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Originally published Monday, January 20, 2014 at 5:05 AM

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SIFF presents Women in Cinema film fest

An advance look at a five-day festival showcasing nine films by female directors, including Chiemi Karasawa and Enid Zentelis.

Seattle Times movie critic

Film festival preview

‘Women in Cinema’

Wednesday, Jan. 22, through Sunday, Jan. 26, at SIFF Cinema at the Uptown (511 Queen Ave. N., Seattle). Tickets are $11 ($6 SIFF members) or $60 ($40) for an all-festival pass that includes an opening-night reception (206-324-9996 or

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The Seattle International Film Festival’s Women in Cinema Festival, which returned from a 10-year hiatus last year, is back again — with nine films directed by women. At a time when we hear increasingly about the persistently small numbers of women feature filmmakers, it’s a refreshing arrival.

“It’s really great for us to be able to celebrate these voices,” said Beth Barrett, director of programming for SIFF. “Obviously, (women directors) are everywhere. They want to direct, they’re just not being given the opportunities through funding.” Female documentarians, however, working outside of the studio system, are flourishing: This year, three of the five Directors Guild of America nominees for best documentary are women.

Appropriately, WIC kicks off with a documentary: “Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me,” a profile of the Tony- and Emmy-Award winning actress, now 87. Director Chiemi Karasawa will be present for a Q&A after the Wednesday-night screening.

Another festival guest is a familiar Northwest face: Enid Zentelis, a Bellingham native who shot her first feature film, “Evergreen,” in Everett in 2003, will attend with her new film, “Bottled Up.” A drama about addiction, the film stars Oscar winner Melissa Leo (“The Fighter”). Zentelis, who’s also made several documentaries, teaches film directing and screenwriting at New York University.

Other films in the festival include Shana Betz’s crime thriller “Free Ride,” starring Anna Paquin (“True Blood”); the documentary “The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden” by Dan Gellar and Dayna Goldfine (who made the excellent “Ballets Russes” in 2005); “Stay,” Wiebke von Carolsfeld’s romantic drama starring Taylor Schilling (“Orange Is the New Black”) and Aidan Quinn; and “Maidentrip,” Jillian Schlesinger’s documentary about a 14-year-old girl who set out to sail around the world alone.

Moira Macdonald: 206-464-2725 or

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