Kumail Nanjiani’s ‘The Big Sick’ Set as Seattle Film Festival Opener

The Seattle International Film Festival has selected Kumail Nanjiani’s comedy-drama “The Big Sick” as its opening night film on May 18 at the Marion Oliver McCaw Hall at Seattle Center.

The Big Sick” also stars Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano, Anupam Kher, Bo Burnham and Aidy Bryant. Amazon acquired the rights for $12 million shortly after “The Big Sick” — which Nanjiani and his wife Emily Gordon wrote about their courtship, navigating their cultural differences and her mysterious illness  — premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival.

Amazon has been touting its belief in distributing titles, which have included “Manchester by the Sea,” with a theatrical release. Nanjiani said on March 30 at CinemaCon, “We went with Amazon because of their commitment to theatrical release.”

“The Big Sick” opens June 23 in a limited release before it expands on July 14. Judd Apatow is the producer and Michael Showalter (“Hello, My Name Is Doris”) is the director.

Artistic Director Beth Barrett said, “We are beyond thrilled to open the doors of the 43rd Seattle International Film Festival with a film that pairs cross-cultural tension with a rawly honest love story. Amazon Studios has surfaced as one of the leading film distributors and content creators to push for strong theatrical releases, and we are honored to continue as partners with them for a second year bringing relevant and endearing films to Seattle audiences.”

The festival will release its complete lineup on May 3.

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