy embarks on a solitary odyssey through a dark and menacing forest in search of the mysterious creatures that have been eating his family’s sheep in this nightmarish, gray-hued Scandinavian fairytale.
GOING WEST / RETT VEST
Directed by Henrik Martin Daslsbakken
Starring Benjamin Helstad, Ingar Helge Gimle, Iben M. Akerlie, Anne Krigsvoll, Reidar Sorensen
In this playful and heartfelt road movie, a recently unemployed music teacher and his transgender father attempt to mend their tense relationship on a long trip to Norway’s west coast to enter their recently deceased matriarch’s final work in a major quilting competition.
Directed by Goran Hugo Olsson
After rejecting a high society lifestyle, mother and daughter pair Big and Little Edie become recluses in their deteriorating East Hampton mansion. Newly discovered vintage footage of these rebels against the elite-turned-cultural icons revisits the 1975 cult classic Grey Gardens more intimately than ever before.
CAKE GENERAL / TÅRTGENERALEN
Directed by Filip Hammar
Starring Mikael Persbrandt, Helena Bergstrom, Agnes Lindstrom Bolmgren, Tomas von Bromssen
Based on a true story, the directorial debut of popular Swedish personalities Filip and Fredrik is an outrageous, unconventional comedy set in the 1980s about an eccentric resident of “the most boring town in Sweden” who decides to put his sleepy hamlet on the map by assembling the world’s longest layer cake.
AMATEURS / AMATORER
Directed by Gabriela Pichler
Starring Zahraa Aldoujaili, Yara Aliadotter, Fredrik Dahl, Shada Ismaeel, Maria Nohra
In this irresistible comedy, a sleepy Swedish province hopes to lure a discount store chain by hiring a pompous commercial director to document their town’s worthiness, but two bright, brash high school girls from immigrant families use their cellphones and selfie sticks to tell the real story.
A GOOD WEEK FOR DEMOCRACY
Directed by Cecilia Bjork
Take a trip to Sweden’s idyllic island province of Gotland for a sharp, humorous and unsentimental examination of Almedalen Week, an annual event where thousands of politicians, lobbyists, and citizens gather for the ultimate showcase of political theatre.