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Jimi Hendrix Biopic, Starring Andre Benjamin, Opening Seattle Film Festival

The Seattle Film Festival has selected “Jimi: All Is by My Side,” starring Andre Benjamin, as its opening-night film to screen May 15.

John Ridley, who directed the Jimi Hendrix biopic from his own script, is scheduled to attend. Hendrix was a Seattle native.

“All Is by My Side” premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, where Open Road and XLrator Media acquired U.S. rights. The companies are planning a release this summer.

The project was created by Ridley after he discovered the Hendrix song “Sending My Love to Linda,” about fashion model Linda Keith, who heard Hendrix perform in London in 1966 and played a key role in encouraging his career.

Benjamin learned to play the guitar like Hendrix — left handed with a right-hand guitar strung upside down — to boost the authenticity of the film, which is set in 1966 London but shot in Dublin last year.

Carl Spence, artistic director of the Seattle festival, said, “I can’t think of a more fitting film to open our 40th — as SIFF looks back on where we’ve come from and forward to where we’re going, we’re inviting everyone to come together to see a film that traces the origins of a Seattle music legend.”

Ridley won the adapted screenplay Oscar for “12 Years a Slave” in March.

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