Seattle Fest unveils eclectic, mixed sked

The 19th Seattle Film Festival has announced an eclectic and varied lineup of films, including Kenneth Branagh’s “Much Ado About Nothing” as its opening-night film and Stephen Soderbergh’s “King of the Hill,” which will close the fest.

The festival, one of the most heavily attended in the U.S., runs from May 14 through June 6 and will present more than 130 films from 40 countries.

Schlesinger tribute

In addition, the fest will host an in-person tribute to acclaimed filmmaker John Schlesinger, May 27.

The tribute, sponsored by KTZZ-TV, will include an on-stage discusssion with the director, clips highlighting his career and a screening of one of his films.

The New Directors Showcase, now in its third year, will present 10 new works by directors from around the world making their feature directorial debuts. Included is the U.S. premiere of Albert and Allen Hughes’ “Menace II Society” (U.S.).

Other films unspooling at the New Directors Showcase are Liv Ullmann’s “Sofie” (Denmark), Stefan Schwartz’s “Soft Top Hard Shoulder” (Great Britain), Jean Poiret’s “Le Zebre” (France), Alex van Warmerdam’s “The Northerners” (The Netherlands), Helmut Dietl’s “Schtonk” (Germany), Gogdan Dumitrescu’s “Outback” (Romania), Geoffrey Wright’s “Romper Stomper” (Australia), Pasquale Pozzessere’s “Verso Sud” (Italy) and Stan Lai’s “The Peach Blossom Land” (Taiwan).

The winner from the Showcase will be chosen by a jury that includes director Cameron Crowe, director/producer Scott Rosenfelt, Broadway theater director Daniel Sullivan and author-critic Jonathan Raban.

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